If people were given the chance to choose between chilly and sunny weather, I am sure most people will go with the latter. An azure sky, perfect rays of the sun lighting up the earth and a cool breeze blowing over the land perfectly describes the ideal weather. People would rather improvise ways of dealing with the sun than dealing with mud, floods and related adversity as a result of heavy downpour.
Although we prefer sunny weather to rainy, in the recent past the sun has become harsher leading to an unanticipated heat wave. A message warning people to stay indoors as a result of equinox phenomenon was circulated online making a fool of the many people who are not conversant with weather patterns. The weatherman has since dismissed that message as a hoax aimed at instilling fear in ignorant people.
Different experts say that equinox is an astronomical event which does not significantly affect temperature levels. Some agree that sun’s movement could be one of the factors causing the heat wave but messages about temperatures shooting to 40°C are completely untrue. I will not delve into the nitty-gritty of equinox but I know we share the common feel that it is hotter than usual. So how do you stay cool in this heat wave?
1. Drink lots of water
If you have never observed the traditional rule of taking eight glasses of water per day, then this time you might have to consider that. With increased heat, you are bound to sweat more often. If you do not take water to replenish what you lost through sweating, then you could become dehydrated. Again, this is not the time to enjoy your favourite tipple without taking in some water. Alcohol only aggravates the dehydration.
2.Have on light clothes
Your beautiful denims, your suits and those trench coats that you love so much might have to stay a little longer in the wardrobe because what you need this time are light clothes that will allow you to breathe freely. Consider linen and other loosely fitting clothes that allow air to circulate and cool you down.
Tip. Wear black clothes not white. According to this article there is a misconception that in the heat one should wear white clothes. Actually you should wear black. White clothing reflects a great deal of wavelengths of energy coming in from the sun. But it doesn’t reflect the body’s own heat. When all that body heat hits the white clothing covering it, it gets reflected right back towards the body. When we wear white, we cook ourselves. The best color to keep cool in the heat, it turns out, is to wear black. Black absorbs everything coming in from the sun, sure. But black also absorbs energy from the body instead of reflecting it back. Now, the helpfulness of black clothes depends on finding black clothes that are the same thickness and looseness as those summery white clothes.
3. Take cold showers/Carry a mist bottle
Cold showers in this heat wave will serve two purposes at once. Help you freshen up and cool your body temperature. In this period, you will get a clammy skin that will really make you uncomfortable. The best thing to do is to take a cold shower and if possible, do it more than once in a single day.
Also carry a mist spray bottle if you are going to be outdoors most of the time. You can spray yourself with some water to keep cool. The other option is during the day you should go wash your face a couple of times. This will freshen you up.
4. Wear sunglasses/hats
The drill here is to protect your eyes and skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun. Buy sun glasses and a large hat that covers your forehead especially when you walk in the sun.
5. Stay under a shade
Keep your outdoor activities to a minimum and try as much as you can to always stay under a shade. This is not the time to stroll along the streets in the name of conducting business. It is necessary to avoid the sun if you can. In addition, staying indoors enables you to switch on the fan (if you have one) in case it gets too hot inside.
6. It is about time you considered sandals
Many organizations’ policies dictate that employees must stick to the proper dress code and this does not include sandals. However, staying in your closed shoes all day long in this heat wave might even lead to sores on your feet. If you can, carry sandals to the office or take your shoes off and let the cool breeze sweep over your feet.
7. If you have to exercise, swim
You and I know that there are fitness freaks that cannot go a day in their life without exercising for that perfect body but this heat wave thing is making it hard for them to stick to their work out routine. The good news is that you can always come up with better ways of keeping fit. Think swimming. If you like to walk make sure it is very early in the morning or in the evening after the sun goes down.
8. Sunscreen! Sunscreen! Sunscreen!
Sunglasses and hats are good but they will not cover your entire body. This is where sunscreen comes in handy. Applying sunscreen on your skin will protect you from the UV rays of the sun which are capable of damaging your skin. Get a sunscreen that has a cooling effect on your skin.
9. Consider what you eat
Pizza at Nandos could be your favourite ‘snack’ or that juicy steak at Fogo Gaucho could be your preferred meal. These meals, among other spicy meals lead to excessive perspiration. It would not hurt to consider other liquid based foods such as smoothies and ice creams. Lighter meals are ideal in this heat wave period. In addition, consider meals rich in anti-oxidants such as blue berries, strawberries, plums, black beans. These meals lead to the regeneration of sweat glands. Check out these cold treats that will keep you cool.
10. Cool off your body with ice cubes
Wrapping ice cubes with a cloth and squeezing it against your skin provides an instant cooling feeling. Make sure you apply minimal cold pressure on your pulse points-Elbow, wrist, neck and back of your knee. This is one of the ways how to remain cool in this heat wave.
Hopefully the heatwave will soon come to an end. In the meantime, take necessary measures to stay cool.