Even after the rains lashed the city on Sunday, the temperature has soared to 44°C during the past fortnight, making it tough to move outdoors particularly in the noon. The unbearable heat wave is not only forcing people to stay indoors, but with the rising mercury, most people also tend to experience certain health woes such as nose bleeds, heat stroke, dehydration, skin rashes and prickly heat, sunburn and stomach upsets. Seasons change and our bodies too react to the season in predictable ways. To remain comfortable, the body must eliminate as much heat as it receives.
To prevent heat disorders, here are some ways to beat the summer heat:
Take more fluids: The most important single factor in beating the heat is intake of fluids. Thirst is usually a good indicator that fluids are needed. This symptom tends to lag behind the body’s demands. The temperature of the fluids is not as important as the quantity.
Appropriate clothing: Clothing prevents sweat evaporation because the air between the skin and cloth becomes warm, humid and stagnant. Clothing should be loose, not only at the top and bottom but in the middle as well. Light colours are preferred to dark colours because they reflect light rays.
Take salt regularly: If too much salt is taken in average summer heat, extra water is pulled from the tissues to help excrete it. This action deprives the body of fluid vitality needed to form sweat. The best way to replenish salt loss in hot weather is by seasoning food in a reasonable manner.
Avoid heavy exercise: Hot weather is certainly not the time to begin to start a heavy exercise. Many a person force themselves into added activity, only to have their fun cut short by becoming overheated. It is well to remember that outdoor activities can affect the brain if the head and neck are not properly covered.
Bath regularly & more: Take bath twice or more a day. Bathing in either warm as well as cool water is fine. It is cleansing, stimulating and harmless. Where heat relief is concerned, its value is primarily mental. The weather is just as hot after you bath as it was before.
Avoid junk food: Avoid junk food, overeating and go for organic food items. Eat more protein and carbohydrate than fat and starch. Salads and fresh fruits are not only appetising but add bulk fluid valuable adjuncts to the summer diet.
Take banana with lemon and salt to prevent cramps as banana is rich in both potassium and magnesium.
Protect yourself from sun: People working under conditions of high temperature and humidity should be encouraged to drink cool water. It has been found in India that a man doing hard work in sun requires about one litre of water per hour. For a sedentary worker, requirement is half this quantity. Protective goggles, shields and helmets are useful. The temperature and humidity in work environment may be controlled by proper ventilation and air-conditioning. When working in the sunlight, wear a cap to protect head.
Wear good quality goggles in strong sunlight otherwise your eyes can get damaged. Look after the elderly. Older people are more prone to the effects of heat. If you have older relatives, you can help by checking on them and reminding them to drink plenty of fluids. They should have a mixture of drinks, including herbal tea, water, salted lassi and fresh fruit juice.
Check your urinary output: During hot days, everybody should watch their urinary output also. Normally, one is supposed to urinate every few hours. If urine is not passed for six to eight hours, remember it is a matter of concern.
by Mani Arora