The dry season is well underway here in the Philippines, and that means longer days and punishing temperatures that can last long after the sun’s gone down. With PAGASA warning us that the worst is yet to come and that things are expected to heat up even more this May, heat stroke and other health-related issues are a very serious concern. Learn how to stay cool by reading on below:
1. Stay hydrated.
Heat stroke is what happens when the body fails to regulate its core temperature, and it is caused by exposure to excessive heat. One of the ways to prevent this from happening is staying hydrated, because dehydration, even at its mildest form, can have a detrimental effect on the body’s temperature regulating function.
Drinking plenty of water bolsters your health and wellness and keeps your body temperature low. Other hydrating drinks include milk, coconut water, cucumber or aloe vera juice, and herbal teas. Steer clear of diuretics which increase the amount of water and salt you lose every time you pee; this means lower your intake of caffeine and alcohol as much as possible. Your body will also need to replenish in electrolytes if you plan on working out or doing strenuous activities during the summer. Stock up on sports drinks – in this case, the sugar and sodium they contain is good for you.
2. Get your chill on.
Cooling your pulse points is also one way of effectively lowering your body temperature. The blood vessels are closer to the surface of your skin in spots like the insides of your wrists and your carotid pulse. Placing a cold compress, ice pack, or a towel soaked in cold water over them cools the blood, which then recirculates to the rest of your body. Pretty neat trick, right?
3. Eat water-rich foods.
Watermelons, cucumbers, and gourds contain water, but they also contain fiber, which retains said water and releases it slowly as your body needs it. Fiber also provides the added bonus of cleaning out your digestive system. They’re also just really good for you in general, so it’s a win-win-win.
In addition to watermelon, some of the foods that have high water content include yummy things like strawberries, cantaloupe melons, pineapples, oranges, raspberries, iceberg lettuce, celery, cucumbers, spinach and green peppers. Why not fix yourself a refreshing fruit or vegetable salad on a hot day instead of preparing a meal over a stove? It requires much less effort and is definitely the cooler option.
4. Lower the heat at home.
A few smart interior design choices can make your home cooler – and we don’t mean just installing an air-conditioning unit in every room. Light is a kind of energy that often also produces heat. Draw the blinds or install some light curtains that can block some of it out. Painting your walls a lighter color such as white or a cool pastel blue also absorbs less light, making it cooler overall. When choosing sheets, go for cooling, breathable cotton instead of satin, silk, or polyester. Make the airflow in any room work for you by positioning a fan across from a window – the breeze outside and the wind generated by the fan will cross and fill the room.
When making your meals, steer clear of dishes that require the use of heat-generating appliances like the oven or a rotisserie. Instead, go for quick stir-fries that will minimize the need for you to use a stove for too long. Finally, you may want to unplug any electronics when they aren’t in use – such things generate and contribute to the total heat in the house. Like this, you can save on your electricity bill, too.
Have a tip that’s not on the list? Let us know how you cool down in the summer. Meanwhile, stay healthy while waiting for the rains to come back in June.