Thursday, August 12, 2010
Urban Hot Weather Tips
From my many years working in Chicago, specifically the Downtown Loop, I’ve devised a few tips for keeping cool. These are not scientific, but they kind of work for me.
Maybe you’ll want to try one or two.
Shade – Not too many trees in Downtown Chicago, so I seek other shade. When needs be, when waiting for a light to change, I’ll stand in the shade of a street light, another person, or a building.
Cut Throughs – Speaking of buildings, when you work in a metropolitan area, there are various buildings you can cut through, such as banks, drug stores, restaurants, or just office buildings. A knowledge of their entrances and exits comes in handy. Sometimes you can not only cool off, but also save time and steps by using a cut through.
Time – Allow yourself extra time if you can. Rushing in the heat can make you hotter than ever.
Water – Bring a small water bottle with, enough for you to chug when extra thirsty, but not so heavy you’ll wish you didn’t have it with you. I’ve got a fairly new stainless steel bottle I use now. Because of another health scare I use it instead of plastic. I fill it halfway up so it doesn’t weigh me down. When I get to the office, I refill it for the trip home. While at the office, I drink pretty much water also to stay hydrated. Speaking of water, putting your hands under the faucet is a great way to cool down at work where you really can’t be taking showers or baths, unless you work at a gym.(g)
Clothing – Wear layers. I usually put on something light, but carry a sweater with me since I never know what temperature the train air conditioning will be set at. Also, the workplace temperature variations are quite iffy. I sling it over one of my shoulders, which makes that area hotter, but wearing the sweater or carrying it are worse options. At times, I’ll even tie a sweater around my waist instead.
So, those are my tips for keeping cool. What are yours, urban or otherwise?
Or, maybe you'd like to share something about a book you've written or read where hot weather or trying to keep cool plays a part in the plot.