The summer is here and with it, the heat. As the mercury in the thermometer rises, we will no doubt be nice and warm; perhaps you will even want to get a suntan. Often, glorious weather is an excellent opportunity to get outside and enjoy the countryside or the beach. The days are longer, we can do more, and we can feel better about life.
But the sun comes at a cost. Not taking the right precautions in the heat can lead to issues such as sunstroke, severe sunburn, dehydration and skin cancer.
There are some signs to keep an eye out for, that will tell you that you’ve been in the heat for too long. These include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, confusion, chills, slurred speech, high temperature, and a rapid heartbeat.
Keeping cool can be difficult, especially when we let ourselves get too hot.
Here are some pointers to help you cool down on the warmest days this year.
Avoid the Midday Sun
As the song goes, ‘mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the Midday sun’. In many warmer climates, at the peak of the heat, it is traditional to break from work, and in many places, a siesta is a popular way of avoiding overexposure during the hottest time of the day.
If the weather is particularly hot, take a tip from the cultures that have lived in the heat for millennia; take a break away from the sun.
If you’ve already got an air-conditioning unit, you’ll no doubt already have it turned on and cranked all the way to the coolest setting. Make sure you get it serviced so that it is working as efficiently as it should be. You will no doubt need to get the air duct cleaning to get the benefits of that cold air flowing.
If you haven’t already got one, and you live in a hot climate, it might be an essential purchase. When we’re warm at home, it’s so hard to get the energy to get things done, and a decent air-conditioning unit can cool you right down.
One in three cancers diagnosed is a form of skin cancer, and this counts for up to three million new cases worldwide each year. As the Ozone layer breaks down, it loses its ability to filter out harmful UV rays created by the sun. So, if you’re going to be outside in the sun, it’s essential to wear some form of protection.
Buying sunscreen is okay, but remember there is always a natural alternative.
In hotter areas, and particularly when you may be exposed for greater lengths of time, you will need a high factor sun cream. Reapply every two hours and after swimming or showering.
Drink Plenty of Water
Keeping yourself hydrated should be top of your agenda on a red hot day. The risk of heat stroke, cramps, and exhaustion brought on by lack of fluids is very real.
If you’re out and about or doing lots of exercises, this becomes even more important as water helps to lower our body temperature. You should be aiming to drink at least six to eight glasses of water each day.
It’s worth investing in a reusable water bottle that you can fill back up as when needed. And if you’re not a big fan of water, try adding some fruit to add some taste.
Alcohol and coffee can act to dehydrate you, especially in the heat. So bear that in mind and consume in moderation.
Spend Time in the Shade
Just sit and watch the world go by and catch your breath. There is nothing so important that you should put your health at risk, and if you’re feeling too hot, go inside and break from the heat.
Wear Protective Clothing
A hat with a rim can shade your face, keeping you cooler as stopping the sun getting in your eyes.
Sunglasses, with UV protection, prevent your eyes from getting damaged from looking towards the sun. Often, on a very clear day, the sun can be so bright anyway, that you’ll be thankful to have them.
With the most hours of daylight, we can often be more productive during the summer months. But if you’re feeling the heat, change your pace. Burning up will lead to burning out as a rise in temperature will definitely lead to a drop in your energy levels.
Whatever your plans are this summer, if you’re working or relaxing, make sure you take care and remember to look after yourself in the heat.