How to stay naturally cool this summer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

How to stay naturally cool this summer

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(ARA) - It's easy to overexert yourself during the inevitable summertime heat wave. Any common outdoor activity - such as gardening, sports, entertaining or vacationing - can quickly turn you into a sweaty mess when temperatures soar. Keeping cool isn't simply a matter of comfort, either; it's also a matter of safety.

Simple precautions can help you deal with heat and humidity. The key is to not interfere with the body's natural ability to keep cool:

* Wear white or light-colored fabrics to reflect radiant heat.
* Choose open-weave, loose-fitting cotton or linen clothing to allow airflow and evaporation.
* Shade your head, neck and face with a comfortable, wide-brimmed hat.
* Take breaks to rest, and avoid prolonged exertion.
* Regularly drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic, caffeine-free beverages, plus the occasional sports drink to maintain electrolyte balance.

If you do become over-heated and are feeling the ill effects of high temperatures, take quick action to cool the body and rehydrate:
* Cease strenuous activity and get out of the sun.
* Drink fluids.
* Sit in front of a fan or in an air-conditioned room.
* Apply a cooling mist to exposed skin.
* Immerse yourself in a cool bath, or stand in a cool shower.
* Apply a cool compress to your head, face and neck.

Tom Havran, product specialist with Aura Cacia (www.auracacia.com), offers some recipes using essential oils to naturally enhance your efforts to keep cool in hot weather:

Cool and Fresh Eucalyptus Body Mist

Ingredients:
4 ounces water
1 teaspoon plain vinegar or herb-infused vinegar (lavender, rose, peppermint, etc.)
12 drops eucalyptus essential oil
9 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops peppermint essential oil

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients in a spray mister bottle. Shake vigorously and mist the skin.

Always shake well before use. Avoid eyes and sensitive areas. Store the bottle in the fridge or ice chest to heighten the cooling sensation.

Refreshing Peppermint Bath

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Epsom salt
1 tablespoon baking soda
5 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops lavender essential oil

Directions:
Combine salts and baking soda in a small bowl. Sprinkle oils on salt mixture, and stir well. Dissolve into lukewarm bath.

If you don't have time for a full bath, use this mix for a cool foot soak.

Cooling Lavender Compress

Ingredients:
Basin of cool water (approximately 4 cups)
12 drops lavender essential oil
9 drops peppermint essential oil
3 drops grapefruit essential oil
Soft facial cloth

Directions:
Combine water and oils in a basin or bowl. Swish with cloth, ring out excess, and alternate placement on neck and forehead. Refresh the cloth often, and add a few ice cubes to the water to boost the cooling effect. Avoid getting in your eyes.

Visit www.auracacia.com for more essential oil solutions you can make yourself. Remember, essential oils are highly concentrated and should be kept out of reach of children and used only according to directions.

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