Updated: Nov 5, 2021
BEAT THE HEAT IN A HEALTHY WAY!
It’s that time of year where the temperatures are rising and we plan our outdoor activities around the sun’s most powerful rays. If, like me, you are living in a state with high summer temperatures, staying cool while being outdoors is critical. When the temperatures in Arizona hit the triple digits, it is more important than ever to stay cool and hydrated. If you are determined not to let the heat stop you from your enjoying your favorite outdoor activities, here are a few suggestions to help you stay cool and beat the heat.
One of my favorite ways to stay cool is an ancient yogic breathing technique called Sitali. Whether you practice yoga or not, this breathing technique is an excellent way to cool your body down from the inside.
1. Sitali: The Cooling Breath
In addition to cooling the body, Sitali is said to curb hunger and thirst, improve bad breath, calm the mind, reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and promote a more relaxed state.
How To Practice Sitali:
· Take a few deep, full belly breaths to start. · Open the mouth and bring your tongue out slightly. · Curl your tongue lengthwise · Inhale deeply through your curled tongue and into your mouth as if you are drinking in air through a straw · Close your mouth and hold the breath for a moment before exhaling deeply through your nostrils · Repeat for 5-10 breaths and you should begin to feel slightly cooler from within
*Note: If you are unable to curl the tongue in this way, you may bring your tongue out slightly between your lips and practice this breath technique in the same manner.
2. Water for the Win!
We all THINK we are drinking enough water, but many of us are not. The saying ‘When you are thirsty, it is often too late’ is true when it comes to hydration.
According to the Mayo Clinic, men should drink about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages per day in a moderate climate and women should drink about 9 cups (2.2 liters) per day. The key word here is moderate. When the temperatures are rising, and the heat becomes more extreme, the recommendation is to drink at least 16-24 ounces of water per hour. In addition to water, consider drinking coconut water or a sports drink with electrolytes for an added boost. Check the label and choose one without sugar, as sugar is dehydrating.
3. Foods That Hydrate
In addition to water, choose foods that are hydrating over others that dehydrate your body (ex. coffee, sugar, salt, alcohol). Here is a list of several hydrating fruits and vegetables to keep in your refrigerator to supplement your water intake for hydration:
· watermelon · celery · cantaloupe · cucumber · grapefruit · tomatoes · carrots · greens · peppers
There are many other important ways to combat the rising temperatures, including seeking air-conditioning when the mercury is rising. Equally important is keeping our furry friends hydrated and cool. Remember that we have the luxury of wearing shoes on the burning pavement, but our dogs’ bare paws can burn and blister quickly.
Consider purchasing dog booties to protect your dog’s paws. We recently purchased a pair for our dog, and though she needs time to practice walking in these, we got quite a bit of comic relief watching her first steps. Here’s to you finding ways to keep your cool this summer!
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