The mercury is rising, which is something of a relief after weeks of rain. But how can you successfully survive the heat? Here are my top 5 ways to keep cool in hot summer weather.
1. Stay Hydrated
Drink, drink, and then drink some more – water only obviously!
Did you know that around 60% of our bodies are made up of water or that 80% of your brain is water; 83% of your lungs are water, and the plasma in your blood is 92% water? Dehydrate and nothing works quite as it should. A 2% reduction in hydration has been shown to reduce your physical and mental function by around 10%.
Opinions vary on how much we should all drink a day to replenish what we lose by exercising, breathing, sweating, moving and urinating. Everyone is different, but in general men should drink around 3 litres a day and women at least 2 litres. Make sure you up your levels in the heat and sip slowly and continually throughout the day.
2. Don’t go out in the midday sun! Protect yourself from the rays
Who wants skin damage, wrinkles or melanoma?
Too little sunshine can make you ill – but so can too much. Like the three bears you need to find your ‘just right’.
Manage the amount of time you spend exposed and build it up slowly. Stick to early mornings and later afternoon. Wear a hat and long sleeved tops and if you want to slather on the suncream, make sure you check the label first. If you can’t understand the list of ingredients on the back, it’s very likely the contents are chemical, and chemicals are toxic, disrupting your hormones and irritating the skin.
Did you know that the SPF numbers on the bottles - that you think block those dangerous UVB rays - don’t protect you from the even more dangerous UVA rays? Have a read of the British Association of Dermatologists Sunscreen factsheet to understand the science, plus read my guide to sun protection for more advice on how to stay safe.
3. Sort the bugs and mosquitoes
Mosquitoes can be the bane of any hot and steamy summer holiday. So what to do to protect yourself from the persistent creatures? Buy one of the standard chemical options from your local pharmacy and you risk a toxin overload, drowning your system in unwelcome nasties.
On average, 60% of what you slather on your skin ends up in your bloodstream, and it only takes 26 seconds for that process to begin. Go natural instead – fill one of those plastic bottles you use for ironing with a mixture of water, lavender, basil and tea tree essential oils. Spray the air around you and the mosquitos keep away.
More in my 5 ways to keep mosquitos away post.
4. Change your diet: Eat more high-water foods
Cucumbers, celery, lettuce, watermelon and most fruits and vegetables tend to be low in calories and high in nutrients. Approximately 20 per cent of your daily water intake comes from the food you eat. So eat more raw foods and get juicing.
Conserve your body’s energy – it needs every ounce to cool you down. Eat less and fill up on fresh green juices combined with beetroot, dark green leafy vegetables, lemon and carrots. Much quicker and easier for your gut to digest.
5. Invest in an air cooler
If it’s too hot and airless in your bedroom these sultry nights and you struggle to sleep, get both your room and body temperature down with a fan or cooler. A cool bath or shower before bed will help you to get to sleep, but the air cooler will help you stay that way throughout the long, hot nights.
Bright evenings and sunny early mornings can play havoc with your body clock too, so make your bedroom is properly dark at night and get in blackout blinds if you need to.
Do you have any tips for keeping cool in summer? I’d love to hear them. Leave me a comment below, or visit my Facebook or Instagram and let’s talk!
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Written by health advocate Sara Davenport, founder of one of the UK's leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Haven. With over twenty years' experience in holistic health, Sara's digital dose of wellness teaches you to listen to your body, tweak your lifestyle and improve your health.
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