How to cool down in hot weather at home – from ditching fans to stripping off – The Sun
ANOTHER heatwave is on its way – but that doesn't mean you can't keep cool.
Here are some handy tips on how to keep yourself chilled out during the summer months, without breaking the bank on aircon.
It's vital that we all know how to cool down effectively, if we want to avoid things like heatstroke.
We all know that we should be wearing sunscreen and drinking water but sometimes, that's just not enough.
So, here are our top tips for staying as cool as a cucumber – even if it does feel like the earth is burning…
1. Ventilate your space
When hot weather is forecast, make sure the property you’re living in is well equipped to keep you cool.
Janky says to ensure windows can be opened and, if they are exposed to direct sunlight, make sure shutters, blinds or curtains are installed which can help to keep heat out.
Check your fridge, freezer and any fans you own are working properly and that your central heating can be turned off.
Make sure you have enough supplies such as food, water and any medications you need in case you are unable to leave your property during the hottest times of the day.
2. Freeze your breeze
Buying a fan may not be the best way to keep yourself cool during the hot summer months at home.
Most of the time, electric fans just push hot air around the room, which won't keep you any cooler.
However, if you place a bowl or tray of ice in front of a blowing fan your room will become cooler as the ice melts.
Another alternative would be putting a frozen water bottle in between you and the fan, keeping the air circulation nice and cold.
3. Listen to your body
Make sure to listen to your body during the hot weather – so you can best avoid getting heatstroke.
Boots Pharmacist Janky Raja said: "If you start to feel at all unwell, with symptoms such as a headache, dizziness, excessive sweating or a fast pulse, you may be experiencing heat exhaustion.
"If untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into heatstroke, which is much more serious."
If you believe you or someone else is suffering with heat exhaustion, move them to a cool place, get them to lie down and give them plenty of fluids to drink.
If their condition doesn’t improve after 30 minutes call 111.
4. Get in the shade
If you aren't working from home and can sit outside during the day, make sure to stick to the shade.
It's advisable to step into the shade between 11am and 3pm from March to October.
In the UK, this is the time of the day where the sun is strongest.
5. Shut out the sun
Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day as a preventative measure to stop your room from overheating.
6. Change how you eat
Your body warms up as it works to process larger meals.
Metabolic heat is needed to break down food, so eating smaller portions can help keep you cooler.
Components such as lettuce, celery and cucumber have a high water content to keep you better hydrated.
You could also avoid meat – because your body uses extra energy to break it down, causing your body to heat up.
7. Get low
Hot air rises, so get down as low as you can to make sure you’re surrounded by cool air.
Sleep on the floor, or even head downstairs, if you’re getting desperate to escape the heat.
8. Choose cotton
Opting for lightweight cotton clothing is the best option when it's scorching outside.
Avoid dark colours and keep summery with whites and creams, as these are more likely to reflect the sun's radiation.
Or be like the boys from Isca Academy in Exeter, who won a protest so they could wear shorts in hot weather by turning up to school in skirts.
9. Keep hydrated
Sweating can cause dehydration, making you more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
Drinking cool glasses of water throughout the day can be enough to bring your body temperature down.
It's best to avoid tea or coffee because the caffeine will dehydrate you.
10. Rinse your wrists
Washing either your wrists or your feet with cold water before you hit the hay can help you to cool down and drift off.
The fastest way to cool down is by applying something cold to your pressure points – so putting a bag of frozen veg on your wrists for a few minutes could also be a good option.
11. Keep your moisturisers in the fridge
On a hot day, you can get a bit of much-needed rejuvenation by applying a cold moisturiser to your body.
Keeping your products in the fridge will create this cooling effect without any hassle.
12. Breathe deep
Inhaling through the mouth and exhale through the nose to create a refreshing effect.
In theory, when taking in breath this way, your saliva should help cool the air before it's taken to your lungs.
13. Keep your feet cool
There are plenty of pulse points around the feet and ankles, so dunking your feet into an ice bucket can help take your temperature down.
14. Rethink your summer wardrobe
“Opt for loose, cool clothing made of lightweight, natural materials such as cotton to help your skin breathe," advises Janky.
"Avoid dark colours and stick to summery whites and creams, which reflect the sun’s hot rays rather than absorbing them.
"If you go outside, wear sunglasses and a hat and of course, make sure to apply a sunscreen with a high SPF and good UVA protection”
If you're still working from home during lockdown – you could even strip off and wear something lighter than your normal office-wear.
15. Stay connected
Make sure that you can contact your elderly relatives and that you stay abreast of the weather over the weekend.
You need to know the changing weather landscape if you're going to plan your activities in the safest and most fun way possible.
16. Get a hand-held fan
This helps to make you feel more comfortable with minimal effort.
It's not advisable to use your hands to fan yourself, as this repetitive motion will just make your body temperature increase.
17. Hang a wet sheet
Wet sheets aren’t fun when you have to sleep on them, but they can be quite useful for keeping the house cool in other ways. Hanging a wet sheet in front of the window will actually help to bring the rooms temperate down.
18. Eat cold meals
Eating salads and cooler foods will save you slaving away over a hot stove and heating up the house even more.
Try a slow cooker, or make a picnic or some cold tapas for lunch instead.
19. Cold coffee
Make your cup of morning joe the night before, wait until it cools, then put it in the fridge over night and try an ice-cold coffee to start your day instead.
If you feel like being really chilled, why not freeze some coffee ice cubes, then just shake them up like a cocktail with some milk and a pinch of brown sugar for a refreshing iced latte.
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