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3 truths and 3 myths about staying cool in the summer heat

Summer is here, so what's the best way to cool off as the temps rise?

MINNEAPOLIS — Summer has officially arrived in Minnesota, and that means a few precious months of hot, hot heat.

We've already experienced some brutal temps this summer, forcing many of us to find creative ways to beat the heat, especially if we don't want to turn on the air conditioning. 

So we did some investigating, and found out three truths and three myths about ways you can stay cool this summer.

Truth #1

Wearing light-colored clothing will keep you cooler than dark colored clothes.

Light-colored clothing reflects most of the visible wavelengths, and therefore absorbs less heat.

Darker or black clothing absorbs more wavelengths, which absorb more heat,  making the clothing warmer to wear.

Truth #2

Icees are great for cooling you down in the summer.

Icees are made with water and sugar and you can drink them at a low temperature without them freezing solid. Research finds that drinking an Icee or a similar frozen beverage can lower your core body temperature better than cold water.

Truth #3

There is a psychological element to feeling hot.

You can actually talk yourself into tolerating the heat. Doing self-talk and saying positive things like "I can get through this" instead of "This heat is unbearable" could help you last in the heat for a longer period of time.

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Now to the myths:

Myth #1

Holding an ice cube to your wrist will not cool you down.

You'd actually be better off just holding an ice cube or running cold water over the palm of your hand instead. That's because some regions of our bodies, like our palms, have specialized blood vessels that act as natural radiators and transfer heat into the environment. 

Myth #2

Fans don't lower the temperature in a room.

But a fan can help you feel cooler. The rotating blades blow cold air across your skin so you lose heat, and the breeze helps sweat evaporate faster

Myth #3 

The air conditioning in your vehicle shouldn't run at full blast. 

When you turn the A/C to the max setting, you're just increasing the fan speed, which recirculates the hot air already trapped inside the car. 

Your best option is to put it on the standard setting instead. Then air from outside comes in and the A/C has less work to do. 

And of course, if you want to skip the hacks and just turn on your central air, that's ok too.

RELATED: The AC in your car may be using more gas than you think; here's what you can do to save money

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