It’s a HOT summer! We’re in the middle of a heat wave here so I thought it would be a good time to remind you of some great ways to stay hydrated, cool, and healthy.
This is especially important for you if you’re pregnant or nursing, but staying hydrated is key to overall optimal health and fertility too, so make it happen!
Of course the best way to stay cool is to stay indoors in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. When it gets really hot out, like the recent heat waves, it’s just not safe to be outside for prolonged periods of time. You can’t always avoid the heat though, so I’ll share my top tips for staying cool.
Tip #1: WATER
You might be thinking that this goes without saying, but it’s often difficult for people to stay properly hydrated in the heat, especially when they’re not used to drinking a lot of water. One of the first signs of dehydration is thirst. That means that by the time you’re feeling thirsty, you’re already working to catch up, so it’s best to stay ahead of the game and drink plenty of water. Typically you should drink half of your body weight in water every day. You should aim for 12-16 ounces per hour if you’re going to be out in the hot sun all day. If you’re not a huge fan of water, keep reading for more tips of how to stay hydrated. Playing in water is also a great way to stay cool – whether you’ve got a pool, a hose, or just a bucket or bottle of water. If you’re preparing to go out into a hot day, ending your shower with a blast of cold water can help keep you cool for a little bit longer.
Tip #2: COOLING FOODS
Eating fruit is a great solution to combat the heat and best of all it’s a seasonal solution! If you go to your local farmer’s market in the summer months, you’re going to find a wonderful array of cooling foods that have high water content to keep you hydrated. Melons, cucumbers, peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes and eggplant are some great examples – all of these have cooling properties. What could be better than sinking your teeth into some melon to cool off? Another great thing to try is adding some cucumber slices to water for a refreshing treat.
Tip #3: COOLING MOVEMENT
When we get really hot, it’s easy to want to stay put and not move, but there is some movement that is beneficial. I’ve learned from my yoga teachers and from my personal yoga practice that forward folds are cooling.
One that you can easily do in most places is a standing forward fold.
Stand up tall and reach your arms up to the sky. Hinging at the waist, fold forward and let yourself hang. Let your head be heavy, and sway back and forth gently if it feels good for you. When you are ready to stand up, slowly roll yourself up one vertebra at a time with your head coming up last.
Another wonderful restorative and cooling pose is child’s pose, one of Chloe’s favorites. While resting on your shins, separate your knees wide and allow your toes to touch. Rest your belly and your forehead against the ground and bring your arms along either side of you. Take some slow deep breaths and allow yourself to relax.
Tip #4: COOLING BREATH
Breathing is another way to keep cool.
Often in yoga as we build the heat in our practice we use Ujjayi breath which is breathing in and out through the nose. When we need to cool down in the midst of our practice, we exhale out of our mouths. Allowing the mouth to open to release the hot air cools us down. For an even more cooling effect, stick your tongue out when you exhale for a few breaths (think of a dog panting). Breath is an amazing regulator of heat in our bodies and we can use it in any situation to cool us down, and calm us down as well.
I’d love to know your favorite ways to stay cool, so be sure to share in the comments below!
Peace, Love, and Wellness,