The UK is experiencing a small heatwave at the moment and though many are enjoying the warm weather, some are struggling with keeping cool. Heat exhaustion, dehydration, heat rash, sunburn, and sunstroke are all common side effects of not looking after yourself when out in hot weather.
To avoid these unpleasant side effects and enjoy the sunshine, follow these tips:
1) Stay in the shade as much as possible
Though there is a natural urge to sunbathe, it is best if you only do so for short periods. Ensure that you either put up a parasol, go to a shady corner, or go inside every so often to keep yourself safe.
2) Drink water or other hydrating fluids
Another obvious tip is to drink a lot, but you should make sure that what you drink will hydrate you. Carbonated drinks like Cola and Lemonade will actually dehydrate you, as will alcohol. If either of those is your preferred drink of choice, ensure you drink at least a glass of water every so often or choose fruit juices if you don’t like the taste.
3) Fans and icepacks
We don’t have built-in residential air conditioning in the UK, so when a heatwave hits we must rely on electric fans, paper fans, and icepacks to keep us cool. If you don’t own a fan, grab some ice from the freezer and wrap it in a teatowel to use as a makeshift icepack.
4) Wear light clothing
Another fairly obvious tip is to wear minimal clothing, though it depends on the situation you are in. If you are at work, in public, or follow a religion where you must cover up, then wearing light colors will deflect the heat rather than absorb it. Another tip is to carry an umbrella – though it isn’t raining, the canopy will create a shady spot that you can carry around.
5) Eat cold, light food
Instead of having a heavy hot meal, eat light, low-effort meals such as sandwiches and salads. Finger foods are also ideal for these types of days. For a cold treat, have an ice cream or ice lolly. You could make your own ice lollies by buying a simple mold and pouring juice into it before freezing.