The famous French writer and philosopher Voltaire once said common sense is not so common. This quote seems perfectly right even today. Even though we are surrounded by high-end technology, not all our problems need therapists or doctors. Some of them could be solved by using just some common sense and some basic science. After all, that’s what life hacks are made of. Here are ten such biological, life hacks that actually work.
1. If you feel you are overheating due to hot weather or during a workout, put cold water on your neck or wrist to cool down faster.
Every year, the middle of summer brings those days when it feels just too hot to step outside. But if your job or other daily activity compels you to get out of your home, then there is a simple trick to keep yourself cool in the extreme heat. If you are feeling overheated, run a tap and bring your wrist under it. The cold water flowing over your wrist will bring down the temperature of blood in your arms. The cold blood will then recirculate throughout the body and bring down the overall body temperature.
Cold water over the wrist is also recommended for pregnant women who suffer from overheating. Cold packs or ice cubes on the pulse points such as wrists and neck can also bring the body temperature down effectively. Or else you can dip a towel in cold water, put it over your neck, and relax as your body cools down. (1, 2)
2. While running, if you need to increase your speed, pump your arms faster than your legs. Your legs will follow suit.
Running at a high speed is the goal of mainly two kinds of people, athletic runners and burglars. Jokes aside, athletes, especially sprinters, know the importance of arms while running. When we are running, the opposite arm moves as we step. This keeps the torso from rotating out of control and helps the body to move in a straight line. Since the arms counter the legs, pumping the arms will cause the legs to move faster, and hence we can run faster. This technique is mainly used by sprinters rather than distance runners. (1, 2, 3)
3. Making a hole by curling the fingers and looking through it will allow short- or long-sighted people to see or read something that they normally couldn’t do without glasses.
Imagine yourself visiting a new place for sightseeing when suddenly you remember your glasses are lying on the nightstand at home. All of us bespectacled people have faced a similar situation in our life at one time or other. In such a situation, a simple trick based on the “pinhole effect” can save the day.
The trick is to make a tiny hole with one of your fingers. For most people, it works best with the index finger. Curl your index finger such that it forms a small hole in the middle, then look through it. The object or text you are viewing will appear considerably clearer. This trick works on the principle of the pinhole effect. The small hole blocks the surrounding light bringing the object we are viewing into focus. The resulting image is darker as only a small amount of light is entering into our eye. (1, 2)
4. Fasting for 12 to 16 hours during a flight can help in avoiding jet lag.
Jet lag is the worst enemy of frequent, long-distance fliers. If you too are its victim, then there is a good news for you. You can manipulate your body’s biological clock by manipulating your feeding clock. This revelation has been made by Dr. Clifford B. Saper and his colleagues at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. According to Dr. Saper, fasting before and during long flights can help the human body in averting jet lag.
If you are going to take a 14-hour flight and want to avoid jet lag, then you should take the following steps:
1. Avoid all food after reaching the airport which is usually about two hours before departure.
2. During the flight, avoid eating any food. Remember to drink plenty of water.
3. Eat soon after landing. For best results, try eating as close to the local meal times as possible. (1, 2)
5. Hangovers occur mainly due to hydration. So, while drinking have a glass of water after every alcoholic drink to prevent a hangover.
Almost all of us at one time or other have gone to a bar promising to have just one drink and woke up the next day with both a headache and a hangover. The situation becomes worse if there is an exam or office presentation the next day. But fret not as there is a very simple hack which can save you from a hangover the next time you go drinking. The trick is to drink a glass of water or fruit juice after every drink.
Hangover is caused due to the diuretic effect of alcohol resulting in dehydration. A headache and the icky feeling of a hangover is a result of this dehydration. According to Anthony Giglio, a wine expert in New York City and author of Mr. Boston’s Official Bartender’s Guide, matching each alcoholic drink with a glass of water will replace the lost fluids while preventing you from overindulgence. (1, 2)