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The Big Question: How Do You Beat the Heat? | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Big Question: How Do You Beat the Heat?

Across the US of A, temperatures are rising to a potentially lethal level. That means many of us could use a hand coming up with ways to keep cool to keep safe.

When the mercury rises way too high, one of my personal favorite ways to stop steaming is to take a brief (Hey, it’s California! We’re always low on water!) tepid shower. That’s right, tepid, not cold. It actually cools me more and makes it a little easier to adjust back to the Hades-like horrors.

I also like to dab a cool, wet washcloth over my pulse points. All those places people recommend you dab perfume for the greatest potency? Yeah, those are the spots for a touch of cool water.

Keep well hydrated, and wear as many natural fibers as possible, because they breathe better than synthetics. I do my best to get my hair off my neck. I make sure to eat something salty now and again, because sweating makes you lose salt, which can make you sick. If you find that salt tastes sweet to you, you have reached a dangerous point and need to eat something salty now.

How about all of you? Any great tips for staying frosty when the sidewalk is hot enough to fry an egg?

And please, those of you in the sweaty zones? Stay safe.

16 Responses to “The Big Question: How Do You Beat the Heat?”

  1. Jennifer P July 24, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Yes to tepid showers and natural fibers (which are hard to find sometimes in big-lady sizes). No way I’m putting on anything black or anything polyester in this weather.

    I eat a lot of smoothies and a lot of no-cook meals: Hummus & pita & veggies.

    And I use my grandmother’s old trick: I keep my toner & moisturizer in the fridge for a jolt of coolness when I clean my face.

  2. Linda Mercury July 24, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    I like to soak a handkerchief in ice water, wring it out, and tie it around my neck. Ahhhh!

  3. Jezebella July 24, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Tepid showers as often as desired, minimal clothing in natural fibers, lots of water, and lots of fruit to snack on. Use those ceiling fans. Lose your hair dryer. There’s nothing ickier than blowing hot air at your head on a hot day. It totally defeats the purpose of your refreshing shower.

    And since I’m in the art business, allow me to remind y’all that museums are air conditioned at all times, and, price-wise, are an entertainment bargain. I’m convinced my museum’s tagline should be “Free and Air-Conditioned!” but my marketing team just won’t go for it.

  4. Jeni July 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    Showers, cranking the AC up (to 11, hee! sorry) and laying around my bf’s apartment in front of a fan wearing next to nothing!

    I am lucky enough to not have to go anywhere…my bf is not so lucky. Hes a cop, bullet proof vest and gun belts do not breath! I make sure he goes off to work with a BIG bottle of frozen water (melts through out the day) and a promise to refill it when its gone.

  5. Twistie July 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    @Jezebella: Tell your marketing department from me that they’re woefully unimaginative if they won’t go for a slam dunk campaign like that!

  6. mel July 24, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    I have to admit I never thought of putting my moisturizer in the fridge. That’s awesome!

    I keep tons of watermelon and a pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge. On, and it’s a good time to catch up on all those summer realesed movies – it’s mighty frosty in a movie theater.

  7. Kimks July 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Loose, natural fiber,light colored clothing! When I lived in Morocco, where it would get insanely hot, a colleagues wife suggested long light weight cotton skirts and loose shirts- the light colors reflected the sun, the cotton absorbed the, uhm, sweat, which kept it cool.

    Ohh- and corn starch baby powder- our grandmothers heat-cooling secret works!! I keep it in the fridge- and because of the way my Apartment is configured we have a fridge in the bathroom- it’s a small apartment in the big city-you do what you can in the space you have- anyhow- corn starch baby powder from the fridge is awesome!

  8. Kate K July 25, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    Yes to the pulse points tip! When I’m overheating, I run cold water over the inside of my wrists and even up to the forearms. It’s also amazing how eating a popsicle will cool you off.

    This is going to sound crazy but when it’s supremely hot, I shower with the bathroom lights off. I don’t know about everyone else but the lights in my bathroom fixture put off an incredible amount of heat and they do so in a small little area. It’s not *that* dark–your eyes adjust–and I swear it keeps things cooler.

  9. ZaftigWendy July 25, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    1. Anti-perspirant – not just under the arms, but under the boobs, and on inner thighs.

    2. Skirts!! WAY cooler than any kind of pants or shorts.

    3. Keep a folding fan in your purse. World Market usually has several and they’re very cheap. They work great, especially for those times when one is having a “personal summer.”

  10. AuroraB July 25, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Not just your moisturizer and facial creams – throw the whole lot of lotions in the fridge – body creams and butters feel amazing when cold.

  11. Phyllis July 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm #

    @Zaftig Wendy: Anti Perspirant under the boobies-that is brilliant. Not going out again today, but tomorrow? We swipe!

  12. Mallory July 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    In addition to a hearty yes! to all of the above, I have one thing to add – iced tea. As those of us from the South can attest, it is an easy way to stay hydrated and a little more exciting in water. It’s also a great option for the diet/caffiene conscious (hello decaf/herbal!). You can also add a little lemon, or for me, lime juice and a bit of your favorite sweetener (cause regular sweet tea can be a bit much…)
    Also, for some reason, it feels more cooling to me than water.

    When I make it myself I like Luzianne, but really, anything can work – Earl Grey is awesom iced!

  13. Hetty July 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    To cool off, first a hot shower, then once your skin is red crank it down to ice cold. Drink lots of water! Stay away from sugary and sweet drinks. Natural fibers and loose clothing. Keeping my hair off of my neck is a must.

    Making sure everyone maintains their own personal space. I love you but don’t touch me, thanks.

  14. Rachel of Cyberia July 27, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I’ve never been able to keep my body heat “in”, so a heat wave is perfectly fine with me. It was warm enough for me to stop wearing Thinskins under my scrub pants last week.

  15. Stormy July 27, 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Not an issue for me right now, since I’m in the only spot in the USA that’s not currently whimpering under the heat… But I fled here after a decade in Phoenix, so, yeah.

    Iced tea, very much yes. If you like mint at all, add a couple of bags of mint herbal tea while you’re brewing it up. Mint is amazingly cooling. Try filling empty plastic bottles with the tea and putting them in the freezer (squeeze them a bit before you seal them so they have room to expand) and drink the melted tea.

    When the humidity is low, soak a hand-towel with cool water, squeeze it till it’s not drippy, and roll it diagonally. Drape it around your neck (touching your pulse-points) for an amazing evaporative cooling help. Unfortunately, evaporative cooling doesn’t do much when it’s sticky out.

    In higher humidity you might be able to manage a similar effect by wrapping ice cubes into a slightly damp towel and letting them melt into the back of your neck.

    For cooling foods:
    *Cucumber and cream-cheese sandwiches
    *wash a bunch of grapes, then pop them off the stems and into the freezer.
    *cheese sticks and celery sticks and carrot sticks, piled on a plate to nibble
    *chuck a frozen banana in the blender with a splash of milk (or chocolate milk) for a healthy easy bit of cooling

    And whatever you do, now is NOT the time to cut back on salt unless you have major medical reasons for it. You’ll be sweating a lot out, and the last thing you want is to pass out from dehydration-triggered low blood pressure

  16. Ro July 30, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    I keep a small bottle of rose water in the fridge, and carry it with me when I go out. Dab drops of it on my forehead and pulse points. Keeps me cool and smelling like roses!