It has been confirmed that global warning is indeed having an effect on our climate. Each summer seems to get hotter than the last or at least have more days of extreme heat than the summer before.
Heat can sap all your energy, leave you short of air and in general extreme heat is no good for anyone young and old alike. When we talk about extreme heat we are talking about 40º and upwards and that temperature is taken in the shade!. And don’t ever forget also that the ozone layer is no longer able to protect you from the burning rays of the sun like it used to as it is slowly eroding, so if you are into sunbathing only do so between 10 and 11 in the morning and 6 and 7 in the afternoon and use a very high factor of sun protection.
So how to help yourself and keep cool or at least a little cooler?
1. Where possible, try to do all of your strenuous chores either first thing in the morning or later on in the evening as these are the coolest moments of the day. Whatever you do, try to avoid going out into the mid-day sun which is by far the hottest time of the day. The siesta (the sleeping period after lunch) was invented in hot countries, where it was thought best just to stay indoors and sleep through the hottest part of the day.
2. When you wake up in the morning, take a cool shower and tie your wet hair into a pony tail or tight bun. This way your hair will take much longer to dry and having wet hair helps to keep you cooler.
3. Talking about extremities should also include your feet. Opt to wear open shoes such as sandals made out of leather or canvas. When you are really suffering from the heat find a cold water tap and let the water pour onto your wrists and also on your feet. When at home and sitting in front of the TV place some iced water in a large plastic recipient and just soak your feet in it – it’s pure luxury, not only in cooling you down but so good for your feet. Feet can sometimes swell up quite a lot during extreme heat and the iced water also helps to bring down the swelling.
4. Choose natural fibre clothes to wear such as cotton and linen as they let air run through them and so keep you ventilated. Nylon, satin and polyesters are no good at all at this time of the year.
5. During the day close the curtains of your home but leave the windows open and where possible try to create draughts of air – never liked in winter but much appreciated during hot months and on days where there is some sort of a breeze.
6. Install ceiling fans in every room where possible as they help to freshen up the hot atmosphere somewhat. A cheap form of air conditioning is to place a bowl with ice right in front of a table fan and this well work quite well in cooling the room. But obviously if you can stretch your budget to it, air conditioning in your home will keep you completely cool while you are indoors.
7. Always carry about with you cool wipe sachets so that you can cool down the back of your neck, forehead, chest area and hands as these all tend to be zones that suffer from the heat first. Also have a fan with you. It can be the classical Spanish type or the new mini fans which are operated on batteries.
8. Drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol and spicy foods as these will only raise your body temperature even more. (Note – never drink water from plastic bottles that have been left in your car, because firstly it will probably be hot water and secondly the water will have picked up toxins from the plastic while it was heating up).
9. When you are out in the sun shine try and wear a large brimmed hat. It will not only keep you a little cooler but will also shield your hair and head from the burning sun.
10. At night tie your head up and if you think there is a chance that you will sweat place a large bath towel over your sheet and a hand towel over your pillow. Keep another set on the floor by your bed and should you wake up in the middle of the night drenched you can just replace the towels with the fresh set.