Super Tricks To Keep Your Body Super Cool During Severe Summer
When I say I love summers in a gathering, I get those questioning looks more often than not. I know what are the questions those eyes want to ask me – how can you like summers, how can you like being sweaty all the time, don’t you hate the energy-sucking sun, how do you deal with the constant fatigue that sets in, and much more. For me, summers are synonymous with chilled beverages, sweet and luscious mangoes, light and refreshing food, long sessions in the pool, oodles of ice-creams, and longer days to do much much more. ‘One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to ready by,’ Jeannette Walls, the famous American journalist and writer said. However, I agree there is one thing that constantly needs to be taken care of and that is a diet and routine that keeps us cool and calm in the intense summer heat.
So how to keep the body cool and relaxed even during the hot season is a common query of many. Even though the season comes with a promise of rejuvenating beachy and hilly holidays, the thought of combating the unforgiving sun looms large in our minds.
We can brave the sweaty summer gloriously with food, drinks, activities, and supplements to keep us as cool as a cucumber – so you can only focus on all the fun that the holidays will unfurl for you.
Ayurveda has something interesting to say too
The fascinating science of natural health – Ayurveda – believes in striking the perfect balance in everything – eating, exercising, drinking, sleeping, and more. It governs on three primary doshas – Vata, Pitta, Kapha – that control the whole universe; and states that everything in the world is made of a perfect combination of these agents. Pitta is responsible for metabolism, digestion, heat in our bodies, minds, and also the environment. This dosha needs to be kept in balance especially during summers as overheating of this may affect us emotionally, mentally, and physically – mood swings, sensitive skin, and impatience are some of the symptoms.
Here is how to keep body cool with some according to this traditional science :
- Stay away from foods that heat up the body – oily delicacies, caffeine, alcohol, spices, too much onion & garlic, spinach; also have salt in moderation as it dehydrates the body.
- Say hello to food that will cool you down – cucumber, watermelon, yogurt, mint, seasonal green veggies, coconut water, shikanji; use fenugreek seeds and fennels seeds in your preparations or gulp then with a glass of water to reduce body heat effectively.
- Have your meals at the right time – you can keep your body pitta happy by eating at the right time. Our body’s digestive fire is the strongest in the middle of the day so never miss lunch and have the other meals on a proper time too.
- Exercise when it is relatively cooler outside – our body actually gets more tired during summers. Why make it suffer more by exercising in the hot hours. If you can swim, nothing like it. If not, then carry on with your regular workout during early morning or early evening hours.
- Play the summer away – remember those times when playing cricket or badminton right after school in the scorching sun was a welcome activity? Well, you should do it now too! No, I don't mean in the middle of the day literally, what I mean is go ahead and play like you used to. It will de-stress the mind and body.
Did you know? Mental stress – that we all are inflicted with in these demanding times – also heats up the body. So douse the aggravated mental and body heat this summer with some soft and soothing music, meditation, or a long walk amidst nature.
Watch what you eat
I agree that keeping the body cool from inside in summers is something we all fret about. Feeling dehydrated, lethargic, low on energy, and sweaty runs like a common thread between all alike. While some fight it smartly, others only crib about it.
Avoiding spicy and oily food is not enough; you have to incorporate food and fruits that will keep you cool inside out all through the season. Alright, let me help you with it. Here are some must must-have summer delicacies :
Cucumber – this one obviously had to figure on top, right? Have as much cucumber as you can. Have it with meals, or even as a snack – cool and hearty. It tastes amazing with a sprinkle of black salt and lemon or you can even enjoy it as a starter with some hummus. In every 100 gram serving of cucumber there is 95% water.
Watermelon- with 92% water in a 100 gram serving, this fruit also tops the list. Even the sight of this red, succulent, irresistible fruit is enough to make one want to have it all. Deseed it, squeeze it for its juices, and savour it with a dash of black salt – soothing and invigorating.
Mint aka pudina – you will often see a serving of most of the mocktails and even cocktails garnished with mint leaves. Some even involve crushed mint leaves in the preparation. This herb is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that keeps the stomach light and cool and aids in digestion.
Fennel seeds aka saunf – this most loved mouth freshener works wonders in reducing the body heat and keeping you energised. Dip some fennel seeds in water overnight, strain the seeds and consume the water in the morning and be summer ready.
