If you’re sweltering in the city this summer, with no beach holiday in sight, here are a few ideas to help you stay cool when the temperatures soar.
For centuries, wealthy urbanites escaped the summer heat by spending the hottest months at seaside or mountain resorts or second homes in the country. A lucky few still manage to get away, but today, unless you’re a student or a teacher, a long summer holiday is a rarity. So if you live in the city, chances are you’ll be spending at least part of the summer there.
Here are some ideas to help you keep cool and have fun when you’re stuck in town.
Find an open-air pool. There’s nothing more refreshing than diving into cool water. You can get some exercise, beat the heat and work on your tan all at the same time.
If there’s a river or lake nearby, spend some time by the water’s edge. Even if you can’t go swimming, it’s not as hot near bodies of water because evaporative cooling lowers the temperature of the surrounding environment.
Go to a park or other green space and find some shade. Plants also provide evaporative cooling: grass blades and leaves transpire water, acting like natural air conditioners. Have a picnic, read a good book, do yoga, or just relax and watch the dogs and children play. If the park has a water feature, all the better.
Stick water bottles in the freezer and take one out anytime you leave the house. The water will stay colder longer if it starts out frozen, encouraging you to drink more. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can contribute to dehydration.
Take advantage of air-conditioned spaces. No one wants to spend all day indoors, but air-conditioning does make the concrete jungle more bearable when the temperatures really soar. Go to a matinee at the cinema. Visit the library. Check out your city’s museums. This could be just the excuse you need to familiarize yourself with the local tourist attractions.
Make healthy homemade ice lollies. Make a smoothie by blending up whatever mixture of ripe fruit you have on hand (or check the internet for more exotic recipes) and then fill up your ice lolly moulds and pop them in the freezer. You’ll be enjoying a refreshing treat in just a short time.
Take a leisurely stroll through an air-conditioned supermarket and look for new foods you’ve never tried before. When it’s hot, it’s best to avoid big meals, instead eating more frequent smaller portions of lighter fare (and stay away from the stove!). Take this chance to get out of your usual menu rut and experiment a little.
A good night’s sleep is important to staying healthy and happy, but if you don’t have air-conditioning and your house is sweltering, it can be hard to drift off. Try putting your sheets in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before you go to bed. They should stay cool just long enough to let you get to sleep.
Do you have any other tips for staying cool?