Hacks, Tips and Tricks for keeping cool during a time when temperature records might be broken.
Marmite might be the best word at the moment to describe the heat — and whilst it can do wonders for certain people (joint pains etc.) It can also be potentially dangerous; and the chances are that you might have completely ignored the year 2003 when some 72,000 people sadly died because of a heatwave; a heatwave in which temperatures across Europe sored above 40 degrees centigrade. The population however was not prepared for the heatwave and the advise at the time was missing, but there is a phrase that goes something like this,
“History has a habit of repeating itself.”
July 2022 and yet again Europe is facing another extreme heatwave. Both Spain and Portugal have reported extreme temperatures in the plus 40 degree centigrade range and this week things are due to get warmer; in the UK temperature records are set to be broken with various computer models along with temperature applications showing already that 40 degree centigrade temperatures are on the way for the UK, something that is rare and yet at the same time it is something that we have been warned about. Yet now of course, reality is beginning to kick in and being non-prepared can catch you out during the heat. Chris Whitty, tweeted the following just yesterday, for anyone who has not got twitter he uploaded the following graphic regarding the differences between Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke.
And whilst that graphic is helpful it does not necessarily cover the other important thing; which is how to keep cool in the heat. Yet here are some important “Hacks, Tips and Tricks” for keeping cool during a time when records might and more than likely will be broken.
1/. When to go out. When to stay in — Hot is perhaps the understatement of the temperature; and whilst it might be tempting to enjoy the heat as much as possible it can also be a little bit like playing a game of mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. So if you are going to get out and enjoy the glorious weather, do it either early in the morning or later in the evening. Early morning or later in the evening is when the mean temperature is cooler than it is during the day time.
2/. Cold drink? The opposite applies — Tempted by a cold drink of juice? Or something like a cold pint, seriously avoid cold drinks, it might seem odd but the science has told us that the opposite applies and instead drinking things like a cup of tea can be a lot better for you than a cold drink.
3/. Turn up the temperature for a shower — The thought of a cold shower in warm and hot weather might seem tempting however it really is not advisable; for the best thing to do is actually turn the temperature up, not exactly to boiling point but so it is nice and warm.
4/. Fancy a kebab or a curry? — Whilst it might be tempting to indulge in some spicy food, that itself again is not advisable. Instead foods with water content are perfect for a heatwave and will provide us with additional hydration.
5/. Open windows, Close them instead — Whilst it might be tempting to open the doors and windows to allow the air in, what you are in effect doing is creating something of a vacuum of heat to be sucked into a building; thus creating something of a greenhouse. Instead it is best to close all the windows and draw curtains and blinds as well, this way you will be keeping the heat out and the internal temperature will be cooler than outside. They do it in Spain and across Europe when a heatwave happens.
6/. Ditch the sheets — Sleeping can be a pain, however if possible ditch the sheets and opt for breathable cotton ones instead. For sleeping, spread yourself out in a starfish-like position.
7/. Walking — If you do decide to walk, walk in the shade, again early in the morning or in the evening walking in the shade can be glorious and you will be avoiding the heat.
8/. Tempted by cold water, then avoid — Cooling down in cool water might look appealing, but it really is not advisable, water temperature might be cooler, but it also might be freezing, and going from extreme warmth to extreme cold has the risks of bringing on cold water shock.
9/. Decent fan and Ice — whilst it might seem slightly strange and somewhat illogical, Ice in front of a fan (ice block or cubes of ice in a bowl) can help provide additional cooling within a house. Of course Dyson fans are superb and another handy little fan can be found from QVC.
10/. Avoid sitting on furniture — Wanting to sit down with the fan on, might seem tempting and sitting down on your chair or sofa might also seem tempting, however though this is not advisable as heat rises, instead sit on the floor where it is considerably cooler.
11/. Water, Water, Water to Drink — It goes without saying that our bodies are made of water to a significant proportion, and whilst hot drinks are best for cooling down, water is also fantastic for cooling us down and keeping us hydrated as well.
12/. Think of the Animals — If you see a Hedgehog outside during the day, especially in a heatwave it is either poorly or injured so make sure to help it if it is safe to do so. However for people with dogs, then walk them early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler and avoid walking them on concrete or hard surfaces in which the heat is retained. Again hydration and shade is also important, and for anyone who owns a cat, then Ice packs or cool pads can help and playing with ice cubes as well can also help.
Again information about how to keep animals (dogs and cats) cool during hot weather can be found here,
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So whilst it is tempting to go “full pelt” and make the most of the hot weather and the heatwave, at least take time to enjoy it whilst keeping cool and healthy. And follow any advice that is given as well.