Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

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South Florida summers are scorching, and it looks like they are only getting hotter. According to weather.com, this summer’s El Niño will most likely transition into La Niña. If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard of these terms but might have no idea about the effect they have on the environment. Basically, the coming La Niña means that temperatures across the nation, with the exception of Southeast Texas, will increase to above average. So yes, it will be hot this summer, but, no, you don’t have to lock yourself indoors with the air conditioning blowing on the coldest setting.

Although it is hot outside, we live in South Florida, meaning we have easy access to the beach, the ocean and countless pools. First off, there are so many cool and fun floats you can buy to make the perfect pool hangout spot. The inflatable swan floats became “in” last summer, and you’d still be pretty trendy to purchase one this summer. You could also get some Instagram-worthy pictures eating a piece of fruit while floating on a piece of fruit (pictured above). However, pools aren’t just for lounging; you can seriously burn calories by swimming laps or by signing up for water aerobics classes at the Boca Raton YMCA (800/798-4531). Working out in the pool is a win-win-win situation; you get a break from normal, sweaty gym classes, a cool-down from the summer heat and a great workout.

After some pool playtime, head over to the beach for more aquatic fun. You have the opportunity to dip, dive and fly above the water with Boca Flyboard(561/405-8866). You can learn how to paddleboard and surf from Island Water Sports in Deerfield Beach (954/427-4929), which rents boards if you don’t have one. If you’re looking to dive a little deeper, you can get your scuba certification, which you can obtain at World of Scuba in Boca (561/368-2155). Water sports are the ultimate way to cool down and have fun in the summer sun.

Being outside all day, even if you’re in the water, can leave you parched. There are plenty of refreshing drinks that you can try out this summer. Firstly, and most importantly, drink water! It is the easiest and best way to keep yourself from getting dehydrated. If a glass of ice water doesn’t appeal to your taste buds, you can get water flavor enhancers, such as Mio or Crystal Light. If water still is not cutting it for you, try some fruity, summery drinks. This frozen strawberry lemonade will definetly satisfy anyone’s thirst. Looking for a drink with a little more kick? Head over to Uncle Julio’s in Mizner Park (561/300-3530) and order one of its signature Swirl Margaritas: It’s the perfect summer cool-down drink.

What kind of foodie would I be if I didn’t include any ice cream in this article? Summer and ice cream go hand-in-hand. Boca has tons of ice creams shops, so it can be difficult to choose which one to visit. If you’ve never been to Sloan’s, you’re in for a treat—literally and figuratively. The atmosphere evokes a super-sweet wonderland. The extensive menu boasts ice cream, sundaes, shakes, smoothies, ice cream sodas and a bakery that includes freshly baked waffle cones, cookies and brownies. If none of that entices you, there is also a wall of candies and sweets.

Hard ice cream is Sloan’s forte, but you can satisfy your frozen yogurt cravings at Yogurt Emporium in the Village Tower Shoppes in Boca Raton (561/347-1140). This family-operated shop serves 16 different fro-yo flavors and 30 topping choices. You’ll go here for the yogurt and get drawn in by the homey ambience and strong customer service. If you’re health-conscious, that doesn’t mean you have to cut out ice cream all together. Halo Top Creamery is proud to offer light ice cream, and it actually tastes really good. You can buy it at Whole Foods or order a pint online. I promise you, this is not a scam; someone actually went on a halo top diet!

All right, now it’s time to get practical. Staying safe in the sun is no joke. Seriously, the best thing you can do for yourself is to drink water. I’m writing about it again, because it’s that important: You don’t want to end up in the hospital after passing out from dehydration. If you’re going to be spending time in the sun, don’t forget to not only apply sunscreen but also reapply. Sunscreen is an easy way to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays. You should at least wear a good tanning oil, like Banana Boat’s brand. Even with sunscreen and tanning lotion, there is still the possibility of getting a sunburn. Don’t give up hope on your flawless glow yet, though. Spray tans can provide that “fresh off the beach” look and are much better for you than lying out in the sun or in a tanning bed. If you do tan, make sure to visit a reputable spray tan purveyor, like South Beach Tanning in Deerfield Beach (754/227-5270), and pick the right shade for your skin tone, so you don’t end up orange! Alternatives to baking in the summer sun and spray tans include trusted self-tanners and bronzers, like St. Tropez, Sephora Collection, and Jergens.

Another tip to stay cool this summer is to wear light and loose clothing. That’s perfect because all-white outfits are in style now, and you can see the baggy, relaxed looked worn by celebrities and style icons. Additionally, ripped jeans are a hot trend this summer. They are perfect pieces to have in your closet, because although they are jeans, they aren’t stiff and motionless. The rips allow for air circulation and easier movement.