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Staying Cool in the Summer and Warm in the Winter

Staying Cool in the Summer and Warm in the Winter

Maybe Iím just more sensitive to changes in the weather than most, but Iím constantly uncomfortable. Iím too hot in the summer, and I nearly freeze to death each winter. Or I used to. Iíve picked up quite a few tricks over the years. Here are the best of those tricks:

Staying Cool in the Summer

1. Cool Yourself Strategically. - The cooling effect is more pronounced when applied to the face or neck than it is to other spots; or, at least, thatís what it feels like. Placing a cold pack (or a frozen water bottle) behind the knees, on the feet or wrists, or the face or the neck will keep you plenty cool.

2. Eat Like a Bird. - Thereís a reason we feel sleepy and uncomfortable after Thanksgiving dinner: our bodies are experiencing a heat-spike trying to digest all the delicious food weíve just eaten. Instead of eating a huge meal, switch to several smaller meals. Your body wonít feel taxed and flushed.

3. Exert Yourself Only during the Coolest Parts of the Day. - If you work out in the morning or evening, or get your yard work done before the heat of the day, your day will go by much more pleasantly.

4. Choose the Right Fabric. - Switch to loose-fitting, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen (even better if theyíre light-colored). And switch your sheets and pajamas to breathable cotton or silk.

5. Spray Bottles arenít just for Disciplining Fido. - Fill a spray bottle with water and cool it down in the refrigerator. Whenever you come in from outside (or whenever youíre feeling warm), give yourself a quick spritz to the face and to the neck for quick relief.

6. Bathe or Shower with Cool Water. - Itís simple enough, but take a second bath or shower with cool water to refresh yourself. Donít use actual cold water though: youíll hate it and your body will combat the chill by heating itself up big time.

7. Drink Plenty of Water. - Though it is only a temporary solution to your body temperature issues, drinking water will help you combat dehydration and more serious conditions like heat strokeóand thatíll keep you better able to combat the heat. Similarly, donít drink caffeine or alcohol since these promote dehydration. One great idea is to put a water bottle into the freezer right when you wake up so that by the time youíre ready to go for the day, youíve got ice-cold water to cool you down.

8. Switch to Fluorescent Bulbs. - Only about 10% of the energy of your standard incandescent bulb comes from light; the other 90% comes out as heat. If you have all your lights on, your air-conditioning is working hard just to combat that ambient heat. Fluorescent bulbs produce nearly 75% less heat, so you wonít have to waste the cooling effect of your AC. Itís also a good idea to simply turn off all your unused lights and electronics.

9. Maintain Your AC. - Change your air filters regularly. A clogged filter is far less efficient, and changing your filters will also prevent fungal growth from ever developing. If you have the AC on, close off the room to keep the cool air inside. Also, consider adding a fan. Fans donít use much electricity, but they circulate the air, making it that much cooler.

Staying Warm in the Winter

1. Clean Your Furnace. - If your furnace gets clogged, not only will it lower the furnaceís effectiveness, but it could eventually lead to a breakdown. So, make sure the room itís in is clean, and that you clear any buildup of dirt, dust, or moisture in the fans. Itís also important to clean your furnace vents once a week with a vacuum cleaner or duster. Doing that will help prevent clog issues from becoming a serious problem in the first place.

2. Bundle Up in Layers. - A giant puffy jacket over your t-shirt isnít your best bet for staying warm. Wearing layers of thin clothes will keep you much warmer actually. The extra layers, even of thin clothes, trap your body heat and keep you warm. And be sure to wear a muffler or beanie to prevent heat loss from your head.

3. Eat Well & Drink Something Hot. - A hearty meal of stew and garlic French bread for sopping will keep your body warm long after you finish eating it. Better yet, baking lasagna in the oven will help heat up the room and your body. In the evening, drink a glass of hot chocolate or herbal tea to warm you up before bed. Skip the caffeine though, as it only makes you feel warm temporarily before you actually end up colder; plus, it dehydrates you. Also skip the spicy foods. They may make you feel hot, but they donít actually change your body temperature; moreover, the capsaicin in them makes you sweat, and as the sweat evaporates itíll actually cool you down further.

4. Get Up and Get Your Blood Flowing. - Itís tough (both mentally and physically) to get yourself moving in the cold, but once you get started exercising, your body will warm up rapidly. (Plus, youíll get a flood of endorphins to boost your mood.)

5. Socialize. - It sounds like pseudo-science, or plain quackery, but if you spend time with friends, youíll feel warmer than if you were sitting at home. Plus, as with the endorphins from exercise, youíll experience a lift in your mood while hanging out with your friendsósomething youíre not liable to get watching The Bachelor alone on your couch. Use your warmth as an excuse to throw a potluck game night (like you need an excuse).

6. Cuddle. - Wrapping yourself under a blanket with your cuddle-buddy will surely get you toasty in no time flat. Keep your socks on for extra warmth. If you must, you can cuddle with yourself by burying yourself in blankets.

7. Take a Hot Bath. - Not only will a hot bath warm you up, but itíll also relax your muscles. (Just be sure to dry yourself off completely when youíre done.)

8. Put Down a Rug. - Or carpet. They feel far warmer to the touch than stone, concrete, or wood because they donít transfer heat as rapidly. So, switch to carpet, or keep your feet on a rug, and enjoy the warmth.

9. Weather-Proof Your Home. - Seal your windows and/or replace them with double-pained windows. Check all your doors to make sure theyíre flush with the base, and that the rubber strip at the base is fixed tightly, so cold air wonít rush in. If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed whenever youíre not using it.

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