Saturday 9 September 2023

The Saturday List #415 - My top ten tips for keeping cool in the heatwave

 It's hot! As my mother would say "Too hot for all normal purposes". It takes it's toll. As regular readers of the blog will know, The False Dots have a gig at The Dublin Castle in Camden next Friday. We had a rehearsal scheduled for last night and all of our air conditioned rooms were booked. Although we were scheduled to go until 11pm, we stopped at 9,30pm and went for a shandy in a nice, air conditioned bar. It certainly did the trick. There are quite a few things you can do to keep cool

1. Keep curtains, windows and doors shut during the day. There are three things that warm up your house, sunlight shining in, hot air blowing in and appliances generating heat. In our house, we've installed blinds on sun facing windows. These work really well in keeping the house cool. We also keep as many doors as possible closed to keep the hot air out. Good curtains have a white backings that reflect the suns heat. Keeping these closed will slow the rate the house warms up.

2. Keep as many lights and appliances off as possible. All electrical appliances generate heat, the more of these you keep off, the cooler your house will stay. I'd recommend using washing machines and dishwashers early in the morning. 

3. Shower with tepid water. When you are hot and sweaty a shower is a great way to cool down. If you want the best and longest lasting effect use water that is not cold but is cool. If you have a cold shower, the body will react by warming up as it seeks to maintain the normal temperature and you'll be hotter after a few minutes. Tepid water does not have the same effect.

4. Do not hydrate with icy drinks. Just as cold showers make your body work harder, if you drink icy drinks, then your body has to warm up to maintain temperature. There is a myth that hot drinks cool you down. In truth the best drinks to hydrate with are ones at room temperature or slightly below. If you have been out and you go to air conditioned pub, then a cold drink is fine, as the aircon will keep you cold, but if you are out hiking and cannot cool down, tepid liquids are better.

5. Get in the shade and be still. If you are out in the sun and you feel like you are getting to hot, get in the shade and be still. Your body uses energy when it moves. It is designed to cope with heat, but can only do this when you are not generating heat and not soaking up rays.

6. Have a gentle air flow when you sleep. The human body cools down by sweating. The body is cooled by the sweat evapourating, taking the heat away from you. A gentle air flow, from a fan on a low setting will help the sweat evapourate and cool you down.

7. Wear a wet T-shirt. If you are really overheating, putting on a damp T-shirt that has been in the fridge will cool you down quickly. This works extremely well for dogs as well.

8. Wear linen, cotton or natural fibres. Linen, Cotton and other natural fibres soak up sweat and then let it evapourate, so will help keep you cool. Man made fibres, such as nylon do not absorb sweat and will keep the heat in. 

9. If you are working, take time to cool down regularly. I've had jobs that involved working outside in heat. If you are getting to hot, get in the shade and have some liquid. It is a good idea to do this regularly and do it before you get too hot. Once your body temperature has started to rise, it is far harder to bring it down. Alcohol wipes are an good way to quickly cool down as a fix. 

10. Get a plant mist water spray, keep it in the fridge and give yourself and your pets a spray when it is getting too hot. This is the best quick fix. 

As I mentioned, The False Dots are playing at the Dublin Castle on Friday 15th September. The venue is air conditioned, so if it is still hot, you can watch us in the cool with a nice cold beer! This is what we sound like.

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