Get Out of the Kitchen — and Other (More Useful) Tips to Beat the Heat

Updated: July 21, 2011 at 02:05 PM

The heat is on. Amid the jumble of steel towers and slabs of concrete, it may seem impossible to stay cool in the city as temperatures in the New York region climb into the triple digits. We know everyone’s got the A/C on full-blast — check out ConEd’s handy map for power outages if you’re having voltage issues — but sometimes staying inside your house isn’t an option.

When the subway feels like a trip down to Hades, how can we beat the heat without breaking our wallets? Here are a few survival tips:

Change Your Diet

  • Drink lots of water (not soda or juice) even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Eat colds foods such as fruits and raw vegetables.
  • Avoid high protein foods that take more energy to digest.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently.

As the heat wave spreads across the country, New York City prepares for temperatures in the high 90s. MetroFocus/Sam Lewis

Sacrifice Fashion For Comfort

  • Wear light-colored and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Grab a hat with a brim to keep the sun off your face.

Prep Your Home

  • If you don’t have an air conditioner, keep your windows open and the shades down.
  • Give appliances a break and limit your use of dishwashers, dryers, washing machines and other heat-producing equipment.
  • Avoid doing strenuous activity during the midday — the sun’s rays are most direct between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Stay Out of the Heat

  • The Office of Emergency Management has opened the city’s cooling centers. Find the location nearest you here.
  • Stay in the shade or in air-conditioned spaces including department stores, office buildings, libraries — why not check out a flick at your (air-conditioned) local theater!

And, check out’s funny round-up of how to beat the heat on the subway platform. Tips include turning the platform into your own Bikram yoga studio, and applying cold water or ice to your pulse points.

To beat the heat, a groups of kids took apart a fire hydrant in Lower East Side of Manhattan. MetroFocus/Sam Lewis

This information was culled from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.


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