Here are some cool ways to avoid sweltering summer heat

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I don’t know much about global warming or climate change, but I do know this: It’s been hot.

It was 101 degrees last Monday during Memorial Day Riverfest at Green Cove Springs, which helps explain why the city’s swimming pool had to close its gates for overcrowding.

The parking lot at Knight’s Boat Ramp and Marina on Black Creek was packed with cars, trucks and boat trailers on Memorial Day.

Concert on the Green was Sunday was forced to set up “cooling areas” to keep people from becoming overwhelmed by the suffocating heat.

To understand just how dangerous 100-degree temperatures can be, here’s a fun fact: A closed car will get as hot as 135-degrees – about the same temperature as a medium-rare steak.

Talk about sizzle.

Everyone knows the obvious ways to keep from overheating – don’t exert yourself, avoid alcoholic beverages and wear a hat. But other than packing your drawers with ice or sitting in front of an air conditioner, there are other clever ways to stay cool.

Like learning yoga. Practitioners insist learning a different breathing technique is a sure-fire way to beat the heat. It starts by curling your tongue and focusing on inhaling through your mouth. Just exhale through your nose and, of course, repeat.

Oddly enough, eating spicy foods is supposed to be another way to cool off. When the hot peppers kick in, it raises your body temperature, which in turn makes you sweat. Perspiration is the body’s natural way to cool down, so breaking a sweat without working up a sweat by exercising should bring some relief.

As if we weren’t already too dependent on our smart phones, companies now sell attachable fans. That way you can be annoying and cool at the same time while texting in public.

If you’re car feels like an oven when you get in, try opening a window, then opening and closing a door on the opposite side of the car. A couple quick pumps is all you need to turn your car from a convection roaster to a cool ride.

Another way to turn down the heat is to stay away from the stove, especially the oven. Go ahead and fire up the grill. That way the heat stays outside and not in your kitchen. Besides, hamburgers taste better from the grill than the frying pan.

For that matter, unplug any electrical device you’re not using. Anything that’s drawing current emits a little heat. If you have a house full of appliances and gadgets, that little heat really adds up.

While I admit I haven’t tried this – yet – but one way to stay cool at night is to put your sheets and pillow cases a plastic bag and into the freezer. Throw them on the bed when it’s time to go to sleep. Just remember the sheets and pillow cases need to be dry before they go into the freezer.

If you want to make your own air conditioner, fill a plastic bottle with salt water and freeze it. Then place it in front of a fan to get a cool breeze. It won’t be Ice Station Zebra, but it works.

Finally, put some chilled peppermint or mint green tea into a sprayer and spritz yourself. Skin reacts nicely to the soothing properties of the tannins from the tea.

And if none of these methods work, make friends with someone who owns a pool.

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