Outside Looking In

Dark or light?

Many people have often asked me why I'm wearing a dark shirt in the blistering sun when a white shirt would make me feel cooler.
Their theory is that the darker the clothing, the greater chance of absorbing heat, which in turn will make you feel hot. Light-colored clothing, they tell me, does not absorb heat and you feel more comfortable.
Studies have shown however, that this is not necessarily true. In fact, black clothing is the best way to keep cool in the heat.
White clothing reflects a great deal of wavelengths of energy coming in, thus reflecting the sun's rays back, instead of letting them cook us. While that part is correct, the explanation is incomplete.
Here's why. Heat is not just coming in off the sun. It is also coming in off a person's own body. When all that body heat hits the white clothing covering it, it gets reflected right back towards the body. When we wear white, we are basically cooking ourselves.
The best way to stay cooler is to wear black since that color absorbs energy from the body instead of reflecting it back. But you should also wear lighter and looser black clothing, similar to white summery clothing.

How to stay cool
The dog days of summer feature weeks on end of intolerable heat. According to a study by Harvard University, sizzling temperatures have been shown to negatively affect memory, reaction time, productivity, moods, and even suicide rates.
Here are a few ways to assist in making life a little more comfortable in the summer for those without air conditioning or who like being outdoors.

In skincare applications, antiseptic aloe acts as a cleanser, astringent, and moisturizer. It can also stimulate the growth of new skin tissue, while also calming the nervous system. For an extra cooling effect, mix water and aloe vera in ice cube trays, and pop them into the freezer and use them to rub on your skin like sunscreen.
Whether you use many skincare products or just one, keeping them in the refrigerator can make for a refreshing reprieve from the heat. Many lotions, serums, sprays, and masks will even keep their potency longer when kept cold.
A well-placed washcloth or bandana soaked in cold water will assist greatly in cooling you off. The cloth should be tied around a major pressure point such as wrists, ankles, neck or elbows and it can provide an instant chill. Sitting in front of a fan after applying cool water will also cool down a body quickly.
Where you place your fans throughout your home may make it more comfortable during hot days. Window fans pulling in cooler outside air should be positioned on the first floor of the shadiest, coolest side of the home. A fan blowing out the window should be placed on the sunniest, hottest side of the second floor and will suck warmer air outside. Ceiling fans should be rotating counter-clockwise.
Besides keeping your body hydrated, drinking water helps regulate internal temperatures. Keep your hydration levels topped off throughout the day and evening to ensure heat is being managed most effectively.
Bringing a bottle of water with you on a hike or when doing an outdoor activity often turns warm quickly. Instead, freeze water bottles beforehand so as the water melts, it stays colder much longer.
This might sound strange but drinking something hot on a warm day can help to cool your body. A study found that drinking a hot beverage like coffee or soup, actually increases sweat production, which in turns cools your body off. One thing, though, is that the perspiration needs to evaporate so don't wear a lot of clothing that can trap sweat.
Plan ahead for a hot and sultry evening by taking a bedsheet, putting it in a bag, and setting it in the freezer for a few hours before bedtime. When it's time to go to sleep, take the sheet out and lay it on top of you.

Miracle Man passes
LeRoy Kack, whom I wrote about a few years ago as the "Miracle Man" of St. Leo for undergoing successful cancer surgery despite his advanced years, passed away at the Canby Sanford Medical Center on Thursday, June 17 at age 88.
Kack, one of the most personable men I've ever met, and his wife Audrey were involved in a car accident in March after their vehicle collided with a vehicle driven by a Minneota State Trooper who was on an emergency call. The accident left both Kacks with serious injuries.

Contact Us

The Minneota Mascot
Address: 201 N. Jefferson
Minneota, MN 56264

Phone:(507) 872-6492