For some, summer is the best time of year. It means warmer weather and getting to spend more time outdoors. For others, however, the sunshine and warmer temperatures can be quite uncomfortable. Whether you’re someone who simply hates warm weather or are someone who needs to take extra precautions to protect yourself from the summer sun (young children or those who are elderly, for example), family physician Dr. Ali Ghahary has some tips to help you beat the heat.
1. Stay Hydrated
As a family physician, Dr. Ali Ghahary stresses the importance of staying hydrated. Drinking water is important regardless of the season, but it’s especially crucial during the summer. The warmer the weather is (and the longer you stay outdoors), the easier it is for you to become dehydrated. If you’re going to be outdoors, make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times. If you’re going to be indoors, aim to drink at least 8 full glasses of water each day. By drinking water you will help keep yourself hydrated and help regulate your body temperature. Check out all the other benefits of drinking water here.
2. Wear Loose Clothing
The tighter the clothing you wear, the more your body will sweat, so it’s important to dress in loose-fitting clothing during the warmer season. You should also wear lighter coloured clothing. Dark colours tend to attract the sun, while light colours will reflect the sun. You should also avoid wearing clothing that is made out of synthetic fabric, as they will constrict air flow. Instead, opt for clothing made out of cotton, as it’s much more breathable for the skin.
3. Keep Windows and Doors Shut
You might think that leaving windows and doors open is a good idea, but you may actually be letting in heat as opposed to keeping it out. Depending on the time of day, the sun may be beating down on your house – or in a particular room of your house. This is why, during the sun’s peak hours, you should keep doors and windows closed. Once the sun begins to move or sets, then you can open windows and doors as you’ll start to feel more of a breeze.
4. Use Fans and Air Conditioning
Fans can be a great way to make you and your home feel cooler during the summertime. Oxalating fans are the best, as they move airflow around as opposed to pointing it in one direction. As a better alternative, air conditioning can also cool down your house (or car) quite significantly – and nowadays you don’t even need to have a technician come and install air conditioning in your home, as there are many different types of portable A/C’s available that require little to no installation. They can generally be found at most home hardware stores.
5. Apply Ice
If you just can’t seem to cool down no matter what you try, applying ice to the body can help keep you cool. Simply buy and ice (or gel) pack and apply it to the body’s cooling points. These include the wrist, neck, insides of the elbow, insides of the knees, ankles and inner thighs. These are all areas where blood vessels are closer to the surface of the skin, therefore you’re likely to cool down quicker if ice is applied to these areas. Alternatively, cold showers are another great way to cool down the body.