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7 tips for enduring a heatwave

24 JULY 2018 - KATIE - HEALTH AND WELLBEING

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Hands up if you're currently melting! We shouldn't complain as it's rare we get a 'proper summer', however it can certainly take some getting used to. It's important to adapt your lifestyle during hotter periods and to make sure you're looking after yourself.

We've collated some top tips for keeping cool and for safely enjoying the hot weather. 

Stay hydrated!

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It goes without saying, but drink more water or squash. This will also help with concentration levels! Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine (tea, coffee and energy drinks) which could leave you feeling even warmer.

Not a fan of water? Try adding some slices of lemon, orange or lime to give it a refreshing flavour.

If you're leaving the house, take some water with you in a reusable bottle that you can refill when you're out and about. We have plenty of water coolers at the University for you to refill your bottles. 

Opt for cool meals

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Think salads, cucumber sandwiches, watermelon or carrots for a snack. If you're at home, try sticking to cold meals or use the hobs instead of the oven.

Stay out of the sun

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Stay in the shade during the hottest part of the day, particularly between 11am - 3pm, wear suncreen and cover up. Our Waterfront Building, among others, is air conditioned to keep you cool during your studies, so stay inside if it is cooler and more comfortable than the outdoor temperature. 

Lukewarm showers

Lukewarm showers are rumoured to cool you down more than an ice cold shower, which can cause your body to retain the heat. 

Splashing cool water over your wrists or using a cold cloth on your neck or forehead can also help to keep you cool. If you're going out, take an ice pack with you and use this on your wrists or neck if you get warm. 

Invest in a fan 

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Okay, so normally you'll only need it for a few days out of the year BUT, your body will thank you for it. Trust me. There are lots of fans on the market, from large floorstanding fans to desk fans, USB fans and small fans that connect to your phone for an on-the-go breeze.

Just make sure not to use fans you have to manually operate (such as handheld paper fans) as the movement can increase your body temperature. 

Check in on others

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Take a moment to check in on those who may be at risk or struggling in the heat, whether that's elderly neighbours or relatives, or anyone with health conditions. Check they're okay and keeping cool, maybe see if they need any groceries if they're unable to get out and about during the heat.

Keeping fit

You may have to alter your fitness regime slightly to adapt to the heat. Try exercising early in the morning or later at night to avoid the heat and humidity during the day and make sure you stay hydrated. 

Mayoclinic advise that if you're new to exercise, be extra cautious and take frequent breaks as your body may have a lower tolerance to the heat.

 

For more information on keeping cool during heatwaves, please see the NHS website. Leave your tips and comments below!

 

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