High School High School Biology and Chemistry TSS

How to: Stay Cooler in the Summer

A few ways to stay cool during the hot summer.

            Summer just began and the temperature is rising. Some people may find it exhausting to go outside because of the hot weather; however, it is impossible to do so. There are a few ways in which one can try to keep cool and away from the scorching sun but you may be wondering: why do we sweat in the first place?

            Usually, our bodies open up our pores to release salts and water. Water has a high latent heat, which is required to transform liquid water into vapor and this normally cools the body. However, the rate in which the water evaporates depends on the amount of water already in the air. On cooler or drier days, sweat is evaporated much quicker than it would on a humid or hot day, which is why we sweat more on hot summer days. In this case, the body’s natural cooling system is considered not effective [1].

            One way we can help stay cool in the hot weather is by wearing wicking fabric which is a special clothing developed by engineers to lessen the moisture of our skin. Essentially, the clothing wicks the drops of sweats through the minuscule channels to let it evaporate outside of the clothing. Therefore, one should avoid wearing synthetic fabric on hot days because it captures heat instead of releasing it and constricts airflow [1]. In addition, dressing in lighter colors will also keep you cooler by reflecting the sunlight [2].

            Another simple way to keep cool is by wetting your pulse points such as your wrists with cold water and keeping them cool by pressing them with an ice cube wrapped in any cloth. Not only will this bring immediate relief, but it will also cool the entire body by approximately 3 degrees Fahrenheit, which is -16 degrees Celsius, for about an hour [3]. This can be done anywhere from an outside picnic to your own home if no air conditioner or fan is available.

            Other ways to coolness include taking frequent baths or showers, utilizing cold water, drinking plenty of water or other sources of electrolytes, using small, portable battery-charged fans, avoiding coffee and alcohol, and wearing loose-fitting clothing [4]. Although there will still be times when it is extremely hot outside, the best thing you could do is embrace it and reduce any energy-consuming activities to prevent excessive sweating. The heat shouldn’t prevent you from having a great summer, so don’t hesitate to live it to the fullest.


References/Footnotes

[1] “Home.” Mit Engineering, engineering.mit .edu/ engage/ask- an-engineer/why-do-we-sweat-  more-in-high-humidity/.

[2] “How to Stay Cool in Sweltering Summer Heat.” Real Simple, Real Simple, http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/stay-cool-summer-heat#summer-beauty-tricks-6.

[3]“How to Keep Cool without Running Your AC.” Scientific American, www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-keep-cool-without-a-c/.

[4] Stöppler, Melissa Conrad. “15 Ways to Keep Cool When It’s Hot!” MedicineNet, www.medicinenet.com/ways_to_keep_cool_when_it_is_hot/views.htm.

 

 

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