Summer is the perfect time to go on a seaside getaway. Whether it’s at a public beach or at a more premium location like Alta Vista de Boracay, it’s hard for many people to resist the call of the sun, the sand, and the surf.
Of course, the summer heat can also be unpleasant. If you’re not careful, those hours on the beach can take you from sun-kissed to sunburnt very easily. Not to mention the risk of losing precious electrolytes to dehydration, and feeling drained and listless. To beat the summer heat without missing the beach, you can try these tips.
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A lot of people don’t really think about the material that makes up their summer wear. Fashion shouldn’t be just about looking good; your getup should make you feel good as well. Some might be comfortable baring additional skin in the hot weather, but what about the rest of us? Loose clothing made from light, natural fabrics like cotton or linen present a good balance between sun protection and breathability.
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People thinking about how to stay cool at the beach might also consider taking a drink with them. What may not be a good idea is going for iced coffee, alcohol or soda. They’re diuretics, meaning they cause the body to produce more urine than usual and can cause dehydration. To cool yourself down, try hot mint tea. The mint will provide a cooling sensation, and the heat can make you sweat more. The more you perspire, the more sweat evaporates off your body, and the cooler you become. Of course, this only works when you’re someplace that’s not so humid.
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One thing a lot of Boracay tourists want is a gorgeous tan. The obvious downside is that they have to stay in the baking-hot sun to get it. Sunblock or suntan lotion can provide some protection, but a lot of them use sticky formulations that just add extra discomfort. A better solution would be to use cooling sunscreens — lotions that don’t feel greasy and have cooling additives, like cucumber and aloe vera, mixed in.
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Yes, avoiding stews and hot soups is a good first step. But if you really want to get cool, look for cuisines that will leave you refreshed. Got a cooler? Consider packing some moist, leafy salads, or perhaps some yogurt. Want something far out? Go for a nice cold soup, like gazpacho. Eating waterlogged fruits like melons, watermelons, and pineapples is also a good idea.
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Socially speaking, throwing shade at people is generally uncool. But throwing on some shade in an overly sunny weather is a smart move. Sunglasses are great against the sun’s glare, and so are hats. Aside from being a great fashion statement, broad-brimmed sun hats or straw hats will provide good protection for the ladies. Gentlemen can also enhance their style by choosing among safari hats, trilbies, fedoras, boater hats, and a host of other choices.
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Knowing how to stay cool isn’t just a matter of seeking shade all the time. A little anatomical awareness can go a long way. If you have a small supply of water or ice to cool yourself with, apply them to your vital spots like your neck, ankles, wrists, the back of your knees, and your armpits. By targeting those particular spots, you can cool down quickly without having to get soaking wet.
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Yoga not only helps you get fit and flexible, but also keeps you cool in hot weather. Using the right Pranayama techniques, you can calm your mind and refresh your body. To perform Sheetali, also known as the cooling breath, sit in a relaxed position and close your eyes. Next, stick out your tongue without straining it, and roll it into a tube. Inhale for four counts through your rolled-up tongue as if it were a straw, then exhale through your nostrils for six counts — that’s one round. Beginners can start with 10 rounds, and then slowly work their way up to 40 or 50 rounds. Sitkari, or teeth hissing, is another option that involves breathing through your clenched teeth rather than your tongue.
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It’s really easy to get carried away in active beach activities like volleyball or ultimate Frisbee. But of course, more intense activity leads to increased body temperature. Avoiding strenuous movements will keep you cool. If you really want to move, consider water polo, surfing or good old-fashioned swimming.
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Eating ice cream or drinking shakes in the sun makes going to the beach fun. They’re also a great way to lower your core body temperature very quickly. But while such treats help banish heat quickly, their effects also vanish quickly. That’s because the human body quickly compensates for lowered core temperatures by generating more heat. Bottom line: icy desserts are a quick fix, but they aren’t a long-lasting remedy.
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Some of the most effective ways to cool off while at the beach involve cooling your skin rather than your core. Studies have shown that by applying ice to their skin rather than ingesting it, people can enjoy a slightly more long-lasting cooling effect. This is also useful if you want to play beach games: by pre-cooling yourself, you can endure strenuous activities in the heat for a longer period. If you want to cool yourself on the go, you can make a handy DIY ice pack by combining two parts water and one part rubbing alcohol in a plastic bag, wrapping it in a bandana, and tying it around your neck or wrist.
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The human body works in some weird and counterintuitive ways. Just as ingesting ice-cold food or drinks can make your body generate heat, spicy foods raise your body’s internal temperature, making it work to cool down. Your blood circulates more, and you start to sweat. After a while, that sweat evaporates, and you cool down. It’s a roundabout and comparatively slow solution, but it works.
Life is all about moderation: you want to have fun and be adventurous, but you also shouldn’t go too far outside your comfort zone. Escaping the heat might not necessarily be a matter of life and death, but it’s certainly one of health and well-being, which is just as important. Even though there’s no such thing as a perfect vacation, that doesn’t mean you can’t plan to avoid problems on the beach. Summer is a great time for friends to bond over beach activities, so nothing should stop you from enjoying yourself and making memories.