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10 Strategies to Stay Cool in the Heat This Summer (or Anytime)

It’s hot outside and inside, too. To help you stay cool, we asked experts for their top tips…
10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

It’s hot outside and inside, too. To help you stay cool, we asked experts for their top tips to beat the heat. Staying hydrated is essential, but you can try many other tricks right now. From eating spicy food (yes, it works!) to changing your bedding, here are the easiest ways to stay cool this summer without sweat.

1. Create a DIY Air Conditioner

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

Put a shallow bowl of ice before a fan if it’s hot but not humid. As the ice melts and evaporates, it will create a cool breeze to help you stay comfortable.

2. Spray Yourself With Cold Water

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

One of the simplest ways to cool down in the heat is to spritz yourself with water. Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and when it gets hot, mist yourself. “It’s all about thermal regulation,” says John Lehnhardt, an elephant expert at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida. As the water evaporates, it cools you down.

While elephants cool off by spraying water on their ears, humans should start by spraying their wrists to cool the blood flowing through their veins quickly.

3. Turn Your Computer Off

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

To reduce heat, set your computer to enter low-power “sleep” mode if you’re away for more than 10 minutes. When you’re done for the day, shut it down completely. Despite old advice, turning off and restarting modern computers won’t harm the hardware.

Avoid using your computer on your lap, as it gets too hot. “That’s why they changed the name from laptop to notebook,” says Justin M. Solomon, a Stanford University student and winner of the 2005 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in computer science.

4. Air Dry Your Dishes

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

Skip the dishwasher’s drying cycle and leave the door open to let the dishes air dry. Wait until the evening, when it’s cooler, to run the dishwasher. Alternatively, wash your dishes by hand to avoid extra heat.

5. Dress in Loose Clothing

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

Choose thin, light-colored, and loose-fitting options if you prefer cotton clothing. “The best way to stay cool is for sweat to evaporate directly from your skin into the air,” says Larry Kenney, a physiology and kinesiology professor at Pennsylvania State University.

“The next best option is for sweat to move quickly from your skin to your clothing and evaporate. Loose, billowy clothes help air circulate next to your skin, aiding evaporation.”

6. Wear Cooling Fabrics

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

Wear synthetic fabrics like Coolmax, designed to keep you cool, wick away sweat, and prevent stickiness. Bamboo pajamas and aloe-infused pajamas are also made to help you stay cool.

7. Go Barefoot

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

Take off your shoes. As the sweat on your feet evaporates, it cools your skin and blood. This cooled blood circulates through your body, giving you a greater sensation of coolness, says Donald R. Bohay, MD, an American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society member.

8. Eat Something Spicy

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

People in hot climates like Mexico and India know that eating spicy food can help cool you down. “Chili peppers contain capsaicin, which makes us sweat more easily,” says Rick Bayless, the James Beard Award-winning chef of Frontera Grill in Chicago. As this sweat evaporates, it provides a cooling effect.

9. Stay Hydrated

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

To replace the moisture lost through sweating, make sure to drink plenty of water. Dehydration raises your body temperature, so staying hydrated is key to keeping cool.

Avoid drinks with alcohol, caffeine, or lots of sugar, as they can dehydrate you. “Also, choose hydrating foods,” says Deena Kastor, an Olympic bronze medalist marathon runner. “Have a smoothie for lunch, and add more fruits and vegetables to your meals. Watermelon has the highest water content of any food.”

10. Opt for Fruits and Veggies

10 Strategies To Stay Cool In The Heat This Summer (Or Anytime)

There’s a reason we reach for salads in the summer. They’re easier to digest than a fatty hamburger, which leaves you feeling sluggish in the high heat.

Instead, go for fruits and vegetables, which are watery and help keep you hydrated (and cooler), says Robert Kenefick, a physiologist at the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts, which studies the effects of extreme climates on soldiers’ bodies.


Stay cool becomes essential for comfort and health as the temperatures rise and the sun beats down. From hydrating properly to seeking shade, numerous strategies exist to beat the heat and keep cool during the scorching summer months—or anytime you battle high temperatures.

Firstly, staying hydrated is paramount. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider electrolyte-rich drinks to replenish lost minerals through sweating.

Secondly, dress appropriately by wearing lightweight, breathable clothing in light colors that reflect sunlight rather than absorb it.

Thirdly, seek shade whenever possible. Whether under a tree, an umbrella, or indoors with air conditioning, minimizing direct exposure to the sun can significantly reduce your body’s temperature.

Fourthly, use cooling techniques such as placing a damp cloth on your forehead or wrists, using fans or air conditioners, or even taking cool showers or baths.

Fifthly, adjust your activities to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Schedule outdoor activities for the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler, and take frequent breaks if you must be outside during peak heat.

Lastly, be mindful of vulnerable populations, including the elderly, young children, and pets, who are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses. Ensure they have access to cool environments and plenty of water.

By incorporating these strategies into your routine, you can stay cool and comfortable even when the summer heat is at its peak. Stay hydrated, seek shade, and prioritize your health and well-being in any weather condition.


Q1: What are some general tips for staying cool in hot weather?

Ans: Stay hydrated, wear lightweight and light-colored clothing, avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day, and seek shade or air-conditioned environments when possible.

Q2: How can I stay cool indoors without air conditioning?

Ans: Use fans strategically to create cross-ventilation, keep curtains or blinds closed during the hottest part of the day, use ice packs or cold compresses, and take cool showers or baths.

Q3: How do you stay cool while sleeping on hot nights?

Ans: Use lightweight and breathable bedding, consider cooling mattress pads or toppers, use a fan directed towards your bed, and try sleeping in moisture-wicking sleepwear.

Q4: Are there any specific foods or drinks that can help keep me cool?

Ans: Yes, consume hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables with high water content (e.g., watermelon, cucumber), and drink plenty of water. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate you.

Q5: How can I stay cool while exercising outdoors in hot weather?

Ans: Exercise during cooler parts of the day, stay hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after exercise, wear lightweight and moisture-wicking clothing, and take breaks in the shade when needed.

Ans: Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are serious risks in hot weather. To prevent them, stay hydrated, avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures, and recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses, such as excessive sweating, dizziness, nausea, and confusion.

Q7: How can I keep my pets cool during hot weather?

Ans: Provide plenty of fresh water, ensure they have access to shade, never leave them in a parked car, and consider using cooling mats or providing a shallow pool for them to cool off in.

Q8: Are there any specific clothing materials that can help keep me cool?

Ans: Yes, choose lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, which allow for better airflow and moisture wicking.

Q9: What should I do if I feel overheated or unwell in hot weather?

Ans: Move to a cooler environment, drink water, and rest. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical attention immediately.

Q10: How can I keep my home cool without significantly increasing energy bills?

Ans: When possible, use fans instead of air conditioning, close curtains or blinds to block out sunlight, use energy-efficient appliances, and consider installing insulation or reflective window coatings to reduce heat absorption.

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