Here in the UK we are used to seeing the rain coming down but the last few days have been incredibly hot. The streets and parks are busier than ever as people are trying to make the most of the sunshine. While it is great to see so many people out enjoying the heat, it can also be quite dangerous so during this post we want to share some tips to keeping safe in a heat wave.
While most posts of this kind will give you the usual “stay hydrated” and “wear suncream”, we want to take a slightly different approach and look at some tips that you may not have thought about.
1. Remember Your Pets
I want you to start off by thinking about your pets as these suffer just as bad, if not worse, than us during a heat wave. You can cool your animals down by giving them a cool bath and placing a cool towel down on the floor for them to lay on. You can also place a cool towel over the skin of the animal next to a fan to help keep its temperature down. Make sure that you check regularly throughout the day to ensure that they have plenty of water to drink too. If you see any of the following signs, call the vet as it may be a sign of heat stroke:
- Rapid panting
- Excessive drooling
- Hot skin
- Twitching muscles
- Dazed look
2. Keep Your Hair Up
If you have long hair, during a heat wave it will feel like you have an extra layer of clothing on and it will get incredibly uncomfortable. Keeping your hair up will help to keep your temperature down.
3. Eat Less Protein-Rich Meals
Large amounts of protein that are found in foods such as red meat and some fish can increase the body’s metabolic heat as it tries to break down the food. Metabolic heat is needed to break down food, so eating smaller portions more regularly can help keep you cooler throughout the day.
4. Don’t Use Too Much Deodorant
It can be tempting to want to keep spraying yourself with your favorite deodorant to keep yourself smelling fresh but too much and you can prevent the body’s natural heat loss mechanism. In simple terms, you will block the sweat pores meaning that your body can’t cool down properly.
5. Go Downstairs
We all know that heat rises so the best place for you to be in the home during a heat wave is on the lowest level possible. It will also be worthwhile sleeping downstairs too.
6. Use the Windows Wisely
You need to keep the windows closed during the day but open them at dusk. By closing them during the day, you will help to keep the cool air inside. At night you want them open to let the cool air in.
7. Give Your Feet an Ice Bath
One of the quickest ways to cool yourself down is to actually dip your toes into freezing cold water. Fill a bowl with cool water, and dip your little toes right in. If you’re feeling really brave you could add ice into the mix but do so with caution and don’t overdo it.
8. Put Your Bedsheets in the Freezer
While there are specially designed bedsheets for those hot nights when you can’t sleep, they aren’t really needed. Just put the bedsheets that you already have in the freezer for a couple of hours before bedtime. Then, pull them out, put them on the bed, and enjoy the cool.
9. Eat Spicy Foods
It might not be the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of what to eat during a heat wave, in fact it sounds downright crazy but according to experts you need to be eating spicy foods to keep cool by the sweat you perspire evaporating into the air and cooling the body.