Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beat the Heat

Is the summer heat driving you up the wall? Do you feel like you are baking every time you step outdoors or worse still, sweating buckets? Are you aching to douse yourself with ice cold water and beat the heat? Sweat err... fret not because we give you a complete guide to help you keep cool while the temperatures rise this summer!

Water therapy: During summer, your body loses maximum amount of water through perspiration. That's why it becomes even more important to drink loads of water during this season to replenish your store. So if you are used to drinking about eight glasses of water a day, up that to 12! What's more, include water in your diet through juices, stews and broths.

Fruitilicious: Binge on fruits like watermelon, grapefruit, pineapple, pears and other citrus fruits that are cooling and have high water content. Have a glass of fruit juice with your breakfast daily. You could also carry a box of fruit salad to work and have it as a mid-day snack. This will ensure you get the maximum nutrients from these fruits.

Dress easy: The worst thing you can do in summer is wear extremely tight-fitted clothes/ synthetic fabrics. Not only will they make you feel stifled but they could also cause prickly heat as well as other skin irritations and rashes. So bring out your whites and cottons and flaunt those summer dresses and hot pants this summer!

Wear it short: Now's a great time to visit the salon and get one of those chic hairstyles you've been eyeing for ages. Remember, the shorter the better. But if you don't want to snip off those lovely locks, wear your hair in a bun so that it doesn't stick to your neck and bother you especially when you're sweating. P.S. Switch to a shampoo with menthol just for the summer. It will help you cool off.

Eat light: Avoid fried and heavy foods that take long to digest and in the bargain slow down your body's cooling process. Substitute a heavy meal with salads made from tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, spinach and beans. Just keep the dressing simple (olive oil and herbs may be). Light sandwiches are also a good option. This diet will leave you a lot less sluggish and will help you drop pounds over the summer ;)

Slather sunscreen: Apply sunscreen about half an hour before you step out and keep re-applying every three hours or so. Use a sunscreen with SPF 15, or SPF 30 if you are outdoors for long. Choose a sunscreen that suits your skin. For example, if you have oily skin, use an oil-free sunblock but as you get older, move on to a vitamin-enriched one. For working women, a moisturiser/sunblock combination works best.

Eye gear: While they may be a great style statement, sunglasses are a summer necessity. You don't want to get crow's feet and wrinkles from all that squinting in the sun, now do you? Invest in a pair that has 100% UV protection and not just fashion value. While you are at it, buy yourself a stylish summer hat to protect your face from the glare of the sun.

Limit sun exposure: As far as possible stay indoors. But if work requires you to step out, opt for a convenient mode of transport (read: your own car or an A/C cab). Also make sure to leave early and return at sunset so that you miss the afternoon sun which is most damaging to your skin. Remember, the 12 to 4pm sun is the worst and can even cause a heat stroke.

Health alert: Apart from the heat, the dust has been causing throat infections, bronchitis and laryngitis too. So take precautions – hold a scarf around your mouth when traveling and avoid drinking chilled water when you are just back from the outdoor heat. The change in body temperature could affect your throat and voice box. Don't forget your insect repellents as insect infections and mosquito bites are common in the summer.

Bathe often: There's nothing like a cold shower on a summer's day. In fact, you could indulge in two or three showers to cool off. A cooling shower gel (and face wash) with mint or tea tree oil extracts will not just relax you but leave you with a tingly fresh feeling. Just make sure not to stand in front of the air-conditioner just after.

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