The temperatures in the UK are predicted to reach a record 40 degrees celsius today, so it is extremely important to take precautions. Extreme heat can be deadly, especially for young children, older people, pregnant women, and those with health conditions. The great news is there are lots we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones. So whether you are at work or home, below are some top tips to keep cool during the heatwave!
Keeping cool at work
You may be fortunate enough to work in an air-conditioned building, but either way, it is important to keep cool and hydrated.
Dressing for the occasion
Wearing loose, lighter materials like cotton, linen or other breathable fabrics are really comfy and will help airflow to your body. Avoid wearing clothing made of polyester, nylon, or silk as they’re not breathable materials and could cause you to sweat and retain body odours – the last thing you want in the office!
Makeshift air conditioning system
For workplaces, without aircon and no budget to purchase fans for everyone, buying your own fan could be a great investment! Placing a glass or small bowl of ice water or cold water in front of the fan will act as a makeshift air conditioning system – but be careful you don’t knock it over!
Keep hydrated – drink lots of water
This may sound obvious, but lots of people don’t drink enough water at work, as they are too busy or forget.
Putting a water bottle in the freezer overnight will give you a constant supply of ice-cold water throughout the day.
Jazzing up your water can make it more fun to drink, for those of you that prefer a bit of flavour! You could add wedges of orange, lime or lemon or perhaps slices of cucumber or mint leaves, to make your water more exciting.
Are coffee and tea a good option
It’s fine to drink tea and coffee as well but bear in mind that caffeinated drinks can make the body produce urine more quickly, so you could become dehydrated.
Having a hot drink at work doesn’t mean that your body will start to feel hotter, but the caffeine in tea and coffee can also increase your heart rate and subsequently blood flow, causing your temperature to rise. You could have your coffee earlier in the day when the temperature is lower, or make ice coffee or tea at home and bring it to work in an insulated flask with some added ice.
Avoid eating a big lunch
Having a big lunch means your metabolism needs to work harder to digest your food, which increases your body’s temperature, making you feel sluggish. It may help to eat small portions more often.
Eating foods with a high water content – such as salads, watermelon, cucumbers, peaches and berries – can help to ensure you stay hydrated.
Keep windows and blinds closed
Most people think that opening a window will let in a breeze during high temperatures. In fact, it is the complete opposite, as having windows open replaces the cold air you built up in your office with the outdoor heat. Closing the blinds can also help to block the piercing sun from shining into your office, keeping the temperature lower in the office.
Stay in at lunchtime
When you’ve been sitting at your desk all day, it is so tempting to go outside on your lunch break for a walk. In the extreme temperatures, it really is best to stay inside so you keep cooler. After all, can you imagine going out and feeling sweaty and then going back to work!
Water on your wrists
This is a great tip that you can do at work! Run your wrists under the cold tap so that the water runs over the main vein. This will cool your blood slightly, cool your whole body, and lower your temperature! This also works for the bend in your elbows.
Keeping cool at home
During the heatwave, it can be uncomfortable being at home – especially at night, so here are some tips for staying cool indoors.
Have a lukewarm shower
Having cold showers feels great at the time, but as reported by Metro, cold showers can make the body hotter. This is because the cold water tricks the body into thinking it’s cold, meaning your body won’t sweat as much.
Cold showers can also impact the blood flow to the skin. So, rather than having an extreme cold shower, try having a lukewarm or cool shower.
It will also help you to sleep better if you shower before going to bed, hopefully, you can fall asleep before the sweat arrives!
Cooling feet and ankles
Feet and ankles are particularly sensitive to the heat, as they have lots of pulse points. So a clever way to give the body an instant cool down is by dipping your feet in a bucket of cold ice water for a few minutes. Perfect if you haven’t got time for a shower during the day!
Make ‘drinking water’ exciting
It is extremely important to stay hydrated in the heat, so drinking water is a must!
Putting a water bottle in the freezer overnight will give you a cool refreshing drink, especially if you are popping outside.
Adding slices of orange, lime, lemon, or cucumber can jazz up your water. Mint leaves and ice cubes are also a great option to make water tasty! It will also encourage children to drink more water.
Making fruit ice cubes by adding the fruit to the ice cubes prior to freezing can also be a great way to encourage your little ones to drink lots of water – they may also enjoy helping you make them!
Run water on your wrists
This is a great tip that you can do at home or work! Simply run your wrists under the cold tap so that the cold water runs over the main vein that runs through your body. The water will cool your blood slightly which then runs through your whole body, lowering your temperature! This also works for the bend in your elbows.
Turn off lights and plugs
Electric appliances can give out heat, so turning off lights – especially if you don’t have LED lights – can help in keeping temperatures down in your home. It may also help to charge laptops, tablets and phones in another room.
As hot air rises, you may find that downstairs is probably cooler than upstairs. Clearly not an option for those in flats – but you can always pop the mattress on the floor downstairs or sleep on the sofa – although the sofa to some may not be a great option!
Make an ice fan
Grab yourself a bowl of ice water and position it in front of a fan to create a cool breeze.
Keep curtains and blinds closed
It is always best to keep your curtains closed especially when the sun is shining through, as this will make a massive impact on keeping your room cooler, especially in your bedrooms.
Keep windows closed
Keeping your windows closed in the daytime during a heatwave will help keep your home cooler as the hot air outside will heat up your rooms. You could open the windows early in the morning if the air is cooler outside, and then close them once the sun is out.
Good nights sleep
Try popping your pillowcases in the freezer before bed, it will feel really cooling going to bed, and hopefully, help you to fall asleep!
Stay safe and enjoy the hot weather!