Take a quick look at my chest in the image above.
Not only do I keep it chiseled and robust, but I also maintain my chest rug to a minimum during the summer months.
The chest rug is for wintertime, when insulation and warmth is needed, not in the summer when I want to keep as cool as possible.
If you want stay cool and dry, then you must do everything in your power to stay cool and dry.
If that means manscaping your entire body (leave the beard), then so be it champ.
Girls have this easy because they don’t have much hair on their bodies. Their bodies keep ventilated throughout the entire year with little maintenance. Some girls are harrier then others though, so it all depends.
Okay, here’s the truth.
Hair has a mild effect on holding body heat; it’s mostly for aesthetics, comfort and aerodynamics. There’s better things you can do to regulate body temperature.
Now let’s get serious…
The heat is a bitch, so I understand your frustration and why you’re are reading this. It’s difficult to get anything done when you are stuck in an environment that is smoldering with hot air and making you sweat profusely.
You want to get work done during the summer heat?
Then implement what works.
Cold Showers Get the Job Done
This was the lifestyle, day in and day out of Spartan warriors. They took cold showers daily to surge strength, discipline and virility. These warriors looked down on individuals that would relish in hot baths and showers; they saw it as a sign of weakness.
You don’t have to change career paths and become a warrior; you just have to implement their routine.
Here is the method to making cold showers work for you during the summer heat, or potentially as a daily ritual:
Step 1: Jump in the shower, and start with mildly hot water. Nothing too hot, it’s not a standing hot tub.
Use this time to wash your body. Avoid rinsing your hair in hot water, you’re making a mistake and damaging your scalp and follicles if you do so.
I recommend being under the hotter setting for 2-3 minutes max.
Step 2: Turn the handle to where it’s just cold enough that you are still comfortable. You can wash out your hair during this time and mentally prepare for what’s about to come next.
Do this for 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: Fiercely turn the handle to the coldest setting and start breathing in and out slowly. In a few seconds, you will be shocked as the cold water hits the top of your head.
Your mind will come up with every excuse to eject from the cold, but you must stay in. Don’t scream, or make reactive facial expressions, keep calm and keep breathing. Hostility isn’t your friend in this situation, composure is.
Stay under the cold for 1 to 5 minutes. By the way, you should have some sort of waterproof watch, or timer with you to keep track of your minutes.
Step 4: Turn the shower handle off, and step out of the shower. It’s time to win the day!
This daily practice will ensure to keep you cool for the next few hours.
I’ve spent the past year and a half taking cold showers every single day without fail. I live in a city in Canada which can average at 1 °C (33.8 °F) and lower during the winter months, and 22 °C (71.6 °F), or higher during the summer months.
No matter how hot, or cold… the numbers are irrelevant; it’s the feeling I gain from a cold shower that keeps me coming back for more. At this point, I just feel inadequate leaving the shower without experiencing the coldest setting before I dry off.
You want to stay cool and have the mindset of a Spartan warrior?
Take TWO cold showers a day, one in the morning after a workout and one in the evening before bed with the method I mentioned above and you will notice a major difference in your body temperature throughout the day.
Chateau Aqua and Electrolytes
This is a joke I say when I go to bars, or environments where people are usually ordering these cool sounding drinks. Since I don’t drink, I thought I’d join the fun and give the most basic human need a nickname while I break the ice with the bartender.
Water, H2O, agua, eau, das wasser, shuǐ, mizu, mool, voda, âb, nuoc, mâa, acqua, panni, nero, su, amanzi…
I don’t care what you call it.
You should be drinking buckets full of it, especially in the hotter months.
If you think you are dehydrated, you’ve already lost.
Drinking when you’re thirsty, or when you “feel like it” is an inefficient way to replenish the system.
So how do you know if you are on the verge of dehydration?
Check for these signs…
- The colour of pee is a great indicator for dehydration. Reference to this PDF for abnormal signs.
- Your muscles and overall body feels dry and flat.
- You’re getting frequent muscles cramps.
- You’re waking up in the middle of the night and drinking large amounts of water.
- You have fever like symptoms which are usually tied to lethargy.
- You are are constantly using your own spit to keep hydrated.
- You’re taking massive gulps of water infrequently without feeling replenished.
- Your skin is dry and rough.
If you notice any of these signs, then something is not right in your hydration system.
Here’s what you can do…
Follow TWO parameters to make drinking water easier for you:
Frequency – How often are you drinking water? Set a goal to sip every 15 minutes to an 1 hour.
You can ramp the frequency up if you are working out, or in a hotter environment that calls for increased hydration. Get used to taking little sips here in there, instead of massive gulps.
Convenience – I see many people neglect bringing a water bottle around with them, and then when they get thirsty, it feels as if they’ve been placed in the Sahara desert.
Simple solution, invest in a quality aluminum water bottle that keeps your water cold all day. Fill the bottle up , bring it with you everywhere you go, and never get dehydrated again.
Photo credit: Anan Amri
Supplement with Electrolytes
No, not that sugary vitamin water crap, I’m talking about basic minerals that help regulate muscle function, your blood acidity (pH), and other physiological processes.
Here are the main THREE…
Sodium: Salt will not kill you. Salt is a mineral and is essential to keeping us alive and in optimal health.
