Keeping Cool: Top 5 Strategies to Beat the Heat

By Dr Jude Oscar

As Europe swelters through a gelato-melting heat-wave, we in Singapore may sit back and consider ourselves experts at dealing with the heat.  But even the best of us can all be caught out at times, misjudging the weather and leaving ourselves in a sweaty mess. Here’s our top five strategies in beating the heat:

1. Stay hydrated

It sounds obvious, but commonly forgotten.  The body loses a lot of water in hot weather via sweat and even through the act of breathing.  That water needs to be replenished somehow. Always choose water over sugary or caffeinated drinks (including heavily marketed “sports drinks”) too, as these are not as effective at hydrating the body.

2. Dress Light

Looser fitting and thinner clothes allow your skin to push away heat to the air.  Natural fibres like cotton are best as they are “breathable” verses synthetic fibres.  And don’t forget a hat!

3. Keep cool during the hottest times of the day

It may seem obvious, but where possible avoid strenuous activity or time in the sun during the hottest times of the day.  Keep an eye on children, infants and the elderly as their bodies cannot regulate heat as effectively as the rest of us. They may also not show usual obvious signs that they may be getting hot.

4. Keep the sun out of your home

Keep blinds and curtains drawn in your home during the day to insulate your home from the heat.  Your home will be much cooler in the evening, always a plus after a long day at work!

5. Water, water, water

Water again!  But this time jump in!  Water removes heat from your skin much faster than air.  So, consider that dip in the pool or shower before rummaging for the aircon remote (you might save money too)!

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