Are You & The Kids Ready For The Heatwave?
From the sound of the weather reports, it looks as though this week is going to be super hot. In fact, temperatures are due to hit 95F (35C) on one of the days this week, making it the hottest day in June since records began.
The warm weather seems to be coming from warm air moving up from Europe. Not since London 1957 has the weather been as good.
So if you were unaware of how hot it’s going to be and haven’t prepared here’s a few tips that should help.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
To be fair, we should be keeping ourselves well hydrated anyway. Ideally, we should be drinking 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. But, different people need varying amounts.
The key (and this will be a little unpopular) is to reduce the amount of coffee, caffeine alcohol, and food and drink high in sugar. That’s because these things generally make us dehydrated.
Drinking nothing but ice-cold water will really help since all of our cells, tissue, organs, and body needs to work better when we are well hydrated.
Wear The Appropriate Clothing
Now, this is going to sound really obvious, but you should ideally be wearing as few clothes as possible during this heatwave. The key is to have the air circulating as freely as possible.
So, wearing loose-fitting clothes, made out of cotton will help with both air circulation and absorbing extra moisture.
The effect of doing these things is keeping the body cooler. If sweat can’t evaporate properly then your body temperature will increase meaning you will likely feel uncomfortable.
Also, where possible, wear light coloured clothing instead of dark clothing. The darker colours tend to absorb the heat more than light coloured clothing does.
Get Plenty of Rest
A lot of people think it’s a great idea to get out and have fun during a heatwave, but, the best thing to do is actually the opposite. It’s only a good idea to get out and enjoy the weather when it’s not that hot and there’s a breeze. Otherwise, you’re likely to get sunstroke.
People also tend to nap during the day which is a really bad idea. By doing this, trying to sleep during the night is twice as hard if the night temperature is warm. Then, with a lack of sleep during the night you will likely feel more cranky and uncomfortable.
Also, keep your existing routine and don’t change them. By keeping your routine as normal shouldn’t disrupt the time everyone goes to bed and wakes up.
Use thin sheets and remove any duvets. Like the clothing point I made earlier, your sheets will allow the air to circulate and if they are cotton will also absorb any humidity or sweat.
A great trick is using a hot water bottle. However, we’re not going to fill it with hot water, we’re going to fill it with water and freeze it during the day. Then, when you’re ready for bed, take it out of the freezer and wrap a towel around it.
There’s nothing like this cold bottle to make the night’s sleep more comfortable.
Look After Your Body
No matter the colour or shade of your skin, EVERYONE should be wearing sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, and either a loose-fitting hat or cap. Sunburn can dramatically impact your body’s ability to cool itself down and normally leads to dehydration.
The people most at risk are young children and the elderly. So, great care needs to be taken for these members of the family. The sun is likely to be its hottest from 11 am to 3 pm, so where possible try to keep out of the sun during these times.
Have Light Meals
Again, this may seem obvious, but it is advisable to eat light meals more often during this heatwave, rather than striking to your usual menu plan. Heavy meals generally add more heart as your body needs to work much harder to process and digest them.
Not to get too technical, but, heavy meals send too much of your blood to your stomach to help aid the digestion process. When this happens, the amount of blood used to pump through our body to help aid the cooling process by being closer to the surface of our skin is reduced.
Now, this only applies if you are outside during the peak hours of the hottest day. But, if you are outside, then take additional precautions like soaking your shirt, hat, or towel in cold water and then use it to keep yourself cool while you’re outside.
This works whether you’re gardening or hiking outside. Simply use a hose or a nearby creek to keep wet.
Unfortunately, as a country, we aren’t well geared up to enjoy this weather indoors. However, if your house is equipped with some sort of air conditioning, then I recommend you use it. If this isn’t an option, then purchase as many fans as you can and dot them around your house.
An extreme measure is to have a cold shower if the temperature gets really unbearable. There’s nothing like a cool ice shower to help you call down during this heatwave.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the nice weather this week. This article is really for the hottest hours of the day on Wednesday or Thursday. These are the days when most care needs to be taken. Especially with the most vulnerable in our family.
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