Mercury levels are gradually rising in the Indian subcontinent and days are getting hotter. It's time to take necessary precautions to beat the heat this summer and stay cool / healthy. Senior citizens, children / infants and people with chronic diseases are more susceptible to the heat related health issues like dehydration or heat stroke in summer. It is necessary to take certain precautionary measures to protect from heat and stay healthy in summer.
Useful tips to beat the heatWhether you go outdoors or stay indoors, severe summer makes you feel irritable and cranky. You sweat a lot, feel sticky and suffocated / uncomfortable. Following are some useful tips to stay cool and healthy this summer:
Some Do's and Don'ts To Stay Cool in Summer
- Block the radiation from Sun: Keep the doors and windows closed during the noon / afternoon. Or you can use thick and dark color cotton door / window curtains. In this way you can reduce the amount of heat that is being radiated. If affordable, you can hang down khus khus i.e Vetiver curtains and daily wet these in the morning. This is a natural coolant and spreads a pleasant aroma. Khus khus curtains was extensively used in the recent past and now again gaining popularity.
- Do not sit in AC room for long: Of course, these days you can't do without AC on in the room but do not get addicted to sitting in AC room for hours together. You cannot adapt to the outside temperature once you are out of the room. Also remember not to reduce the temperature to 18 / 16. The ideal temperature is 24 / 25. While the AC is on keep the room closed and let the fan on. This will help in circulation of cool air in the room and make you feel comfortable.
- Stay cool with light colored cotton clothes: Dark color is a good absorbent of heat while synthetic clothes don't allow the circulation of air and you feel much uncomfortable / stuffy. To stay cool and comfortable, wear light colored cotton clothes and avoid dark color synthetic wear.
- Wear loose outfits: Avoid tight outfits in scorching summer as these will not allow the flow of air and makes you feel stuffy / uncomfortable. Wear loose, light colored cotton outfits for staying cool and comfortable.
- Drink lots of water / liquids / fresh juices: Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, liquids and fresh fruit juices. Nearly 70% of our body weight is constituted of water which is one of the essential nutrients of our body. During summer, the body loses lots of water in the form of sweat. If the water lost is not refilled, it results in dehydration. To reequip and revitalize your body, drink lots of water, liquids like tender coconut water, home-made butter milk, lassi, freshly made lemon juice and other such home made fresh fruit juices. Avoid consuming carbonated beverages which might give temporary relief in quenching your thirst but are not good for health in long term.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables: Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables for maintaining the hydration of the body. Include watery content fruits / vegetables like water melon, seedless grapes, kharbuja i.e cantaloupe, cucumber etc.
- Eat healthy and nutritious diet: In addition to the increased intake of water, fruits and vegetables, for a healthy living, it is essential to eat nutritious / balanced diet. During hot summer days avoid spicy foods like biryani and take simple and easily digestible food.
- Avoid going outdoors at noon: Avoid going outdoors / walking out at noon when the sun is directly overhead. In case it is unavoidable and you have to go outdoors as a part of your job, then you can walk under shade or use sun protectors like an umbrella or sunglasses. Do not expose yourself to the direct sunlight at noon.
- Use Sun protectors: When you go outdoors in summer, protect yourself from the direct sun. Use sun protectors like sunglasses / umbrella / cap / hat. This would help in protecting you from direct exposure to the UV (ultra violet) rays.
- Carry water bottle / juice when you go outdoors: Always carry a water bottle or a small juice bottle along with you when you go outdoors. You can drink as and when required. This helps in keeping you hydrated.
- Wash your face and hands with cool water: On getting back home after exposing yourself to Sun when you go outdoors, sit for a while under fan and let the sweat, if any, dry. After resting for a while, wash your face and hands with cool water. By doing so, the body cools down and you feel fresh.
- Few simple tips to beat the heat: Wrap a cut onion in a paper napkin, place it in your pocket and carry it along with you when you go outdoors. This may sound unscientific / illogical but it is effective in absorbing the heat from the body and keeps the body cool. This is particularly effective during heat waves to avoid heat strokes. When you are back home, do not drink chilled water immediately butt do wait for a while. So also, do not have a shower / bath immediately after getting back home, but relax under fan for few minutes and they go for a shower.
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Useful link: Indian Traditional Foods to Keep You Cool in Summer
Also read: How to take care of your skin in summer
Click to read Best home-made face packs for skin protection in summer.