Fighting heat this summer–some cool tips

The mercury is already touching forty plus in several parts of India, the heat has begun to scorch the country and unfortunately it is only the beginning. The heat wave would continue for next few months and the temperature would rise even more.

I just made a visit outside the comfort of my office, and trust me it wasn’t a pleasure. The car was parked in the sun for thirty minutes and I couldn’t even touch the steering wheel to drive. Just ten minutes outside were enough to soak me in sweat. I wonder how it would be for those who have to spend most of their day in the sun.

Therefore, I thought that sharing a little of the do’s and don’ts to keep that heat off would be cool. So, here they are:

1.  Drink a lot of water, preferably cold: Water is beyond doubt the biggest enemy of heat. Not only drinking replenishes the water you’re losing in the form of sweating, it also has an instantaneous cooling effect. More you’re hydrated more you can sweat, and more you sweat the body temperature stays on the lower side. Keep bottles of water refrigerated at your home, and drink often. Depending upon the number of family members you can calculate the amount of refrigerated water to keep. If possible keep a small fridge at your workplace too. Also, carry a bottle of water when you’re going out. It’d be even better if you carry frozen water, as that would keep it cold for long.

2. Keep off the sunlight: It is better to keep the windows and doors that are exposed to direct sunlight shut (though you can keep the windows not exposed to direct sunlight open for ventilation). The more sunlight enters a closed place, the warmer it gets. When you’re going out make sure you shut all the windows, than find a warmer place when you’re back. You can also use awnings or reflectors for better protection.

3. Air-conditioners: If you can afford air conditioners then it would take a lot of heat off you. However, you still need to take a few precautions to improve its efficiency and keep you electricity bill lower. First, buy a good air conditioner, most assembled ones aren’t efficient and waste a lot of power. Second, get it serviced regularly. It’s also a good practice to clean the air conditioner’s filter yourself on a regular basis. Check the air conditioners for leaks. Also, make sure that your room doesn’t leak the air outside, as that would decrease the efficiency by a big margin.

You must also keep your ceiling fans clean and repaired.

4. Switch to summer food: It’s a good practice to avoid heavier and larger meals. Heavier the food is more heat would be produced on its digestion and breakdown inside the body. Lighter food, especially when you’re travelling, would keep you cool. Take a lot of salads and fruits like watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, pineapple. Having chilled juices would keep the heat at bay too.

5. Knowledge about heat related problems: It’s mandatory to know how heat can affect our body and what its triggers are. Some of the harmful effects on health comprises of

  • Heat cramps: There is pain and spams in the muscles because of heavy exertion. The electrolytes lost in the sweating worsen the situation.
  • Heat exhaustion: There is a rise the body temperature and the blood flow to various vital organs is decreased.
  • Heat stroke: There is extreme sweating. Various body parts stops working, and the person can lose consciousness. The effects can be long-lasting if there is permanent damage to the brain.