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10 ways to stay cool in a heatwave

By July 22, 2021 Blog-Leeds, Blog-Manchester

If you are struggling with the current heatwave, we have some great tips for ensuring you stay cool whether you are at work or home. If you have any tips of your own, please share them via our social media pages.

  1. Create your own air-con

Put a bowl of ice or a frozen bottle of water in front of a fan. The ice will help the fan to blast out cold air but be careful to make sure that the bottle or ice are on a stable surface and the container will not leak because electricity and water do not mix!

  1. Create your own cold press

Put grains or split peas within an old sock or use an old hot water bottle with a fabric cover, fill it three quarters full with water and freeze it.

  1. Drink room temperature water or hot drinks

This might sound strange, but ice-cold drinks have been proven by scientists to actually warm the body up because it cools the part of the body in contact with the cold but the rest of the body then kicks in to warm the cold parts up, so it actually raises your overall temperature. Hot drinks, however, have the reverse effect. So, for all you Yorkshire Tea lovers out there, drink plenty of it!

  1. Shut your curtains or office blinds

If you are out all day and returning home in the evening, your curtains being shut all day will keep the sunlight out and ensure your home is cooler. Keep the blinds shut at work also where natural sunlight floods in.

  1. Turn electrics off

If you are charging your devices, turn them off once charged and keep electrical gadgets down to a minimum as electricity produces heat.

  1. Use factor 50 sunscreen

This one is really important, because in this heat you need full barrier protection, even if you are only popping outside for a short spell. Also wear UV protected sunglasses and a hat to keep the UV rays at bay, because any sunburn, even mild, will increase your body temperature.

  1. Wear light-coloured, loose, cotton clothing

Rather than wearing tight, sleeveless clothes, loose fitted and long sleeved cotton clothing will help keep the sun off and keep you cool as the air can circulate more freely. Light colours deflect the heat more easily than dark colours that absorb heat and cotton is well known to keep you cool, so go for white and pale coloured cotton where possible. You could also wear sportswear as this is designed to keep you cool when you are sweating during a workout. If you are working, speak to your boss about adopting a more casual approach during the hot weather – most employers should relax the need for more formal workwear in extremes of temperature.

  1. Stay indoors

It might seem like a good idea to go outside and get some fresh air but staying indoors is probably best overall when it comes to a heatwave, as the temperature will usually be cooler than outside, especially between 11am and 2pm. If you are venturing out, keep your outside exposure to a minimum and if meeting friends or having meetings, opt for air-conditioned buildings.

  1. Eat water rich foods and avoid meat

Water rich foods such as salads, fruit and vegetables will help to keep your hydration levels up, whereas too much protein can be dehydrating. The digestion of protein requires your body to do a lot of work, which creates heat in a process known as thermogenesis. So, take it easy on the meat, especially red meat which is very rich in protein.

  1. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol can dehydrate you and too much is especially bad in a heatwave. Hangovers are not good at the best of times, but combined with soaring temperatures, excessive consumption of alcohol is dangerous. Heat and dehydration can affect your heart, liver, kidneys, stomach and colon and the combination could lead to heat stroke or organ damage, so if you are going to indulge, try drinking in the evening in the cool shade and keep it to a minimum.