» Twenty top tips to beat the warm weather Health & Lifestyle
With temperatures soaring, RACHAEL BLETCHLY reveals 20 top tips to beat the warm weather
THE heatwave is on and Britain’s sizzling. Many holiday-makers can go for a paddle, but what about those of us who are left sweltering at home and work?
The country’s top nurse has warned people to take precautions, with A&E departments bracing themselves for a rush of heatstroke, sunburn, dehydration and allergy attacks. Children, those with heart or breathing conditions and the elderly are most at risk.
Here are our 20 heatwave hacks to survive the sizzler however long it lasts.
1 WEAR BIG PANTS
LADIES, forget the lacy thongs and minis, get some comfy Bridget Jones-style knickers in 100% cotton. And gents, a heatwave is the only time boxers are acceptable… with something over them, obviously.
2 WEAR A HAT
GET a nifty titfer to cut risk of sunstroke. And invest in sunglasses that block UV (check the sticker) – or you may risk eye damage. You’ll look cooler too.
3 SLAP ON THE SUNCREAM
DON’T go out without at least factor 30. If it’s last year’s, check the back for how long it’s effective after opening. And stay out of direct sunlight whenever possible, especially between 11am and 3pm.
4 WATCH YOUR WEE
IF YOU’RE getting enough water your wee should be clear and pale. Docs say drink three litres a day. Carry a bottle – the refill.org. uk app lists 20,000 places to fill up for free.
5 EAT LIGHT
DON’T have large, protein-rich meals – a salad keeps you cool as a cucumber. Eating watermelon is great for cooling you down too.
6 COVER UP
WEAR light, loose-fitting clothes. Cotton and linen absorb sweat, cooling you quicker, but lightweight 100% wool is great too. Go for light colours. Dark absorbs the light, making you hotter – and showing the sweat.
DO US all a favour and avoid public transport unless you’ve spritzed your pits. Killer B.O. is a heatwave no-no. Spray the back of your neck too to stop your hair sticking.
8 MAKE AN AIR CONDITIONER
PUT your fan behind a bowl of ice – as it melts you’ll get a cool waft. If you have a large floor fan, freeze bottles of water and stand them on a towel two feet in front of it.
9 COOL YOUR SHEETS
THE ideal bedroom temperature is 15-19˚C, so sleeping has been tough. Use cotton sheets and pop them in the freezer in a plastic bag for a few hours before bed. Or hang a wet sheet across an open window.
10 AVOID THE BOOZE
TEMPERATURES may have been in the 30s recently but it’s not Pimms o’clock. Booze goes to your head fast in the heat, dehydrating you three times quicker and hastening sunburn. Too much coffee and tea don’t help either.
11 CIRCULATE THE AIR
KEEP your windows, doors and blinds shut during the day. In the evening, open windows and turn one fan to blow air OUT and a second to bring cooler air in.
12 TAKE LUKEWARM, NOT COLD SHOWERS
AN ICE cold shower may cool you off for a few minutes but it reduces blood flow to the skin, making the body think you are cold and raising your core temperature.
13 COOL YOUR PULSE POINTS
FREEZING showers might not work but rubbing ice on your wrists or running them under the tap will. Or dunk your arms to the elbow in cold water. A 2013 study found it cut heatstroke in athletes working out in the heat.
14 COOL BREATHING
IN EASTERN medicine the “cooling breath” technique is said to release excess heat. Breathe in through a curled tongue, then out through the nose, for up to five minutes.
15 SWITCH OFF
LIGHT bulbs, computers and other appliances all generate heat, so switch it all off before bed.
16 HAVE A ’99
FORGET the diet and treat yourself to an ice cream.
It will bring your temperature down, and the sugar content will relieve you of that sluggish feeling.
Make your own ice pops to save some lolly.
17 GET DOWN
HOT air rises, so if all else fails, sleep on the floor, or try sleeping downstairs. Or release your inner Tarzan – a hammock lets air circulate.
18 BEWARE HEAT EXHAUSTION
HEADACHES, dizziness, a fast pulse and cramp can all be signs of heat exhaustion. If someone is suffering move them to a cool place, get them to lie down and give them plenty of fluids. If they’re the same after 30 minutes, call 111. Keep an eye on the elderly.
19 LOOK OUT FOR FIDO
DOGS get heatstroke too. Watch for panting, glazed eyes, rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, vomiting and lethargy. Try a cool bath or shower.
AMAZON flogs freezable “ice slippers” for £15 a pop. According to Chinese medicine, however, keeping feet warm and your head cold regulates heat. We say whatever works for you. Enjoy the sun safely!
Ditch the diet and get the ice creams in to help keep you cool and beat that sluggish feeling
Let us spray: Remember to put on some deodorant
Roll with it: ‘Cool breathing’ could be worth a try
Watermelon is a great food for keeping cool