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December 8, 2023

Heatwave: How to cope with hot weather temperatures

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 9:12 pm

If you find that every time you get hot and sweaty, your ability to have any shred of patience goes out the window, you’re not alone. In fact, it’s a pretty common phenomenon.

That was proven in a study that determined hot weather makes people less “prosocial”, or less willing to assist others.

The research found uncomfortable heat makes shop assistants significantly less helpful, and people less inclined to do favours for a charity.

Even thinking about exposure to uncomfortable heat made the study’s subjects more fatigued and less positive, cutting the likelihood they’d help others.

So as well as making you uncomfortable, heat might make you less pleasant to be around. That’s bad news for anyone facing down a heatwave, but the good news is there are expert tips on keeping cool.

READ MORE: Unusual ways to cool down as temperatures soar

A heatwave warning remains in place for South Australia.

Cool your home

Kevin Lomas, a Loughborough University professor who has studied overheating in homes, offers a no-nonsense solution: shut your curtains and windows during the day, and open them up at night.

“If you allow sunlight to beam in all day the heat… becomes trapped in furniture raising the temperature inside your home by up to 4°C” he said in a statement during the peak of the English summer.

“It’s the equivalent of having a 1Kw or 2Kw electric fire going.”

Stay hydrated

Obviously, it’s important to drink plenty of water during the heat – but it’s not the only way to stay hydrated.

“There are some great foods that you can give your children to help boost their water intake on hot days,” said Loughborough psychologist Dr Emma Haycraft.

“Fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and watermelon, all contain lots of water and are a summery, healthy snack.”

READ MORE: Secret hack for 16-day holiday

She added that ice cubes and iceblocks made from fruit and vegetables can replace cups of water, and that foods such as yoghurt, which is more than 80 per cent water, can also keep fluids high.

How to sleep in the heat

Enduring baking nights is near impossible because your brain has to work so hard to keep your body temperature under control that it keeps inadvertently waking you up.

“If people are struggling to sleep in the heat, some helpful actions can be to make sure you’re sleeping in lightweight cotton instead of nylon, and try to get some air circulation by using a fan or opening a window,” Professor David Hillman from the Sleep Health Foundation told 9Honey Coach.

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“Remember your body cools itself best with air movement and moisture – that’s evaporative heat loss – so having air circulating in your bedroom and over your sweat helps.”

Click here for more advice on sleeping through hot nights (and why sleeping naked might not cool you down).

Exhausted woman suffering from the heat during the summer heatwave, she is sitting in front of the open fridge and cooling herself

How to exercise in the heat

Heat makes us sluggish, but that’s no excuse for skipping physical activity — you just have to be smart about how you do it.

For starters, if you regularly go for a jog during your lunch break, switch to early mornings or late evenings, and slow down from your usual pace. If you don’t, you’re at risk of heat stroke.

You’ll also need to keep up your intake of water and electrolytes as temperatures soar, but there are also some less-obvious tricks that will beat the heat.

“As well as keeping hydrated, using ice vests or putting ice cubes under your hat or down your sports bra can help to keep your body cool,” advanced sports dietitian Ali Patterson told 9Honey Coach.

“Keeping your core body temperature as cool as possible is important during hot training sessions.”


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