So here we are in the midst of a level 4 heat weather warning!
Firstly we all need to realise that this can be deadly especially to the young, vulnerable and elderly – basically heat can kill!!!!
Yes I know most of you have probably been on holiday where the temperature has soared even higher but those holiday destinations are geared up to cope with the extreme heat
Let’s face it that is not something we really expect here in the UK and sadly we really don’t know how to cope with it
So how can we stay cool?
Staying hydrated is vital, remember its healthy to sweat when you are hot as its your bodies natural way of cooling you down so you need to make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and i mean plenty! But rather than drinking lots all in one go which can cause you to run to the toilet, try drinking small amounts regularly in addition to your normal fluid intake.
Have an extra small glass of water:-
- When you wake up
- Before every meal
- After every meal
- Every time you put the kettle on for a hot drink (don’t be fooled hot drinks can actually help to cool you down)
- Before you go to bed
If you don’t like the taste then why not add some of you favourite low calorie squash, or even fresh fruit – slices of orange, lemon and lime will give you a really refreshing drink but so will slices of cucumber!
So how else can we stay cool?
- Well it’s all about what you are wearing, black and darker colours can absorb the heat and light but white and lighter colours can reflect them.
- Loose clothing is also better as it allows your skin to breathe and sweat, and social media is awash with the fact that going “commando” is a brilliant way to stay cool
- And its “Wet T-Shirt” time as the water evaporates from the fabric it cools your body down without your body having to lose essential moisture
- Also try wetting your hair
- Take your time and move about more slowly
Most of us don’t have a swimming pool in our garden, but if you have a paddling pool, remember its not just for the kids, even just putting your feet into the water can cool you down and if you don’t have a paddling pool I’m sure you will have a washing up bowl that should be big enough to get your feet into.
Cooling down your pulse points is also beneficial just run your wrists under the cold tap for a few minutes, put a cold wet cloth round your neck or even invest in an “Ice Towel” these are easily found on sites such as Amazon and eBay and are made of a special fabric that you wet, wring out and shake it for 5-10 seconds and then place it on any hot places you have and when it warms up as long as its still damp just re-shake it and it will be as cold as it was before (must admit I invested in one of these a couple of years ago and i personally think they are amazing)
Obviously take precautions if going out in the sunshine you might not be on holiday but your skin needs protection so get the sun tan lotion out and lather it on as there is nothing worse than being red hot through sun burn.
Lastly when thinking about your body temperature eating food will cause your temperature to rise, little and often is the way to go to minimise the effects.
But what about the house I hear you say!!!!
- Only have your curtains and windows open in the early morning or late evening when the outside temperature is cooler than inside the house
- Close all curtains during the heat of the day – if you have blackout curtains/blinds that’s even better at keeping your rooms cooler
- If you have them keep a fan going in every room or move your fan with you as you change rooms and if you put a bowl of ice cubes in front of the fan that will cool the breeze even more, yes I know with the rising prices of electricity that sounds wrong when we are all trying to economise but this is your health we are talking about.
- All electrical items create heat especially lights so try watching the TV with the lights off, or maybe have the light on in the hallway and all the doors open into your other rooms to give some minimal lighting.
- Your oven will quickly heat up your house so try to make your meals only using your hob or outside on the BBQ
- if you need to get some washing done then set a timer so that it’s done during the night when its not only cheaper electricity but its also not warming up a room you are in
And lastly your bedroom we all know how important our sleep is to our well being but most of us really struggle when the weather is hot
- Put your bed sheets in a plastic bag and put them in your freezer for an hour before going to bed
- Use your fan!!!!!!!!
- Fill your hot water bottle with cold water – don’t use ice as it will cause condensation which will wet your bedding
- Painkillers can lower your body temperature so try taking a couple of either aspirin or paracetamol based tablet 1/2 hour before bedtime
Hopefully some of these ideas will help you to stay cool during our heatwave but one last thought – in some hotter countries they start their days a lot earlier than we normally do then they have a siesta while the heat is at its worst then they eat their main evening meal later probably around 8.30 pm when the weather is cooler then they will go out for a walk as a family in the balmy evenings