If salt didn’t exist, we wouldn’t exist. I put Himalyan Salt on my food everyday, and have THREE shakers around the house. One in the kitchen, one on the dining room table and one on my work desk.
And no, I do not have high blood pressure. Getting high blood pressure purely from salt is a hoax we’ve all been fed by the media.
Listen to this 3 minute clip with Dave Asprey on the benefits of salt and you’ll hear why it’s so important.
Magnesium: Is key for replenishing electrolytes, but it also plays a major role in relaxation, bone formation, heart function, blood pressure regulation and more.
Take 400 to 800 mg of Natural Calm before bed for a more calming and soothing sleep.
Pottasium: Was the missing link to stopping my muscle cramps.
Bananas have over 400 mg of Potassium in them, which is great, but I don’t care for the sugar and starch. Of course you can get a ton of Pottasium from food, but it also helps to supplement just in case.
I’ll supplement with 100 to 200 mg capsules once in a while before bed to sustain balanced electrolyte levels and prevent muscle cramps.
Bananas will be fine as long as you’re exerting enough physical energy throughout the day. Do what works for you.
Note to Low Carbers*
If you are following a strict Ketogenic, or Cyclic Ketogenic diet, then you’ll want be extra keen on getting in your electrolytes to mitigate the Keto Flu.
The Keto Flu happens when you decrease carbohydrate intake, and your body doesn’t get a steady stream of sodium to replenish the system while you’re adapting to burning Ketones as energy.
This will go away after you adapt (2-4 weeks), but to avoid it, you’ll want to replenish with enough electrolytes.
Leave the House Unless You Have an Air Conditioner, or Proper Cooling System
If you do most of your work from home, and you don’t have a proper air conditioner, or cooling system, then you need to get out and go somewhere like a coffee shop, or library. These spaces usually have cooling systems that help keep your mind and body sharp.
That’s the ill effect of being hot and sweaty all the time, your brain turns to mush, and it diminishes your ability to get work done. At least with cold air you can layer up and still have your brain working.
I get it though; some people don’t focus well in places like busy coffee shops, and have better productivity at home.
If this is the case, then you can implement what I’ve listed below…
Solution #1: If you don’t already own a fan, purchase one! This is a mild investment to keeping your sanity.
Set the fan to blow directly behind you without rotation, or if you are moving around a lot, set it to rotate so you get a breeze from different angles.
At night, face the fan directly towards you without rotation to get a stream of cool isolated air. If the noise of the fan is too loud, you can buy wax earplugs called Ohropax to decrease noise.
Solution #2: Get a gel ice pack, wrap it in a thin towel and place it on your neck, shoulders, upper back, arms, lower back, buttocks, thighs, calves and bottom of the feet.
Do this for 2 to 5 minutes for each body part anytime you feel heated throughout the day.
This will temporarily provide you with enough cooling sensation to keep your mind and body sharp so you can win the day.
Photo credit: Petras Gagilas
Solution #3: During the day, close your blinds/curtains and decrease the amount of sun that hits the interior of your house.
This could also mean closing balcony doors and big windows for a certain period of the day; you can re-open them at night when the cool air starts flowing back in.
If you’ve already taken at least one Spartan shower and you’re still hot, go to your bathroom sink and wash your face, neck and arms with cold water to re-initiate the sensation.
Regardless of whether you have an AC or not, you should still get out to play and enjoy the summer weather. Visit your local pool, beach, ocean, lake, or river to go swim for a few hours and socialize.
This will help recharge your physical and mental state so you can get back to work and kill it.
Wear Clothing That Wicks Moisture and Sweat
Avoid 100% cotton alone, it holds onto moisture for too long; this doesn’t help if you sweat a lot, trust me, you’ll be swimming in your clothing.
Most of these types of blends are found in athletic gear, but they are also becoming more frequently incorporated in casual and formal attire. Shop around and see what you can find.
If you’re job, or the occasion requires you to wear formal clothing such as a collared shirt and slacks, then do your best to find material that isn’t thick. Always opt for something lighter during the summer.
Undershirts are a good idea if you didn’t want to get your collared shirt sweaty, go for something like this, rather then those thick beaters.
What Else Can You Do to Keep Frosty?
- Leave the bedroom door open at night to ensure a steady breeze is flowing in and out of the room. This is a game changer.
- Sleep in the nude. If you have other people in the house, or sleep with a partner that isn’t comfortable with this, then this might not work for you. Do your best to make it happen though, it’s much cooler on the body.
- Eat watermelon and cucumbers. Why? Because they are damn refreshing, that’s why. “Hulk Salads” are great too.
- If you are out in the sun all day, get time in the shade to cool off.
- Drink iced coffee, and ice tea.
- Listen to this while you work on the computer “90 minutes of Thunder and Rain” to cool you down.
- Jump into glacier water. This will add 3 extra years to your life.
- If you have a vacant basement suite, spend your time working, or sleeping down there. Basements are usually much cooler then the upper floors.
I wish you the best in finding relief while the scorching heat hits you in the face like a brick. Yeah, that’s what it feels like sometimes.
In the seasonal regions, the weather will become cooler eventually, so give it time. For those that live in hot climate regions, you are probably adapted to the heat and established a system to help regulate body temperature.
But if you are like me, and don’t like to wait around until the weather cools down, or is always looking for ways to make the situation more optimal.
Then do something about it.