How I Stay Cool in the Summer

By Alene Brennan

I used to love summer.

As a Jersey girl, I spent my summers “down the shore.”

But since my MS diagnosis the warmth of the sun is something I avoid… and straight up fear somedays.

I also hate the heat that summer temps bring to my workouts. I get so easily overheated. My danger zone is when it’s hot enough to raise my internal body temperature but not hot enough for me to break a sweat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that I can exercise as it’s something that brings me great joy in my day, but I don’t like being slowed down or some days, stopped by MS.

That’s where my cooling gear comes to the rescue.

I searched out the various accessories to stay cool and here are my favorite three picks.

1. Cooling Vest

ArcticHeat Cooling Vest is straight up heaven when it’s hot outside or the internal body temp rises during a workout. I soak the vest is water to activate the cooling beadlets and then I place it in the freezer to get extra cold!

Because I often workout in the morning, I wake up, grab it from the freezer and head out to the gym. One of the things I like best about this is that they offer men’s and women’s sizes so it’s a comfortable fit.

And this may be getting a little superficial, but I like that it’s white and looks more like a weighted vest in a gym setting so it doesn’t scream that I have MS.

This is my armor for the strongest heat attacks. (It’s not the cheapest, but you can use promo code “alene15” to receive 15% off your purchase.)

Alene wears her summer cooling vest2. Cooling Scarf

Next up is this cooling scarf by Koldtec. This is fantastic for daily use, something I can freeze and toss on if I’m going out for a summer day. They come in a variety of colors too, so they add some much-appreciated fashion and fun to cooling gear.

Probably one of my most favorite ways to use this scarf is when I’m getting my hair dried. If I’m just using the hair dryer at home, it’s a non-issue but when I go to the hair salon and they put me under the big dryer I feel like a pile of mush by the end. So, I wrap this around my neck and I’m good to go!

Alene B wears her summer cooling scarf3. Cooling Mist 

Last but not least, this is a great cooling strategy that I can have on me at all times. Peppermint essential oil is cooling to the body, so I create a cooling mist that I carry in my purse. It’s a little icing on the cake of cooling strategies – or will be enough to hold me over until I can get to some ice for a deeper cooldown. I use essential oils in so many ways (mental, physical and emotional health) and love creating simple sprays like this cooling mist to support my body.

The most important thing is to find the strategies that work best for you – empower yourself with the resources and tools to enjoy life on your terms, not MS’s terms.

What are you go-to cooling strategies? What do you find most helpful to beat the summer heat?

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About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national nonprofit organization and leading resource for the entire MS community, improving lives today through vital services and support. MSAA provides free programs and services, such as: a Helpline with trained specialists; award-winning publications, including, The Motivator; MSAA’s nationally recognized website, featuring educational videos, webinars, and research updates; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; safety and mobility equipment products; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; MRI funding; My MSAA Community, a peer-to-peer online support forum; MS Conversations blog; a clinical trial search tool; podcasts; and more. For additional information, please visit or call (800) 532-7667.


  • Kimberly says:

    Need to order some cooling vest and maybe some of the scarfs

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