Monday, September 26, 2022

Staying Cool In Humid Weather


I just arrived in Belize this past Saturday.  I stepped off the plane into a humid sauna that I didn't quite expect.  I spend Sunday, just relaxing and figuring out that in the morning and afternoon, the humidity is bearable but by noon, it is humid enough to just sweat without even moving.  So it was time to find out ways to stay cool when it is humid outside.  In Alaska where I leave, there is not this level of humidity every.  

The place I'm staying has air conditioning in the rooms but once you step out, it is noticeable if it's the middle of the day.  In order to stay cool when its humid outside, it is necessary to cool your body down and your accommodation.  One way to keep your body temperature down is to drink cool liquids with cool foods. As far as liquids, you want to enjoy water - plain or fruit infused, milk, 100 percent fruit drink, coconut water, sports drinks, or caffeine free tea. It is advised that you avoid alcoholic drinks or caffeinated liquids because those can cause your body to lose electrolytes.

Instead of hot meals, look at cooler foods like cold soup, salads, or fresh fruits.  When shopping for fruits, choose ones that have lots of water like watermelon, or melons.  If you want, cut up the watermelon, melons, or other fruit, freeze them and throw them into a glass of water instead of using ice cubes.  

As far as fabrics go, look at using 100 percent cotton, or linen because both will draw sweat away from your body so it stays cooler.  If the day starts out cooler, think about wearing layers so you can remove them as necessary but make sure they are out of cotton or other natural fabric. One nice thing about cotton is that you can find it in different thicknesses from gauze to t-shirt or thicker.  Gauzy is great because it allows any breeze to flow through.  Linen is great because it doesn't stick to the skin when you are sweaty and if you go for a linen cotton mix, you can get the benefits of both.

Switch to dresses or skirts or even loose pants to allow circulation of air around your body. If you like wearing pants, look at the wider legged ones because they are more comfortable in the humid weather.  For underwear, cotton is great for underwear and switch to sports bras because they are designed to wick water from your body. 

Do not go for the hot showers. Switch to taking cooler showers to help keep your body cooled down.  If you get hot but do not want to take a shower, think about using a wet cloth on the back of your neck, under your hat, on your wrists, the inside of your elbows, or knees, the top of your feet or your ankles.  Place a damp cloth on these places and you will immediately feel cooler.  

If you have access to air-conditioning, set the temperature to a moderate level so you aren't freezing but just cooled off enough to be comfortable.  This makes it easier for you to adjust to outside temperatures because the differences are not that much. If you do not have A/C but do have fans, you can place the fans to provide you with cooler air by placing it next to a window.  This allows cool air to be brought in and older warmer air goes out.  This circulation is important. If possible, you want at least two fans so the second one can be places across the room, to move air up towards the ceiling. If you. open the windows at night to let the cool air in and close them in the morning, you can use your fans to circulate the cooler air around the room and it will keep it cooler all day long.

 In addition, so things to help your body adjust to the outdoors conditions such as doing mild exercise or take a short walk.  Each day, increase the amount of exercise you do by a little bit so that you slowly acclimate to the temperatures and humidity. The bigger the temperature differentiation, the more you notice the humidity and temperature when you leave the room and it takes longer to adjust.

Should you want to spend time outdoors, set yourself up in the shade so you don't get as hot.  Enjoy time swimming in cool water, or visit a museum, gallery, or movie where there will be cooler due to air conditioning.  If you need to do something strenuous like gardening, do it early in the morning or late at night when its cooler.

And remember, drink lots of liquids so you do not become dehydrated.  Use sunscreen of at least SPF 30  and wear a hat when you are outdoors to help protect yourself.  One other thing, use a moisture absorbing powder under your clothing and underwear to help keep you from getting rashes due to the moisture.  

Keep this in mind if you end up visiting a place that is humid so you have a great visit.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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