BEAT THE HEAT

by Emma Zang Schwartz

Now that the temperatures are well into the triple digits, the only thing that might be enjoyable is living in an igloo.  While this might be difficult to swing, here are five great ideas for how to stay cool.

CATCH A MOVIE

Movie theaters are always a great place to cool down. They blast the AC and you can relax and be swept up into the story for about two hours.  Get an ICEE while you are there, and you are sure to come out wishing you had remembered to grab your sweater when you walked out the door.  If the idea of getting in the car to go to the theater is enough to make you faint, settle in on the couch and watch some wintery movies.  Fargo, Groundhog’s Day, Holiday and Edward Scissorhands are all classics with some great snowy scenes.

CHOW DOWN

Looking for something to make you cool from the inside out? Try some of these yummy snacks. Popsicles are must. If you can muster the energy to get to the store, try freezing some fruit as well. Frozen grapes are delicious and pop right in your mouth. Or, peel some bananas and let them freeze.  You can even dip the bananas in chocolate before you freeze them to make an even more delicious snack. Spicy foods also cool you off. While this might sound odd, they make you perspire, which actually makes you feel colder.

SLEEP TIGHT

While we all wish for it to be true, it doesn’t get much cooler when the sun goes down. So go ahead, just climb into bed, but pre-chill before you do.  You can purchase a “chillow” (www.chilllow.com), which stays cool throughout the night and slips right into your pillowcase. Or, freeze a bag of rice or beans, and use it like you would a hot water bottle. The beans get cold but not as cold as ice, and they stay cool for hours. If you’re looking for a little more relief, try “wicked sheets” (www.wickedsheets.com). They use the same technology as sports apparel to keep you cool and dry and keep the perspiration away from your body.

SPLISH SPLASH

Of course you know it feels great to jump in the pool on a hot day. The nice, cool water helps you ignore the heat, and swimming can be a great form of exercise if you are trying to find a way to stay in shape without having to go to the gym or wake up at four in the morning to avoid the heat.  Don’t forget that drinking water is still a good way to cool off, too. Try adding some cucumbers, fruit, or mint to your water to make it taste more refreshing. The added hint of flavor makes the water more satisfying and will help keep you hydrated. If you are on the go, consider carrying Evian mineral water spray or Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe and rose water (www.mariobadescu.com). Both are nice mists that quickly perk you up.

GET OUT OF DODGE

Even with these other suggestions, it’s just downright hot in Phoenix in the summer. Consider getting away for a long weekend or two. Head up north and enjoy the cooler weather and the scenic red rocks.  Or, if you can plan a longer reprieve, consider going to San Francisco, Seattle or Santa Barbara. The ocean breeze is sure to refresh and take your mind off the burning sun. Looking to snuggle into a jacket? It’s winter south of the equator. Think places like Argentina or Chile (even the name conjures up cooling thoughts). No matter where you go, just getting out of the Valley of the Sun for a little bit is sure to bring your core temperature back to normal.