7 Ways to Beat the Heat in Summer Dance Class
We totally get it: as temperatures and humidity climb during the summer season, a dance studio or rehearsal hall can mimic that of a sauna! From breathing like a yogi to noshing on smart snacks, here are seven tips and tricks that’ll cool you off on those sizzling summer dance days:
1. Avoid Cranking Up the AC
Sweating is the body’s natural cooling mechanism but unless you have sensitivities to air-conditioning, there’s no reason to avoid a dance studio that’s cooled to a temperature between 65 and 70 degrees (or have your dance teacher set the temperature based on the consensus of the group!). Keeping your body warm increases blood flow to the muscles and raises your core temperature, so as much as you want to, avoid cranking up the AC to frigid temps.
2. Dress in the Right Dancewear
When it’s hot and humid, choose well-ventilated, sweat-wicking gear. Also, try to avoid garments made of rubber-based or plastic-based materials—this can keep sweat from evaporating and keep your body temperature high during your dance class.
Drinking water during your dance class becomes even more important on hot days when you’re sweating more. Experts recommend drinking 16 ounces one hour prior to exercise, 4-8 ounces every 15 minutes during exercise and another 16 ounces an hour after exercise. However, the amounts can vary depending on your personal response, heat index and the type of activity.
4. Eat Smart
Snacking on fruits and vegetables, which are like little water containers, help to keep you hydrated. Try to avoid high-fat and protein-heavy meals before your summer dance class as the effort of digesting such foods raises your body temperature.
5. Breathe Like a Yogi
It may look a little funny but a breathing method called sitali that involves inhaling through your curled tongue and exhaling through the nose, is known to cool down the body. If you can’t curl your tongue, try sitkari—inhale slowly through the gaps in your teeth and exhale through your nose.
6. Bring Down Your Body Temp
Placing something cool on your pulse points can bring down your body temperature. Try running cold water over the inside of your wrist, invest in a cooling neck wrap or bandana or store a damp cloth in the freezer and take it with you to dance class.
7. Cool Your Skin
Like sweat, the evaporation of water on the skin has a cooling effect. Take a small water bottle with you to the studio to mist on your face, neck or arms. Some people like to add cooling ingredients or herbs like lavender, peppermint or green tea to their spritz. If sprays aren’t your thing, try moisturizers that contain aloe to help you keep your cool.