Health & Lifestyles
Products help ease the summer sizzle
As the mercury rises, you may find yourself reminiscing wistfully about winter's frigid temps. Suddenly, they don't seem so terrible. And remember springtime, when you slept with the windows open and there was actually a breeze? Well, those days are over - at least for a while.Summer's extreme heat isn't just uncomfortable, it can be downright deadly. More people die from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornados, floods and earthquakes combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Short of hunkering down in the air-conditioning and waiting it out until fall (and by fall, we mean December), what can you do? Take advantage of technology, that's what. Here are a few products that can help you chill out. CoolMax Comfort Pillow - You know how you always flip your pillow to find the cool spot? This one is designed to be cool all the time. The maker says the CoolMax technology keeps you dry with special fibers that move moisture away from your body. It was designed by an orthopedist, so it's comfy, too; $100 at www.magniflex.com. Cool Shapes Contouring Shorts - These compression shorts come with gel inserts you freeze and then slide inside the pockets. As an added plus, the company says wearing the shorts 30 minutes a day will get rid of stubborn fat. Research by The New England Journal of Medicine says cooling the fat in your body causes brown fat - the good fat - to accelerate and burn calories, giving new meaning to the phrase "freeze your butt off"; $89.95 at www.freezeawayfat.com. Linen blouse/shirt - No one wants to walk around wet and sticky. This summertime favorite is made from the coolest natural fiber around. It's breathable, stylish and washable. And with newer linen blends, both men and women can avoid that wrinkly "I slept in my blouse" look; this one is $14.99 at www.talbots.com. The BedfanPersonal Cooling System - Maybe you're having hot flashes or your spouse keeps the room too warm for your taste. The answer could be a fan that's built to cool your side of the bed. The Bedfan isn't an oscillating fan; its "Breeze Bar" pushes cool air from the foot of your bed, under the covers and over your body; $74.95 at www.bedfan.com. Therapedic Memory Touch ViscoTech Mattress Topper - It's bad enough to work up a sweat as the day goes on, but no one wants to wake up soaking wet. This 300-thread-count removable bed topper's Outlast Technology has a temperature-regulating effect designed to keep you cool and dry while you sleep; $149.00 for twin size to $299.99 for a king at www.therapedic.com/bedbathandbeyond. HeadCooliereusable adjustable headband - The HeadCoolie combines an old school headband (made from a lightweight wicking material) with a chill new nonchemical, reusable ice strip. It's great for runners, gardeners, Little League coaches, or anyone who works or plays outside; $19.99 for a child or adult headband at www.headcoolie.com. Chill Its Cooling Towel - Dip this towel in cold water for five minutes and you have a drip-free way to beat the heat. Originally designed for construction and other outdoor workers, this inexpensive, reusable towel is for anyone who needs a cool cloth nearby. It's large enough to hang around your neck, but not so big you'll trip over it; $12.15 at www.amazon.com.