8 WAYS TO KEEP COOL DURING A HEATWAVE
Written by Inspire FM on August 10, 2022
The UK is facing another heatwave with temperatures exceeding 33C for four consecutive days in Luton.
While many of us enjoy the sunshine, extreme heat comes with health risks.
Heatwaves can lead to:
We’ve compiled 8 ways that you can keep yourself and those around you cool during a heatwave.
1. Stay Hydrated
As you sweat throughout the day, the liquids you are losing need to be replaced to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can cause a dry mouth, dizziness or confusion, and headaches. If this is left untreated, dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion.
Make sure you’re drinking lots of water and take some with you when you’re travelling. Isotonic sports drinks are also good to replenish the lost salts, sugars and fluids. Avoid excess caffeine and hot drinks during a heatwave.
2. Stay Under Shade
Try to keep out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day. If you’re going out, stay in the shade, wear a wide-brimmed hat, or use an umbrella.
You should also limit physical activity to when it’s cooler. If you do decide to workout or play sport, drink lots of water and take more breaks than usual to make sure you’re not putting any extra stress on your body.
You can listen to your favourite shows during your workouts.
3. Protect Your Skin
If you’re going to be out in the sun, wear sunscreen with a high SPF factor (30+) and re-apply regularly.
4. Dress Appropriately
Wear loose and light-coloured clothing made from natural fibres like cotton or linen.
5. Use Cold Water
Use water to cool down by drenching the t-shirts you wear and keeping them wet. Alternatively, sprinkling cool water on your skin or taking a cool shower can help just as well.
Putting your hands and feet in cold water can help to quickly cool you down.
6. Closing Windows Could Help
Keep windows and doors closed during the hottest parts of the day to help keep the cool air in and the hot air out. You can open them again in the evening once the temperature has gone down to let the cool air circulate. It also helps to keep your curtains, shutters or blinds closed.
If you’re cooking meals that require extra heat, try making them earlier in the day to avoid creating too much heat in your home.
Use lightweight bedding and try having a lukewarm or cool shower before bed to help bring your body temperature down gradually.
7. Eat Light Meals
Light, well-balanced and regular meals are suitable for hot weather. Food with a high-water content like strawberries, cucumber, celery, and lettuce can help to keep you hydrated and cool.
Foods with high fluid content like soups and stews can also increase hydration levels.
8. Look After Others
Check on those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.
If you or someone else feels unwell during the hot weather and experiences a high temperature, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke.