JAM | May 22, 2023

Five ways to beat the heat

Vanassa McKenzie

Vanassa McKenzie / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Temperatures worldwide continue to surge to record levels due to the increasing effects of greenhouse gases and global warming.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), there is a 66 per cent likelihood that the annual average near-surface global temperature between 2023 and 2027, will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year.

When the temperature increase, sweat does not evaporate as quickly as possible, thus preventing the body from staying cool. Exposure to excessive heat can result in several illnesses such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and hyperthermia.

Our Today has some useful tips to help you keep cool as you try to beat the heat.

Stay hydrated

Drinking water helps to help the body to replenish fluids lost through urination and sweating. It is recommended men consume 13 cups of water per day and 9 cups for women.

Get into the habit of drinking water even if you do not feel thirsty.

Water yields several health benefits such as aiding in the production of saliva which provides lubrication for breaking down solid food and aids in digestion.

Limit sugary foods

It can be very tempting for many people to resort to a popsicle or an ice cream to cool down during the hot days. However, studies have shown that sugary foods, high protein and fibre which requires more effort to digest tend to generate more body heat.

Sugary treats can be replaced with healthier options such as fruits that are high in water content such as watermelons, cucumbers, oranges and pineapples.

Take cool showers

Taking regular cold showers can allow your body to feel less sticky during the hot days while allowing you to feel cooler.

Much debate surrounds whether individuals should take hot or cold showers during humid temperatures. Some researchers argue that cold showers only offer quick heat relief because it helps to conserve body heat by causing blood vessels in the skin to constrict.

Nonetheless, individuals many generations before have lauded cold showers as therapeutic which helps the body to heal, and relieve pain and generally allows individuals to feel good after taking a bath.

Wear cotton clothing

Resorting to cotton clothing during humid temperatures is a great way to stay cool and refreshed because cotton absorbs sweat and loses heat easily.

Similarly, light-cloured clothing is highly recommended because they attract less heat.

Alter outdoor patterns

It is essential to schedule outdoor activities for cooler times during the day such as early mornings or late afternoons.

If it is not possible to stay indoors during the humid days then be sure take to the necessary precautions to protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun such as wearing sunscreen.

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