Beat the Heat and Get More Done
Don’t let the summer heat slow you down. Instead, power up your day so you can multitask more efficiently and feel peppier while you’re at it. The key is optimizing your energy level by fine-tuning your daily habits. Here are hot tips to peaking your daily performance despite the rising thermometer. Vroom!
Lighten up. When you wake up in the morning, open the shades and turn on the lights. Sunlight or bright artificial light enters through your eyes and travels to the suprachiasmic nucleus — your brain’s internal clock — to trigger alertness. Studies show that even just 50 seconds of light exposure throughout the day can jolt your brain and make you feel more attentive. Morning light exposure is especially important, though, because it sets your 24-hour circadian cycle (an alertness cycle) so you’ll be sleepy at bedtime. (More on that later.)
Tackle your to-do list in the A.M. All morning, your circadian rhythm is on the rise. Cells in your brain that influence vigilance fire rapidly. “They tell your brain: ‘Get going! Get things done!’” says Dr. Alejandro Chediak, Medical Director at the Miami Sleep Disorders Center. So take advantage of your natural alertness and tackle your most mentally challenging projects before lunch — and the heat of the day — hits.
Get moving. At any time of the day, exercise will pep you up because it increases your body temperature and the release of epinephrine, the adrenaline level in your brain. A walk around the block, a few on-the-spot push-ups, or yoga poses, such as the child’s pose or downward facing dog, can help.. Bonus: Relaxing and slow, forward-folding yoga poses can have a cooling effect on the body.
Take water breaks. Being mildly dehydrated — losing 1 to 2 percent of your body weight, which can happen if you sweat or exercise without drinking water — can contribute to fatigue and confusion, according to a study in “Perceptual and Motor Skills.” To rev up your routine, keep a water bottle with you and fill and sip on it all day long. You’re drinking enough if your urine is pale or clear. Anything watery is hydrating, so don’t limit yourself to water. The heat is a perfect excuse to enjoy favorite summer treats, such as watermelon.
Cool off from the outside in by taking a cool shower or heading to the pool or beach whenever you can. When you’re out and about, a handheld misting fan can provide welcome relief anywhere. Bring it to the beach, park, or sporting events and store it in your refrigerator when you’re not using it.
Get your zzz’s. You function best on a good night’s sleep. Temperature can affect sleep quality, so if you don’t have AC, find other ways to chill out, such as outfitting your bed with SHEEX®Aire Performance sheets. They’re designed to increase airflow to keep you cool and comfortable.