Summer is a wonderful time. The sun gives you energy and makes you feel good. But if it gets too hot, there are certain precautions you need to take. Older people need to be especially careful: they don’t feel the heat as much and need to keep a cool head when temperatures rise – both literally and metaphorically. These tips can help.
- Drink plenty of water, even if you don't feel thirsty. At least one and a half litres a day, not including meals. Warm weather causes you to sweat and lose moisture. Your body dries out more quickly and that carries risks (of kidney problems, for example). Avoid alcoholic drinks, as they only make you sweat even more.
- A cup of hot tea? Strange but true: instead of ice-cold drinks, you’re better off drinking hot tea. The heat of the liquid causes your body temperature to fall – it’s a natural reflex. If drinks are too cold they can cause cramps and stomach ache.
- Eat lightly. Heavy and spicy meals demand more energy from your body to digest. Instead, choose a summer salad, a savoury soup, a piece of fruit, ice cream – a cool milkshake or yoghurt is always delicious. It’s better to eat little and often, rather than a hearty meal three times a day.
- Find other ways to freshen up. A cooling footbath, a wet towel on the neck or wrists, a water spray to moisten the face and mouth – it all helps to cope with those high temperatures. And how about taking a cool bath or shower regularly? The cold water promotes blood circulation.
- Wear light and loose summer clothes. Avoid tight-fitting garments. They will only make you sweat more. So get those loose clothes, shorts and light coloured tee-shirts out of the wardrobe.
- Keep the sun out. Close the blinds and draw the curtains. Then it will stay much cooler indoors.
- Take it easy. It's not a great idea to wear yourself out, work, exercise or walk in the summer heat (you’ll sweat even more and lose moisture). Do you want to get some exercise? Then try to do so at a less hot time, such as in the morning.
- Still going out in the sun? Don’t forget to moisturise – not with make-up but with a sun cream having a high enough protection factor. And wear a hat and sunglasses.
- Look for cool spots. Out of doors on a chair under a shady tree is a lovely place to be, but you might be even better off in an air-conditioned room. A fan can also help cool things down.
These tips will get you started, but don't forget to enjoy the summer! The art of doing nothing, idly chatting or reading a book ... it’s never too hot to relax and just enjoy the summer (because autumn will come round again before you know it).