5 Totally Easy Ways Big Men Can Survive Summer Heat
As the hottest months loom just ahead, it's time to think of some survival strategies to beat that summer heat.
Big guys like us tend to be cold-weather creatures, and withstanding a brutal heatwave right in the heart of vacation season can take us from cheerfully chubby to sweaty and miserable in a matter of minutes.
But fear not!
We've got your proverbial back.
When temperatures skyrocket, these 5 simple tricks will help keep you cool, dry, and happy.
1: Stay inside
This might be the most obvious statement you'll hear all week, but if it's hot outside...stay inside.
Termites make mounds. Birds make nests. And humans make big, beautiful, climate-controlled houses.
Air conditioning is what separates us from the beasts.
But you don't have to stay home all day to stay in the AC.
If your family demands some entertainment, choose indoor activities like seeing a movie together or window shopping in your local mega-mall.
Just because the sun is out, that doesn't mean you have to bask in it.
Try an indoor waterpark if there's one in your city, and if you absolutely must go outside, stick to the shade as much as possible.
Of course, sometimes you have to go out in the heat, so if you do...
2: Accessorise intelligently
Here's the first thing you need to know:
Your body cools itself most efficiently at the points where major veins are close to the skin, so you should keep your neck, wrists, inner elbows, ankles, and the backs of your knees unencumbered.
There are also major arteries in your thighs and groin, but we recommend that you keep those spots mostly covered...for other reasons.
If you need to cool down quickly, a damp cloth or bandana wiped across your neck and/or wrists will do wonders.
On top of that, a hat with a brim wide enough to keep the sun off of your neck is basically a necessity.
Plus, a hat is a great fat guy accessory, hot or not.
For those of you who aren't particularly worried about looking dorky, take a cue from late-night infomercials and get one of those neckerchief things that stay cool all day when you keep them damp or carry a small fan that sprays cool water mist.
A little bit of dorkiness is better than a little bit of heatstroke.
3: Hydrate hard
Beer, as much as we approve of it as a hot weather beverage, is not hydrating.
Neither is coffee.
Maybe you're not a big fan of drinking plain, clear water...but you're also a grownup, so get over it.
Nothing hydrates like water - not even sports drinks.
On top of that, drinking cold water burns a few extra calories since your body has to warm it up in order to absorb it.
While you're out and about in the summer heat, you're going to need to replace the water your body loses while you sweat.
You should replace some of those electrolytes, too, but be careful chugging too many sports drinks.
The extra sugar content isn't necessary, and might even make it harder to hydrate properly.
4: Eat cool
There's a reason that hot stew and comforting casseroles are popular winter foods, while summer is the time for potato salad, ice cream, and anything cooked on a grill.
Housewives know the secret to summer cooking - don't bake anything in the oven, eat as many cold foods as possible, and if you must prepare something hot, do it outside where it won't further strain your air conditioner.
We're not recommending a 100% gelato diet...but we're not not recommending it, either.
Opting for cold sandwiches and salads instead of hot meals is one small way you can help regulate your body temperature throughout the hottest months.
5: Breathable clothes are comfortable clothes
Summer means heat, and heat means sweat.
Sweat, of course, is a good thing. It's your body's way of cooling off, so you don't necessarily want to douse yourself in antiperspirant before braving the sun.
On the other hand, you also don't want to spend all day bathed in your own perspiration, either.
Naturally derived fibers like cotton and bamboo do what those high-tech sports shirts advertise:
they soak up the sweat from your skin, and then quickly evaporate it so that you stay dry and cool all day long.
Instead of walking around with a sweaty stain down your back, the fabric releases the moisture - and your body heat - into the atmosphere.
You can find socks made from bamboo fiber to keep your feet healthy and happy...
And, obviously, bamboo tee shirts.
Light colors tend to feel a little bit cooler, but they also block less UV radiation so you're more likely to get a sunburn through your shirt if you opt for the basic white tee.
If you need more inspiration, you can find it here on Lifehacker.
Those overachievers picked 10 ways to beat the heat instead of our 5...but theirs probably wasn't written by a cartoon panda, so who's the real winner?