Even though September's finally here, most of us are still looking for ways to beat humidity. August is over, but it's left a lot of its lush, sticky heat, which promises to stick around well into October – at least, that's how it is here in New England. If it's that way where you live as well, then I've got some great tips for beating the humidity. While humid summer nights are kind of sexy, toward summer's end the heat just feels unbearable. It's hard to move, hard to get motivated, and it's even hard to breathe. It gets unhealthy quickly, so it's better to beat it before it saps all your energy! It's still calendar summer, but you don't have to worry about melting into a puddle simply because Mother Nature's being stingy with the cool, crisp fall weather everyone's craving. Learn how to beat the humidity and avoid heat exhaustion with these simple, easy techniques!
1. Drink, Drink, Drink
One of the best ways to beat humidity is to stay hydrated at all times. If you're out in the heat, if your house is exceptionally humid, and most definitely if you're exercising, drinking water is essential. Plain water is just fine, ideal even, but if you need to build up your electrolytes or get some nutrients along with your hydration, try a good vitamin water. Just make sure to stay away from anything with high amounts of sugar, because they'll leave you thirstier.
2. Keep It Light
The clothing you wear makes a different when you're trying to find the perfect way to beat humidity. Forget about that tired rule about wearing white after Labor Day. If the temperatures are still up in the stratosphere and, more importantly, if the humidity index is still high, then you need light clothing. Not only should you wear lighter materials that don't attract the heat, but they should be light colored as well. Even if you're really serious about not wearing white right now, stick to pastels and avoid very dark colors.
3. Eat Fresh
Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is another great way to stay hydrated, plus your constitution will improve in general. Try eating lots of salads, whether they're green salads, fruit salads, or a mix of both. Cooked fruits or veggies are great too, but eating them raw or fresh is always a better option. Make sure you get plenty of vitamin C, and pay close attention to items that have a lot of water, like watermelon or lettuce.
4. Watch Your Hair
This is a health post, of course, so while there are lots of ways to beat the humidity in terms of hair and makeup, that's not what I'm focusing on here. That being said, if you have long and/or thick hair that causes you to sweat more, be smart about the way you style it. When you're outside in the heat or, again, if it's humid in your home, don't worry about curls or frizzes or a perfectly coiffed 'do. Instead, throw it up in a bun or a ponytail to keep it off the back of your neck. That might not seem like such a big deal, but heavy, long hair actually makes your head sweat. A lot. You won't get dehydrated, but it does lead to feelings of lethargy and even headaches, so be kind to your head.
5. Avoid Oils
Many of the best tips for beating the humidity involve staying out of the sun, or at least protecting yourself from it. However, you also need to protect yourself from your protectors. Specifically, stay away from sunscreens, moisturizers, and makeup that contain a lot of oil. Oil-based products block your pores, and when your pores are blocked, your skin can't cool down the way it should. You won't even be able to sweat properly, which is incredibly unhealthy.
6. Get Active inside
Even though it's hot and humid, people still naturally want to exercise. There's such a thing as going too far, however. My street is a favorite among runners and joggers, and many of them kept to their routines even when the temperatures topped well over 90 degrees. Many of them also ended up suffering from heat exhaustion and even heatstroke. You don't have to give up your exercise routine when it's humid, but you do need to be smart about it. If there's not a single breeze stirring outside and the air feels like soup, keep it indoors. Go to the gym, exercise in your living room using televised programs or DVDs, or make up your own routine. If you really feel the need to be outside, then go swimming in a pool, a lake, or the ocean – just make sure you wear the appropriate sunblock when you do.
7. Bathe for Fun
A nice, cool bath is one of my favorite ways to beat humidity when it gets high. Of course, cool showers work just as well, but I've always preferred the tub. When it's incredibly humid, give yourself an hour or even thirty minutes, run a cool or lukewarm bath, and hop in with your favorite book or listen to some music. You'll feel instantly cool, even when you get out. Just be careful about going straight into the air conditioning or into an area with high heat. Extreme changes in temperature that occur too quickly are highly unhealthy.
8. Get Made in the Shade
Finally, look for shady nooks both indoors and outside. If one area of your house is cooler than the others, make yourself at home. If you're dying to be outside, make sure you situated yourself under the shaded safety of a porch, an awning, a gazebo, a veranda, or a lovely, shady tree. That way you can enjoy being outside while still discovering some relief from the humidity.
Not only are these some really great ways to beat the humidity, lots of them will also help keep you cool and hydrated. When the temperatures get hot, you have to stay cool and healthy. It doesn't matter if you're dealing with sultry summer temperatures or an unexpected heatwave in spring, fall, or winter, these tips and techniques will always keep you cool and comfortable. Do you have any other tips for beating the humidity? Whether it's a drink, a cooling snack, or another tip, let us know!
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