Summer has certainly made a grand entrance this year, with the temperature soaring up to 39 degrees in Melbourne within the first week of December. As you set out to enjoy the warmer weather, here are some tips for you to stay cool and safe this season.
1. Keep yourself hydrated
Make it a goal to start each day by drinking a full glass of water. If you are out and about during the day, keep a water bottle with you at all times. Besides plain water, you can also go for other sources of electrolytes, and add fruits and vegetables with high water content (like watermelon, citrus, cabbage and spinach) to your diet. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol if possible, as these will promote dehydration.
2. Wear the right clothes
There is a reason why lighter coloured clothes are popular during summer, and it’s not just because of fashion trends. Colours like white, cream, light pink and pale blue are good choices when you’re trying to keep cool, as these are more likely to reflect the sun’s radiation. Also, go for light materials like cotton or other breathable fabrics, and aim for looser, flowy cuts that can keep your body cooler and less restricted.
3. Shower, rinse and wipe
Having a good shower brings down the core body temperature and cleans off sweat, dirt and grime, leaving you feeling clean and cool. However, while a cold shower might be an immediate choice, experts say warm showers are more effective.* But what if you need to cool down now and you don’t have the time or chance to shower? Apply ice packs, cold compresses or wet towels to pulse points on your wrists, neck, elbows, behind the knees and feet. That should be able to take your temperature down quickly.
4. Stay out of the sun
The sun’s peak hours are generally 11am to 4pm, so on really hot days, try to avoid being in direct sunlight during those times. Plan indoor activities like going to the library or the mall, have lunch in a restaurant, visit a museum or watch a movie at the cinema. When you are home, remember to close the windows during the day to shut out the hot air from outside. Block the windows with blackout curtains or blinds, to keep the sunshine out too.
5. Turn on the AC
When the sweltering heat is really too much, it’s time to retreat to a cool and comfortable air-conditioned space. To keep your air-conditioning unit energy-efficient, avoid setting it too cold during hot days, as this may overwork your unit. As a guide, somewhere between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius is a good choice. Also, remember to clean the filter often.
Keep these tips in mind and enjoy the Aussie summer to the fullest!
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