Heatwave Health Hacks
Follow these simple healthy lifestyle tips to stay calm, cool and collected all summer.
With this weekend’s impending heat wave set to send temperatures in the UK soaring, it looks like we’ll need all of the help we can get to shelter from the swelter! It’s been a relatively mild, even cool summer so far, and it would be good to prepare for the sudden and intense change in weather.
Because well, duh! Proper hydration is always important, but your body becomes dehydrated even faster when it’s hot and humid, as your body sweats more and thus requires more fluids to replenish it. When you’re dehydrated, you also become more at risk of health related illnesses, such as heat stroke, exhaustion and cramps. Keep hydrated by keeping a water bottle on you at all times, cutting down on alcohol and sugary drink intake, and tracking your water intake so you’re aware of how much (or how little) you’ve drunk each day.
Pack the Essentials
Don’t get stuck out in a heat wave without a few handy tools to keep you as comfortable as possible. Aside from a reusable water bottle, pack your bag with sunscreen, snacks to keep you going and maybe even invest in a small battery powered fan for those sweaty rush hour journeys – imagine how jealous your fellow commuters will be!
Summer can also cause a few skin issues, from chafing to pesky bug bites and sunburn, so be sure to keep a tube of Thursday Plantation’s brand new Tea Tree Manuka Honey Balm(£9.99, Boots) close to hand. This natural, efficacious balm contains 100% pure Tea Tree Oil, a naturally sourced antiseptic, while Manuka Honey provides a moist, low pH environment to promote wound healing. Plus, it’s low in para-cymene content to minimise skin irritation and does not sting – making it comfortable to use.
Beating the heat is all about dressing appropriately for it, which can be a bit easier said than done when trying to stay within office dress codes. However, you don’t necessarily need to wear fewer clothes to stay cool – try loose linen or cotton clothing that allows your skin to breathe. Light colours and long sleeves or trousers work better if you’ll be in out in the sun as they’ll help reflect light to keep you cooler, and they’ll protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays! Don’t forget a hat and sunglasses to shield your head and eyes, too.
Though summer usually means longer nights spent out and about drinking and eating, what you put into your body can have a big effect on how it deals with the heat! Eat cooling, light meals that won’t weigh you down and remember that you can also eat your water to keep hydrated – watermelon, cucumber, radishes and lettuce all taste great and are full of water!
Hot days are often exhausting and can zap energy levels quickly, so stock up on foods that will keep you satisfied and energized throughout the day. Try Nairn’s Oat Bars (£0.75, Waitrose) for your afternoon snack. They’ve got 40% less sugar than the average fruit or cereal bar and they’re full of wholegrain oats that provide slow release energy to keep you fuller for longer.
For lunch, sushi is a great choice for a light but filling meal that will help keep you focused and in a good mood – no afternoon crashes here! Nutritionist Alix Woods says, “Fish in sushi, is the number one ‘brain’ food. It is high in essential fats, called Omega 3 fatty acids that nourish and repair brain cells. Fish is also high in Vitamin B12, which keeps the brain ‘happy’ and staves off bouts of depression, anxiety and brain fog. As fish is rich in protein and essential fats, it helps focus the mind, increase concentration and maintain energy.” Try itsu’s Health and Happiness dish (£9.99, nationwide itsu stores) for a delicious mix of salmon, tuna and crab sushi containing 47% of your daily iron intake, which supports healthy cognitive functioning.
Finally, indulge in a sweet treat. Ice lollies and gelato are fantastic dessert options for hot weather, but did you know that certain chocolates can protect skin from summer skin issues? Nutritionist Cassandra Barns says, “Eating flavanol-rich chocolate has been found to help protect our skin against sun damage, as well as increase skin hydration and reduce roughness and scaling”. Pop an Ombar Coconut & Vanilla Centres (£2.10, Ocado) in the fridge for a delicious vegan chocolate treat – you can thank us later!