Whether you’ve relocated to warmer climes for good, or you’re touring a hot country for a holiday, dealing with boiling hot temperatures can be tricky. Here are five tips for staying cool and composed in hot climates…
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
It’s a basic tip, but staying hydrated in hot weather is so important. Make sure to drink lots of fluids throughout the day (alcohol and coffee don’t count—in fact, keep them to a minimum). This will help you to avoid the risk of heat stroke, which isn’t fun at the best of times, never mind if you’re trying to work and run a household. Fresh fruits like cucumber and watermelon are a great source of water. Try to include them (and as much fruit and veg in general) in your diet.
Seek the shade
We all know that lots of sun isn’t great for our skin health, particularly if you’re naturally fair or not used to lots of sun exposure. In fact, those with pale skin are much more susceptible to sunburn, sun stroke and overheating. Try to seek the shade where you can, particularly if you’re eating outdoors in a restaurant.
And it goes without saying that sunbathing for long periods of time is a no-no. In general, we recommend avoiding the sun during the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm). And if you do have to go in the sun, make sure to apply lots of sun block.
Reassess your wardrobe
Wearing the right things in hot climates is not only important for comfort, but also your internal temperature and general health. Avoid synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester and viscose. Even though they may feel lightweight, they trap heat and don’t allow the skin to breathe properly, causing you to overheat in the process. Instead, opt for clothing made from natural fibres like cotton and linen. Light colours and loose-fitting garments are best. We also recommend wearing a hat when you can, as well as breathable footwear.
Take advantage of cool water
It goes without saying that a hot shower isn’t going to cool you down in hot weather. Opt for a cool shower first thing in the morning to start your day right, and again at the end of your day to help you sleep more comfortably. Make sure the water isn’t too cool however, as going from extreme cold to extreme hot isn’t great for you. Keep that in mind when setting the air conditioning temperature too. We also recommend carrying a cooling water spray out and about with you so you can freshen yourself up as and when you need to. Indoors, a cold flannel on the feet, wrists and forehead can also be very effective.
Make your home cool and comfortable
If you’re avoiding the sun as much as possible, the chances are you’re going to be spending a lot more time indoors. It’s therefore important to make sure your house isn’t too stuffy and uncomfortable. Air conditioning can be very effective, but if you don’t have AC, fret not. There are other ways to cool down your home. Make a habit of closing curtains to keep out the hot sunlight and use fans when possible. And if you’re a homeowner, consider changing the colour of your roof to a cooler shade to reduce the temperature of your home. Cooler coloured roofs are said to be 50°F cooler during hot summer months.
Restaurants, cafés and shops will likely have air conditioning and outdoor shading so you’ll be safe there too. A brilliant excuse to treat yourself to a nice coffee or a little something-something, anyway.
Stay cool, people.