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8 Best Ways to Beat the Heatwave

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8 Best Ways to Beat the Heatwave

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Medically Reviewed By
Dr Divya Rohra

Written By Komal Daryani
on May 21, 2024

Last Edit Made By Komal Daryani
on May 22, 2024

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8 Best Ways to Beat the Heatwave
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Who doesn’t love a little bit of sunshine? The onset of summer is exciting for almost everyone after the nerve-chilling winters. Summers are all about good food, vacations, and relaxation, but these blissful times that people look forward to have not lasted long enough this year.

Soaring temperatures have resulted in heatwaves beginning earlier than usual this year. In this year’s brutal summer, most metropolitan cities have been experiencing extreme temperature rises. For example, in Delhi, the temperature has been soaring above 45 degrees, and it is just the beginning of the season; the worst is yet to come. 

Heat waves are not only about discomfort and inconvenience; they also have a major impact on one’s health. This is why it is important to understand everything about the situation and how to tackle heat waves.

Heatwaves can be dangerous. Schools and colleges go on a summer vacation so students do not suffer from this extreme heat. However, only some have the liberty to do so; people have to go out for work or even have emergencies, which may lead them to be out during the peak hours when the heat is at its extreme.

If you are one of those, do not worry! 

This blog contains everything you need to know about protecting yourself from heat waves. But first, it is important to understand what heat waves are and how they impact one’s health.

Understanding Heatwave:

 A heatwave is a long period during which the weather is scorching, and this heat is accompanied by high humidity. A heatwave is declared when the temperature is 4.50–6.50 degrees above the normal temperature in the area. Heatwaves can occur due to multiple factors, but climate change is one of the most important and prominent reasons. Global warming has led to these extreme levels of climate change; one of the outcomes is the heatwaves. Heatwaves in recent years have become irregular and have started to last longer than usual.

These unpredictable heatwaves have taken away from the fun of experiencing summers, as one needs to be cooped up in their houses due to the extreme weather. It affects not only people’s lifestyle choices but also their health immensely. 

Impact of Heatwaves on Health: 

Everyone has grown up listening to their parents or grandparents take extra care of their health during the summer. The scorching sun can cause multiple health conditions, especially after the beginning of heat waves.

Here are some of the health conditions that may occur due to this extremely scorching heat:

  1. Dehydration occurs when one does not consume enough fluid, and its symptoms are dry mouth, headache, dark urine, and fatigue.
  2. Heat stroke is A life-threatening condition that is marked by high body temperature, confusion, seizures, and unconsciousness.
  3. Cardiovascular Conditions: High temperatures can restrict the cardiovascular system's work, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Dehydration can also impact heart health and lead to strokes.
  4. Mental Health: Extreme heat can impact sleep quality and mental well-being by increasing anxiety and irritability.

Everyone has different immunity and heat resistance; the heatwave does not impact everyone the same way. Some people are more vulnerable to the situation than others, so taking extreme care of this vulnerable population is important.

  • Elderly people: Multiple age-related changes occur in the body, making it difficult for the elderly to adapt to any sort of heat stress.
  • People with preexisting conditions: Individuals already suffering from health issues like heart or respiratory problems tend to have issues handling the heat stress.
  • Children: Because of their smaller body mass, children are more likely to experience dehydration or any other heat-related illness.

One can protect themselves from the severe impact of heat waves by making mindful changes in their diet and lifestyle for a certain duration of time. It will make it easier for you to survive the time without impacting your health.

8 Tips to Survive a Heatwave:

There are multiple things you can do to avoid any heat-related health issues. A few tips that may help you make these times easier are mentioned below:

 Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.

  1. Dress Appropriately: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing from breathable cotton fabrics. Light colors reflect sunlight, helping to keep you cooler.
  2. Seek Shade: Limit outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you must be outside, seek shade whenever possible.
  3. Use fans and air conditioning. Use air conditioning to keep indoor temperatures comfortable if you can access air conditioning. Ceiling fans and portable fans can also help circulate air and provide relief.
  4. Take Cool Showers or Baths: A refreshing shower or bath can help lower your body temperature and temporarily relieve the heat.
  5. Eat Light Meals: Opt for light, easily digestible meals that don't require cooking. Heavy meals can increase metabolic heat production, making you feel warmer.
  6. Stay informed: Keep an eye on weather forecasts and heat advisories issued by local authorities. Be aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses and seek medical attention if necessary.
  7. Look out for each other: During heatwaves, looking out for one another is essential, especially for vulnerable individuals at greater risk. Check on elderly neighbors, relatives, and friends to ensure they're staying cool and hydrated. Community centers and public facilities, such as libraries and shopping malls, may also serve as cooling centers during extreme heat events.

The temperatures are rising, and prioritizing your health so that the heatwaves cannot affect your body is everyone's main goal. If you follow these tips, it will help keep you and your loved ones hydrated and healthy.

Additional Tips:

Along with making the above-mentioned lifestyle changes, you also need to make some necessary changes in your diet. These changes will make it easier for you to beat the heat. There are some food items that you can include in your diet to keep yourself protected from the heat, like:

  • Watermelon: This summer staple in India is known for being hydrating. Watermelon is 90% water, and it can help you avoid dehydration during these extremely hot days.
  • Coconut water contains electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, which are known for their rehydration properties.
  • Salads: You can opt for having salads regularly and make these salads out of vegetables that have high fluid content, like bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, etc.
  • Mints: Herbs are known for adding extra flavor to food, but they also have cooling properties. They play an important role in managing indigestion and cooling down the body.

In addition to consuming these food items, you must avoid processed and oil-based foods and remember to keep your diet as light as possible.

Conclusion:

Heatwaves are a serious threat to health and well-being, but with proper precautions and awareness, many measures can be taken to reduce the chances of health issues. Staying hydrated, lessening going out at peak hours, and, most importantly, looking out for each other can be very beneficial in managing the heatwave effectively. Remember that prioritizing health during these hottest days of the year is the key to overcoming the heatwave.

Stay cool, stay safe!

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