Give welcome to your sweat this week as it cools your body. It may be sticky and smelly, but we are fortunate to have such an efficient cooling system. When our brains notice a rising internal temperature, the hypothalamus signals our sweat glands to release water droplets in the form of perspiration. We are not chilling yet though, because there is another step. The sweat has to evaporate. That's right – our body uses it's excess heat to vaporize the water droplets, in what is called "the heat of vaporization".
Fans also relieve heat - by moving air over our skin. Greater air circulation means more evaporation. Placing a frozen water bottle in front of a fan makes this air cooler. You might be aware of an upgrade in fanning technology that can actually blow hot air out of the house by reversing fan rotation at the flip of a switch.
Although you may be cooler through moisture evaporation, you need to replenish lost fluid. Be sure to hydrate with added electrolytes. It seems counterintuitive, but you can become more dehydrated by drinking only extra water; that is because it dilutes your electrolytic balance. Coconut water and Gatorade can help, as can a Nuun tablet or two dropped into water. "Pop, Pop, Fizz, Fizz"
Your temper, too, can flare in the heat. Small irritations may seem larger when you are overwrought with heat. Slow down – take a deep breath, re-assess and re-direct. Ask yourself: "Would I feel or act this way if it were cooler....?"
When the temperature soared to a hundred plus degrees last summer, so did attempted air conditioner purchases. If you have since bought one, you may be more confident in the heat this summer. If you do not have one – see the links below:
12 Tips for Cooling Small Rooms
30 Ideas for Hot Summer Nights