Staying Cool During Hot Summers
The planet is getting warmer every year due to climate change. While the battle is on to reduce our emissions and global temperatures, there will inevitably be increases around the world that will lead to much harsher summers.
Experts have warned that the summers will be particularly difficult for children and the elderly, and it’s becoming more important to learn how to keep cool on those days where the temperatures soar.
Sweat is a natural bodily function designed to cool us off in hot weather. The higher the ambient temperature, the more we sweat, and the more fluids we lose. Sweating also means that we lose electrolytes, which are extremely important for staying healthy.
- Sip water as much as possible: Drinking water is the first step to staying hydrated, and it’s best to sip consistently from a water bottle throughout the day.
- Avoid caffeine: Although it doesn’t seem harmful to have some coffee or tea on a hot day, both of these beverages are considered as diuretics, meaning that they sap the body of liquids quickly, and can cause dehydration. This doesn’t apply if you have been drinking tea/coffee daily for a number of years, as the body can compensate to the diuretic effect.
- Electrolytes: On those days where you’re feeling weaker and more dehydrated than normal, it’s possible that your body has run short of electrolytes. Water can only do so much to replace these vital salts, so it’s a good idea to have a hydration solution nearby to keep electrolyte levels balanced.
Going out in hot weather doesn’t seem like such a bad idea, but many underestimate how much harm direct sunlight can cause. If you’re not intending to stay indoors and enjoy playing pokies or watching TV, consider taking these steps to ensure you don’t suffer heatstroke.
- Wear sunscreen: Sunscreen is a preventative measure to make sure your skin doesn’t burn from direct sunlight. Suffering from sunburn can have a potent negative affect on our body’s ability to keep cool efficiently.
- Avoid Midday: The sun is hottest during midday, which is the best time to stay indoors. Going out in the early mornings or late evenings is a much healthier option.
- Stay under shade: Shade can be a lifesaver when sunlight starts to become overwhelming. Avoid sunlight as much as possible, and opt to spend your time outside under the cover of shade.
Clothing can have a dramatic effect on how our bodies deal with high temperatures. Clothing should be loose and breathable, and should be designed to keep heat from becoming trapped.
- Wear wide-brimmed hats: Hats are extremely important on a hot day if you’re going outside. They provide protection to the head and face, which tend to be the areas worst affected by sunlight.
- Wear light-coloured clothing: Light-coloured, loose clothing doesn’t just allow heat to escape, but it can reflect the heat away from the body.