Six Ways To Beat the Heat

Keep your cool in summer heat with tips from Southern experts.
Erin Shaw Street

1. Hydrate: It’s a good idea to consume between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. “Our bodies are like cars. If we don’t replace them with fluids they overheat,” says Dr. Eric Coris, associate professor of family medicine at the University of South Florida. Have trouble remembering? Check out smart phone applications that track daily water intake and remind you when you’re not drinking enough. We like Water Your Body iPhone app (99 cents, available through iTunes).

2. Eat light: Load up on salads with veggies and fruits, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, and watermelon. “Vegetables and fruits are packed with water, and eating them boosts your daily fluid intake,” says Shannon Sliter Satterwhite, a registered dietitian and Southern Living Food Editor. For an extra cool treat, make Raspberry-Banana-Yogurt Freezer Pops. Packed with antioxidants, the berries help boost your immune system. 

3. Treat your feet: Fluids tend to pool at the feet—causing swelling in the heat, says Dr. Leslie Campbell, a Dallas-based podiatrist. It sounds counterintuitive, but drinking extra water helps. If you’re suffering from calluses and rough heels, try a cream that contains peppermint, which soothes and refreshes sore toes. We like All About Feet Peppermint Revitalizing Foot Spray (two for $24, amazon.com).

4. Swim for fitness: You’ve been splashing for fun all summer; now make it count. According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people can exercise longer in water than on land without increased effort or experiencing joint or muscle pain, while burning just as many calories. Try using Speedo Hydro Resistant Dumbbell Discs ($24.99 each, speedousa.com).

5. Dress smart: Don’t reach for your collection of cotton T-shirts—they just trap in moisture, says Jake Jordan, an athletic trainer with the Southeastern Conference. “Look for clothes that say ‘moisture wicking’ or ‘climate control,’ which let air in and sweat out,” he says. You’ll be able to spend more time—comfortably—outdoors.

6. Replenish skin: Even if you’re serious about sun safety, it’s tough to avoid the effects of the Southern sun. Restore moisture to your skin by applying a rich moisturizer after you shower and before bedtime. Look for products that contain soothing ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, or yogurt, which ease sunburn. We like Korres Yoghurt Cooling Gel ($23.50, sephora.com).