Peaches and oranges – those beautifully shaded and soft fruits are also great during summers. They are rich in vitamin C which helps to fight the effect of sun exposure on the skin. So next time you step out in the sun, relish a peach or orange along with applying the high SPF sunscreen.
Lemon – another common body cooler. It is believed that this powerhouse of citrus not only boosts the immune system but also makes you want to have more and more water. When you are bored ticking off your essential glasses of water per day, alter some of them with a lemony twist and enjoy its revitalising effect on your body.
Coconut water – found in abundance in coastal areas, coconut water has now reached everywhere. Savour this naturally cooling drink as much as you can during summers to quench your thirst and keep yourself away from dehydration.
Milk and honey – have a glass of cold milk with a spoon of honey first thing in the morning for a cool and happy stomach throughout the day.
Besides these, pamper yourself with seasonal vegetables and fruits in abundance. They are best savoured in the season they are available in and are meant to keep your body fresh even when it is getting toasty outside. Also don't forget to indulge in the most luscious summer drinks to stay fresh and hydrated throughout the season.
Here are a few supplements you can include in your diet in summers:
Vitamin D – while we are busy hiding from the roasting sun, we don’t realise that we are also missing on our daily intake of vitamin D – which helps in improved moods, lowered risk of cancer, lowered rate of diabetes, and more. So you may consider supplementing it with some healthy and natural tablets.
Zinc – best in successfully subsiding inflammatory indicators and producing enzymes to preserve the body cells. Its deficiency may lead to poor brain functioning and other health problems. So don’t hesitate to go for the supplements of this mineral.
B Vitamins – B-9, B6, B-12, and B2. All these help you stay vigorous and happy, so make sure you are feeding your body enough of these in your daily diet. If not, then consult your doctor for the best supplements for these.
Magnesium – this underestimated mineral is actually very crucial for the body. It relaxes the nervous system, regulates heart functions, and may also help you have a sound sleep. You may experience decreased levels of magnesium especially in summers. So go for its supplements after consulting your physician for the best ones.
Moving on, you have eaten right, exercised right, supplemented right, and slept right. What else? Besides all these, there are some basic lifestyle and other changes that will let you enjoy summer to the fullest. Let me list them out for you:
Water, water, and more water! Yes, at the cost of repetition, I will remind you yet again to have lots and lots of water. For the times when plain water seems boring, have it with some fruit crush or sherbet.
After you enter your comfort zone after a long and sweaty day outside, instead of lazing off, just get under the shower as a routine. If possible, don’t use a towel to dry yourself off, let the fan do it instead. This is for those who have the luxury of time and space; for those that don’t, a shower is good enough
You can always have an ice pack ready – whether in office or home. Soothe your body’s cooling spots such as wrists or neck to feel bring down the body temperature instantly.
Loose and light coloured clothes are great for summers.
Khadi or cotton will keep you and your body cooler and at ease.
Keep a spray bottle filled with water in the fridge. Once you return from work or anywhere else, spray it on your face to feel refreshed instantly.
Stock your moisturisers and lotions in the fridge too. Before hitting the bed apply the cold lotions to feel fresh and calm.
If you like wearing caps, this is for you. While outdoors in the top sunny hours, take off your cap once in a while and pour a little bit of ice cold water in it and wear it back immediately.
‘When I was a child, our summer days were spent swimming; chlorine in my hair was like perfume to me,’ Patti Davis the famous American actress and author has some beautiful memories of the summer season. Come, let us make some sunny memories too. Do not rush in when nature blesses us with those pleasant showers. Make the most of them instead: soak your soul in those tiny blissful drops to cool yourself mentally as well as physically. Happiness – especially when shared – wards off feelings of distress and agitation, keeping us cool and calm at all times. So while your daily engagements and commitments towards work, family, and yourself keep you super busy, don’t forget to chill with good company and some authentic and cool drinks such as slushes, cold coffee, iced tea, and thandai – stimulating and filling. Unless unavoidable, stay indoors when the heat is at its peak.
A healthy and balanced routine goes a long way in combating any weather successfully. Trying to cool the body heat externally has its own limitations, but eating right does the job aptly. Bring about a change in what and when you eat, how and when you exercise, and other basic routines to balance your body well enough to beat the sweltering heat.
Have a spectacular summer.
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