Minnesota enjoyed a rarity yesterday – temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the Twin Cities, 103 to be exact – smashing the previous high for June 7th by 6 degrees. Coupled with high humidity levels, comfort went out the window faster than the cooled A/C air in my drafty windows.
So how can you stay cool when the temps get so hot? Here are four things I like to do, perhaps you do the same:
* Button Down. Depending on the kind of work or activity you do during the day, you’ll want to dress appropriately to fit the weather. I’m fortunate to work in a fairly relaxed workplace where sandals and polos are acceptable attire. But when I left the office, I was still very uncomfortable. When I got home, I slipped on a pair of light shorts and Lands’ End Athletic T-shirt, which is ideal for warm weather outdoor activity. The fast-drying fabric wicks away moisture from the skin and keeps you moving without sweat slowing you down.
* Bottoms Up. Keeping a cooler stocked with ice-chilled water is a great way to ensure that you’re hydrated, while also keeps you fueled without having drink calorie-laden sports drinks or sodas. While I’m usually a Pepsi guy, a 24-count case of Poland Spring water from Costco does the trick for me. Buy it by the bulk so you have plenty to carry with you whenever you head out this summer.
* Spray On The Sun. With two young kids, I’m very cognizant of the impact the sun can have on your skin. While I never cared much for sunscreen as a teen or even young adult, now that I’m in my 30’s, I’m starting to see the impact too much sun can have on you. My wife and I are proactive in the application of sun protection with our kids, and ourselves, when we head out into the sizzling elements. A good spray-on SPF 50+ tends to do the trick – here’s a great article about choosing the right sunscreen for you. We like Banana Boat for Kids continuous spray sunscreen…it’s got a great scent, doesn’t leave greasy residue and feels light on the skin.
* Soak Up the Fun. And while it’s always fun to turn on the sprinklers and run through the yard, our city has restrictions on when you can run the sprinklers…just so happens the time I can run them is about the time we’re trying to get the kids down for bed. So, we’re fortunate enough to have Kelley Park, a saturating sprinkler park just a few miles away. Not only does this park offer hours of watery fun, it gives our oldest child a great chance to socialize with other kids. And the cultural dynamic of the families at this park provides unique learning opportunities. Just last night, there were families speaking 4 or 5 different languages within earshot. And while we don’t necessarily point out the diversity or highlight it, I believe it’s good for kids to be exposed to the wide range of cultures at all stages of their lives.
What can we learn from horribly hot days in Minnesota? Well, for starters, we can learn best practices on how to protect ourselves and our families. But we can also develop a greater appreciation for the limited exposure to extreme high temperatures…because as you may well know, for every 100 degree day we get here, the likelihood of us getting a -20 degree day are about 10-1. I welcome the misery and encourage you to do the same.