5 Ways to Beat the Heat from 2 Cool Cats

Summer is here and it’s hot . . . everywhere!

While this season has a lot going for it in the wellness department, like longer days (more time to exercise), and farmer’s markets brimming with fresh local veggies (lots of healthy meal prep options), who has the energy and motivation to workout or cook when record temperatures are making the evening news?

Feeling the Summer Heat

I was struggling with this myself, last week, after thermometers in our area soared well over 100º for several days in a row.

My early morning fitness walk had tanked as I adjusted to kid’s summer schedules, I found myself eating unhealthy grab and go foods of the cool and creamy sort, and my overall attitude toward the summer was already sounding like a desperate countdown to the first day of school.

The more I let go of my wellness, the worse I felt.

But as I wandered the house picking up stray socks and underwear for yet another load of laundry, I stumbled on two members of my family, who seemed to be taking the summer heat in stride.

Summer heat experts.

Paulie and Moses, the heat experts in our house.

Sprawled together on the cool tiles around the rim of our master bathtub (which is very uncharacteristic of the big guy on the right, who lives a solitary existence in the back of my closet), were my two cats, snoozing through summer like it was no big deal.

It dawned on me that animals don’t ditch their wellness when the temperature rises, like we often do.

Instead, they ride out the hot summer months by instinctively shifting to healthy coping strategies for conserving energy and staying cool.

I decided to observe my furry friends over the next couple of days, to see if I could pick up a few helpful tips for managing the hot summer months ahead in a positive way. Here’s what I learned:

1. Lay Low and Pace Yourself

It’s not your imagination the heat does a number on your energy and motivation. Extreme weather conditions put extra stress on our bodies and cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms ranging from fatigue, low energy, and headaches, to mood disruptions like anxiety and depression.

  • Beat the Heat Tip from Paulie and Moses: Give yourself permission to slow down. Stay out of the direct sun and find cool dark places to hang out. Close your shades, gift yourself with a bit of air-conditioning, and don’t think you’re a wimp if you take a healthy catnap mid-afternoon.  
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Do I look like I feel guilty napping?

 2. Maintain a Regular Exercise Schedule

Let’s face it, the less you do, the less you WANT to do. Skipping your daily workout will only leave you feeling more sluggish and less productive. On the flip side, maintaining a regular schedule of light to MODERATE exercise is a PROVEN strategy for elevating mood and motivation.

  • Beat the Heat Tip from Paulie and Moses: Adjust your exercise schedule to cooler times of the day. Why not make an extra effort to get your workout or walk in early, so no matter what the day brings (arguing kids, disrupted schedules, unforeseen commitments), you’ve accomplished ONE HEALTHY THING FOR YOURSELF! 
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Early morning playtime.

3. Eat Small Healthy Meals and Snacks (The Crunchier the Better)

I get it. No one feels like spending time in a hot kitchen during the summer. But making an effort to maintain a light, healthy diet is the best way to fend off feelings of low motivation and lethargy. Colorful fruits and vegetables with crunch are higher in nutrients, fiber, and water—-all good things for maintaining elevated energy levels and a healthy body weight.

  • Beat the Heat Tip from Paulie and Moses: Eat smaller meals at regular intervals and go for the crunch!  The summer is a perfect time to join the healthy RAW FOOD CRAZE. If for no other reason—-no cooking or hot stoves required. 
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Adopt a smart, healthy snacking strategy.

4. Get Creative with Hydration

Feeling exhausted or down for the count with a headache? Dehydration could easily be to blame. Staying well hydrated when the temperature rises boosts energy and productivity, and allows your body to continue functioning at a high level.

  • Beat the Heat Tip from Paulie and Moses: Find fun and creative ways to hydrate consistently throughout the day. Invest in a water bottle with measurements on the side to track your progress. Make homemade spa waters with cucumber, citrus, and mint. Eat water dense fruits and veggies like cucumbers, celery, and watermelon (all of which make great smoothies too!) 
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Cool, fresh water from the tap. Simple.

 5. Be a Cool Cat

We love to create drama around soaring summer temperatures. We post pictures of the temperature reading in our car, and funny memes about the heat on social media. We even talk about it endlessly over hot coffee at Starbucks. (Guilty 🙂 !) But drawing attention to the discomfort often means we suffer more.

  • Healthy Tip from Paulie and Moses: Let go of the drama around summer being summer, and go with the flow. Avoid calling so much negative attention to the heat and spend your time making positive wellness choices to manage through the challenges in a positive and proactive way. 
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Cool cat cubby.

 We Can Do This!

All reports indicate we’re in for a sweltering summer.

But don’t let the heat drag you down. There’s so much to love about summer, and endless opportunities for engaging in wellness if you’re willing to make the effort.

After watching Paulie and Moses treat the heat like it’s no biggie, I plan to stop complaining, get moving (albeit slowly), and take their lead with a cool cat approach to a healthy, happy summer!

Who’s in?

Feel good. Be well. Meg

IMG_9217Wellness Prompt: Notice if you’re falling into a wellness slump as the temperature rises. Which of the “cool cats” tips could help you the most? Do you have any other good “beat the heat” tips to share with the rest of us? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

8 Comments on “5 Ways to Beat the Heat from 2 Cool Cats

  1. Yes yes yes to number two. I am an early riser but that time is typically reserved for me 🙂 meditation coffee writing writing writing. Now that it’s 100 degrees outside and 80 when I wake I’ve shifted. I get outside walk the dog and move before it’s too hot.

    • I have the same dilemma, Carla–I’m up early, but there’s so much I like to do before the kids get up (quiet time, a bit of organizing, get my head on straight),the exercise thing can lose it’s place in line. Never a good outcome later in the day!
      Meg Root recently posted…5 Ways to Beat the Heat from 2 Cool CatsMy Profile

    • Ah, the cat thing . . . always a draw! I know you love cats too. You hit the nail on the head . . . intentional planning, and having a process in place. Love those tips. Leaving wellness to chance never turns out well.
      Meg Root recently posted…5 Ways to Beat the Heat from 2 Cool CatsMy Profile

    • So funny, Cathy. Sometimes you have to pull all the tricks in the book to get people to listen to wellness advice. Just had to play the “cat card” this time around. Thanks for sharing!
      Meg Root recently posted…5 Ways to Beat the Heat from 2 Cool CatsMy Profile

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