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Balancing Your Energy on Hot Summer Days

Balancing Your Energy on Hot Summer Days
As I’ve noted in other articles, Water Up, Fire Down is the secret to energetic health in the body. This means that cool water energy should rise from your kidneys to keep your head cool while fire energy descends from the heart to your lower abdomen. However, this can be challenging when you experience excess fire energy in summer. And, as you may know, we are now experiencing hotter summers than ever due to the imbalance we have created on the planet. This fact makes it even more important to manage your energy to stay healthy, mentally focused, and comfortable.

Here are my recommendations for keeping your energy balanced during these hot summer days:

1) Don’t turn the air conditioner up too high. Air conditioning is a blessing if you have it in your home, but making your environment too cold in the summer can cause problems. It can turn your energy system off-kilter, especially if you are coming in and out of the indoor environment. Sitting in a very cool environment all day can make your entire body too cold, so keep the thermostat in the high 70s or higher. This is recommended to save electricity, too, which is good for the planet.

2) Keep moving and stretch often. Warm weather can make the body feel stagnant and listless, so it is important to keep your body moving. Whether working at a desk or just relaxing at home, schedule times to get up and walk around. And, a few times a day, do some stretching to awaken all the body’s meridians.

3) Exercise outdoors in the morning and evening. In the summer months, when it is very hot outside, it can be tempting to stay inside all day. Contact with nature is very important for the mind and body, however, so try to find some outdoor time to do some light exercise, such as walking or stretching. The early morning hours, while it is still relatively cool, perhaps right after getting out of bed before you take a shower, is one of the best times to do this, and it is a great way to start your day. After dinner in the evening hours is also a nice time to take a walk and relax before ending your day.

4) Drink lots of water. If you live in a very hot, dry environment, it is important to keep hydrated. Always keep the water bottle with you, even when at home, so you get in the habit of drinking throughout the day.

5) Drink room temperature or hot beverages. When you’ve been outside and are sweaty and red-faced, it is tempting to come inside and drink a big glass of your favorite beverage on ice. While it feels good temporarily, drinking excessively cold beverages is not good for your energy system since it makes your stomach and lower abdomen very cold. Since we want a cool head and a warm belly, it is better to drink room temperature or warm beverages instead.

6) Use a cool cloth on your forehead. Instead of reaching for an icy cup of soda to cool down, use a damp washcloth on your forehead to cool yourself down. You might even want to keep a few damp washcloths in the refrigerator so that you have them when you need them.

7) Eat spicy food. This might seem counterintuitive, but spicy food stimulates the sweating response even though you’re not actually becoming any hotter. The heat of peppers is actually a trick of the chemical capsaicin that fools your taste buds into thinking it is eating something hot. So, you get the head-cooling benefit of sweat without actually getting any hotter.

8) Eat more vinegar and less salt. As you probably know, salt tends to raise blood pressure, thus sending fire energy to the head. Vinegar is a healthier, alternative way of bringing flavor to food without the detrimental effects of too much salt.

9) Eat small meals and chew thoroughly. Digestion increases the body’s overall temperature and can contribute to a sense of sluggishness in the body. By eating smaller meals and chewing thoroughly, your digestive tract will not have to work as hard, and your body will be able to maintain its natural energy balance more easily.

10) Take warm, waist-deep baths. Rather than dousing your whole body in hot water during a shower or bath, try running a shallow, warm bath to the level of your waist. This way, the lower body will remain warm while the upper body stays cool, mimicking the ideal Water Up, Fire Down energy condition.

I hope these tips will help you stay healthier and feel more comfortable during the summertime. Summer is a wonderful time when the world is buzzing with life. It is a time to appreciate the life-giving properties of the sun, while also relishing the restorative properties of water. Your energy system is part of this grand system of nature, so please value it and care for it as the miracle it is, always keeping a cool head and a fire in the belly.
Written by Ilchi Lee
A visionary, educator, author, and founder of ChangeYourEnergy.com, Ilchi Lee has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves. Lee has created Body & Brain Yoga, Brain Education, and hundreds of other wellness programs and methods. A model for the self-improvement he teaches, Ilchi Lee is continually changing and continually creative. Keep up with Ilchi Lee on his blog at http://www.ilchi.com.
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