What did people do before there was air conditioning? Sure, they were hot, and they opened a lot of windows, but a couple of long time St. Louis residents told me their ancestors went beyond that: they often slept in a park, or in their basement, which is more cave-like and temperature-controlled.
Today we don't have to worry as much about staying cool, though sometimes air conditioning can make going out into a 40-degree temperature rise unbearable. If you're looking for other ways to stay cool, like when you're outside gardening or playing with the kids, here are some Patch Picks on easy ways to do that.
Patch Picks: Five Ways to Stay Cool This Summer
- Hydrate — Yes, this one's obvious, but it's included here for a unique reason. Humans are one of the only mammals who have the ability to sweat, which acts as a natural cooling mechanism and is the reason people are such good long-distance runners. As long as you drink water, you can sweat - meaning you can keep your body temperature low, and continue doing activities. Want to learn more? Pick up a copy of Born to Run by Christopher McDougall at for your next read.
- Go swimming — Head to the for a fun weekend day of cooling off while technically exercising. Of course, if you are Maplewood or Brentwood resident you can always gain membership to and indulge in its indoor water park.
- Fill a hot water bottle with ice water — This is a great trick if you find it impossible to sleep in hot weather. Take it to bed with you and use behind your knees or down by your feet. Cooling your feet or areas around them will lower your overall body temperature. You can pick up a hot water bottle at .
- Wear cool clothing — This is the method Egyptians used, and by all accounts, Eqypt is hot. Any type of breathable clothing like cotton or linen will do, and girls have the benefit of wearing dresses as well. Check any of your favorite Maplewood boutiques to get what you need, and head to for summer footwear. Don't forget to opt for lighter colors that reflect, rather than absorb, the sun.
- Eat spicy food — This one may not seem to make sense at first, but if you think about it, people who live in hotter regions eat spicier food. This, again, is because the food makes you sweat, which then cools you off as it evaporates. Try dining at for hot Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, or your favorite Mexican joint.