MHLbannersmallTry these simple and natural ways to stay cool

Nobody ever said this part of Virginia was going to cool off during the summer months. As an alternative to simply turning the AC up even more, here are a few tips on staying cooler the old fashioned way that won't affect your electric bill:

Go for the pulse points: All of those places where blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin represent the potential for a cool down. Just put a cloth soaked in ice water on your neck and wrists, the tops of your feet and the insides of your ankle and you'll get some Seal-Decalinstant relief from the heat. Although the forehead is often used as a cooling spot, the best pulse point on your head is actually closer to your temple, just in front of your ear.

Stay hydrated: It's helpful to put water on different parts of your body, but make sure you're getting enough inside, too. It seems obvious, but always bears repeating, that drinking sufficient amounts of water – infused with a little fruit if you like – is your best defense against the heat and a good idea any time of the year.

Keep it small: Large, protein-laden meals force your body to fire up its metabolism with the resulting sense of feeling warmer all over. The solution is to enjoy smaller, more frequent meals during the hot days of summer. And like drinking plenty of water, "grazing" is an eating behavior that makes sense throughout the year.

Cool down the sheets: Hot weather is notoriously tough on the ability to sleep at night. Try bagging your sheets and putting in the freezer for a couple of hours before you go to bed. You might also want to fill a hot water bottle with ice water to cool the bed and yourself down.

As we move through August after a very warm July, everyone will be looking for ways to cool down. These few tips won't make you think you're walking along the beach on a crisp, cool autumn day, but when you're trying to beat the heat, it's good to have as many resources as possible.