My goodness!! I need some tips for staying cool, during this hot Melbourne summer. I flew from the temperate, if somewhat still air of the coast to the sweltering 36 degree celcius Melbourne evening, with 70 km winds. It is a shock! But I am also feeling invigorated by this heat.
Although the heat can be particularly dangerous for some people, especially the very young and the elderly, it can have dire consequences for people of all ages.
Here are some of my tips for staying cool during a heatwave:
Keep your house cool
- Keep the windows covered with blinds or curtains during the day
- Interestingly, fans are not recommended, because they do not cool the air. They simply move hot air around, and this can speed up dehydration. The solution to this is to cool a small space by pointing a fan at a large pile of ice in a metal bowl to catch the moisture.
- Energy efficient air conditioning is ideal. If you don’t have an air conditioner, try going to a library or other public place (or a friend’s place), with air conditioning. Research shows that even two hours in an air conditioned space can reduce heat related illness.
- If you don’t have air conditioning, try to take regular cool showers to cool you down.
Movement outside in the heat
- Even if you are quite fit, running in the heat, can really affect your heart. Try to exercise in a temperature controlled gym. Or if you want to do something outside like gardening, or you are determined to run, do it in the hour before or after dawn, when the air is coolest.
- Wear light coloured clothes to reflect the heat. Always wear a hat outside and sunscreen as well. Wear loose clothing.
Eat light, water rich foods and stay hydrated
- Drink water, with lemon or cucumber slices if you like, to keep hydrated, but don’t go overboard, because you can harm yourself this way. Avoid alcohol and caffeine and sugary drinks, which dehydrate you. Try making your own iced tea (without sugar) as a refreshing, cooling beverage!
- Eat water rich fruits and vegetables such as cucumbers, leafy greens, tomatoes and celery, or watermelon, other melons, strawberries and grapefruit.
- Eat light meals so that your body does not generate more heat in digesting heavy foods.
Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke
The biggest thing to be aware of is that heat can make you really, incredibly sick. It can be life threatening, so check out this page for symptoms of heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
What are some of your tips for beating the heat when summer hits?