Guest post by Natalia Moore
With the midsummer temperatures soaring and heatwave conditions in many parts of the nation it can be awfully hard to “keep your cool.”
However, even if it’s terribly hot outside there are many simple ways in which you can retain physical and mental comfort. Here are some of the proven methods which everyone can try, most at minimum cost.
Be sensible in what you wear. Heavy and tight-fitting clothing (including underwear) are out.
Go for lightweight, loose fitting things. Avoid anything that constricts, including belts, high necks, and bras that cut you in two. It’s simply not worth the personal discomfort and lack of ventilation produced.
Remember that cotton transmits air more readily than nylon fabric, and is usually cooler. This is very important with underwear. Nylon pantyhose often produce considerable discomfort (including chafing and rashes between the legs, a very susceptible spot) merely because the skin areas cannot breathe. Because perspiration cannot evaporate, and as skin surfaces which are moist rub together, irritation and often inflammation occur.
Remember that certain colours seem cool, others seem to indicate warmth. Light pastels are cool. So are greens, light blues, yellows, creams and white. The heavies are black, navy, dark tans, and reds. Leave these for winter when you want to gain the mental impression of heat.
Also, flies seem attracted less to light colours (especially yellow, some researchers have claimed). So you give yourself a double bonus in wearing light colors. Who wants to be crawling with flies as well as sweating like a pig? Not me, for sure.
Fluids are probably the biggest single item of importance in hot weather. The body perspires anything up to 10,000ml (that is roughly 20 pints!) on a very hot day. This is an enormous amount, and it must be replenished to ensure the normal working of the body.
Fluid forms an integral part of the system’s heat regulatory mechanism. Pumped out by sweat glands to the skin surface, it then evaporates rapidly. This pulls heat from the body and the evaporation reduces skin temperature.
In humid weather there is already a lot of water in the atmosphere and skin fluid evaporates more slowly. That is why one feels hot and sticky. But as soon as the humidity falls, sweat dries and you immediately feel cooler.
This fluid loss must be replenished to allow the system to continue. So lap it up, ideally in the form of chilled water. Chilled fresh fruit-juices are good. Go easy on highly sugared aerated beverages and cordials. Extra sugar means that more heat-producing products are being added to the system.
Sweat contains a certain amount of sodium chloride, the chemical name for common salt. So add a bit to your drinks to replenish this. Otherwise you may find cramps suddenly grabbing your calf muscles or other muscle groups. Cramps are terribly painful.
A good cold beer temporarily cools. But beware of the trap, for alcohol is also a fairly potent vasodilator. This means it makes the blood vessels in the skin expand. In turn, this brings copious amounts of new blood to the skin surface, and this gives the added sensation of heat.
So, in the long term, alcohol makes you hotter. Besides, it is very high in calories and tends to add more fuel to the body you are trying to cool down; that is worth remembering.
Many people find plain bitter lemon juice more refreshing in hot weather, made with a water, non sugar base. Cyclamates and saccharin may be used as artificial sweeteners if desired, they are totally calorie free.
Be sensible and eat low-calorie foods. These include vegetables, especially greens and salad foods, and fruit. Leafy greens and all salad veggies are suitable. They are very low in calorie value and do not increase the body’s fuel factor. Cold salads are ideal in summer, especially for lunch and evening meals. Go lightly on products containing refined flour or sugar.
Use this as a general yardstick when making meal decisions and you will not go far wrong. Just remember the fewer calories you eat, the cooler you’ll remain.
Air conditioners are probably the biggest single comfort device in hot weather. Not only do they remove fluid from the air (so reducing humidity), but they cool as well.
Car air conditioners are excellent for those travelling a lot in summer. Even though they’re a bit expensive, if your job and mental acuity are important it is often money well spent for it may repay its cost in the first year.
But a note of caution: be careful flitting from cool areas to hot ones to cool ones again. Summer chills and infections are easily come by in this manner. Wrap appropriately.
Let cool tap water flow over the backs of your hands, this often cools down the whole body. Icy flannels rubbed over your face and neck impart a lovely cool feeling too, so keep these in the fridge.
Think cool. Do not get uptight and fight with yourself or others. Raised temperatures only breed heat and make you feel infinitely worse. Keep telling yourself it’s not as hot as others say, that you have mental peace and equanimity. This helps, at least.
About the author
As a health expert, researcher and blogger Natalia has a particular interest in writing about beauty regimen and how to be pretty and confident. She has many years of experience in Beauty treatments and Health improvement. Connect with Natalia on G+.