Staying Cool and on Track during the Dog Days of Summer

Here in San Diego, the heat just got kicked up a notch.

What I mean is, we went from baking to broiling.

Thermometer wise — it’s only in the high 80’s and 90’s. But here in the desert, in an area with no trees, in a city constructed of cement, no amount of ocean breeze is cool enough.

Being predominantly Pitta dosha (Check out your Ayurvedic body type here) the heat has aggravated my already fiery nature. I find myself cranky, listless, tired, very easy to overheat, and have been having difficulty completing my morning runs, even if I am up before the sun is.

So I’ve gotten a little creative, had to reach out a bit further and stretch a bit more to keep my body in balance so I can do what I love to do.

Here are some tips I have used (and one – at the bottom – I am trying this afternoon) to stay cool in the hottest days of summer. Give ’em a try and let me know if they make a difference. Also — please share your personal favorites!

  • Eat cooling foods: cucumbers, watermelon, cantaloupe, berries, lettuces all come into season during the hottest days for a reason! These juicy, cooling vegetables can help keep us chilled and smiling even on the hottest of days. There is a reason they say, “as cool as a cucumber”! Pair these treats with cooling herbs such as mint, dill, cardamom and avoid heating, stimulating foods such as coffee, cinnamon, and red meats.
  • Carry ice on you! I put my water bladder in the freezer with about 1 cup of water and let it freeze before using. This gives me a long-lasting ice block to carry with me and keeps the water that I place inside very cool and refreshing.
  • Sleep with the fans on and an ice pack at your belly. I’ve taken to sleeping with a ice pack at night on the hottest days so I can sleep through the night. This gives me enough energy and motivation in the morning to get my run in before the sun comes up and it gets too hot.
  • Mix it up! Hit the gym and try the group exercise classes or lift some weights instead of being outside. If the season is short and you want to make the most of it, take the bike out for your cardiovascular activity instead of running or walking. The self-generated breeze can prevent overheating.
  • Keep the Coolness Close to You. I missed my morning run and it is already in the 90’s. So I am going to slather on the sunscreen, ice my water bladder and while I am at it, I’m going to freeze my sports bra. We’ll see how this one goes! Experiment results are going to be posted in the comments section.

Keep cool out there!

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