7 important tips to beat the heat

Both the US and the UK are currently experiencing heat waves, with the mercury column rising to levels that range from very warm to sweltering. Britain has recently experienced record temperatures and the US is expecting a prolonged bout of high temperatures.

So you might be wondering how you stay cool in the face of a sudden rise in temperature. Well, we’ve got a bunch of helpful tips, tricks and tips to keep you cool and beat the heat.

1. Wear light and light-colored clothing

Woman in a hat and light white top

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It’s obvious, but opting for lightweight materials is a way to make sun exposure more tolerable. We’re talking about breathable cotton or linen.

And although it may seem counter-initiative, it is best to cover up when the Sun is especially strong, as this will protect you from harmful rays; just opt ​​for things like a white long-sleeve top that will help reflect the sunlight.

It is also important not to gloss over the need for a hat. A hat, especially one that provides good shade, will prevent intense sunlight from reaching the top of your head and will not cause rapid overheating or sunstroke.

2. Stay hydrated

Filling water from the water filter

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It’s a fact of life that when you’re hot, you sweat. It’s the best way to cool down, but it means you lose moisture, which can lead to dehydration (thus heart disease like heatstroke) if you don’t replace it. The solution to the problem is to drink plenty of water on a hot day, even if you are indoors.

Although there is no set amount, it is recommended to drink an average of four to six cups of water per day, especially if it is hot. So make sure you have a glass or bottle of water nearby during the heat wave.

But sweating also deprives the body of electrolytes that need to be replenished. So drinks with electrolytes (or adding electrolytes to water with additives) are worth keeping in mind. Foods with lots of calcium and potassium, such as chicken and bananas, can help replenish electrolytes. this will help you rehydrate. However, make sure you avoid drinking large amounts of alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate you.

3. Use an ice water bottle to cool down quickly

bottle of water on ice

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If you find yourself getting too hot even indoors, then one of the tips to help you cool down quickly is to put an ice bottle on your body to quickly get rid of the heat.

The best way to do this is to freeze your water bottle overnight, leaving some room on top for the ice to expand. Then, when you need it, wrap it in a light towel or cloth and apply it to your body.

It’s best to target areas where you have major veins and arteries, such as your wrists, neck, and inner thighs. This should have a quick cooling effect. The same works for wet flannels and towels; simply immerse them in cold water, wring out and apply to the skin.

4. Stay inside

Hand opens blinds to show sunlight

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A sunny day can look very inviting, but when the temperature rises above the seasonal average, going outside can become risky, especially when the Sun is at its zenith. So it might be wise to stay inside between 11:00 and 15:00.

Of course, this will mean that your house will also be cool. If you don’t have access to an air conditioner or your home doesn’t have air conditioning, check out our tips on how to cool a room in the heat. We recommend that you close windows and draw curtains to keep hot air and warm sunlight out, and place bottles of ice water in front of fans to help circulate a cool breeze through your room.

Considering the rise in temperature, it is also wise to stay in rooms on the ground floor. And if you have a cool basement, then this will be the place to use as you will avoid the hot air rising during the day.

5. Fart in the morning or evening

labrador dog with tongue hanging out

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

If you’re staying home to escape the heat, common sense dictates that you shouldn’t take your dog for a walk. Dogs’ inability to sweat means they suffer even more in hot weather, not to mention they can burn their paws on the hot ground. The last thing you need is a bunch of hospital and vet bills because you two had heat stroke on your midday walk.

Thus, you should only walk your dogs during cooler periods, such as early morning and late evening. It will be a hell of a lot more comfortable (and safer) for both of you to go this way. Plus, it means you won’t have to try to cool down after deliberately stepping into the midday heat.

6. Cover the windows with cling film

aluminum foil on Tom's front window

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One of the main ways heat enters your home is through windows that are captured by sunlight. So the easiest way to stop this is to cover the windows with something reflective, including some old aluminum foil you have in your kitchen.

The reflective properties of the foil stop the transfer of radiant heat and prevent it from entering your home. You can use more specialized reflective materials for this, many of which are still light-transmitting and provide a less visible and permanent way to reflect sunlight.

But if you’re in a quandary and don’t mind waiting out the rest of the heat in the dark, aluminum foil is a simple and effective solution. This should make staying at home on a hot day a lot more bearable, especially if you don’t have air conditioning.

7. Avoid using the oven/stove

best gas stoves

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If you’re trying to cool your home, there’s no point in heating it up by turning on the oven or stovetop. Not only will it make you sweat, you’ll use more energy – and increase your electricity bill – by making your air conditioner work harder.

Focus on cooking meals that don’t require as much energy to cook, or meals that you can cook with small appliances like one of the best air fryers or the best toasters. Or take things outside and fire up one of the best grills or the best outdoor pizza oven.

And if you want to avoid heat altogether, opting for cold dishes or salads will save you the hassle of using a heat spreader.

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