Cool as a cucumber, literally.

Cool tips using the word "Summer" spelled out in Scrabble tiles

Summer has arrived. Whether it means time at the pool, the beach, or more time at home to spend with your loved ones, summer is known for fun activities and sunburn. However, summer is not always fun and games. Staying hydrated and cool can be a difficult task, especially for those affected by MS. Here are some tips to stay cool this summer and beat the heat:

Impromptu Ice Pack

Place a plastic water bottle in the freezer and use it as an ice pack. You can wrap a paper towel around it and place it on your body to lower your body temperature. Aim for the pulse points that are easiest to access, such as your neck, temples, and inside of your wrists, elbows, knees, and ankles. These points are your quick-cooling spots and will help cool your body temperature faster because your blood vessels are close to the surface of the skin. Get creative! Reuse the plastic bottles you have around the house. Fill them up with water and keep them in the freezer. You never know when you’ll need them.

Extra tip: Most dollar stores sell reusable ice packs that can be used for more than just keeping your drinks nice and cold. Try checking your local dollar store for affordable ice packs.

Extra tip: Place a half-filled plastic water bottle vertically in the freezer. Once frozen, fill the other half. Now you have ice water that will thaw gradually, allowing you to have cool water for longer.

Home

If you have a multi-story home, stay on the first floor. The heat rises to the top of the home, and the bottom floor will be the coolest. Cover the windows with curtains or blinds to keep the sun out and open the windows to let the breeze in if you don’t have air conditioning. Place fans strategically around the house to maximize airflow. Cook outside if possible; using the stove will increase the temperature inside the home. Try preparing cold foods or grilling outdoors to keep the kitchen cool. This is the perfect time to try a new salad recipe!

Complete chores like running the dishwasher or doing laundry in the morning or afternoon. Any electricity in the home will generate heat. Try keeping unnecessary lights or appliances off during peak sun hours.

Extra tip: Consider investing in low-heat CFL (compact fluorescent lights) or LED (light emitting diodes) light bulbs. These light bulbs do not generate as much heat.

Clothing and Accessories

Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing. Clothing made from cotton provides more ventilation compared to other materials like polyester. Wear lighter colored clothing. Clothing with darker colors tends to absorb more light and heat. Be sure to have your gel ice packs ready to go in the freezer for your cooling vest. Cooling vests can help keep your core body temperature cool and provide some much-needed relief.

Extra tip: Home improvement stores (such as Home Depot and Lowe’s) typically carry cooling vests and other accessories for an affordable price.

Whether you spend your time outside or inside this summer, try these tips and tricks to keep yourself cool and comfortable. Small changes can make a big difference in summer and allow you to enjoy these months to the fullest.

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