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Beat the heat!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Rising temperatures in October are making life difficult for Mumbaikars. Dr Paritosh Baghel has some advice on how to deal with it to avoid falling ill

Mumbaikars are currently experiencing ‘October Heat’ as rising temperatures have turned the city into a furnace. According to weather forecast agencies, the temperature is expected to remain high during the week. With rising temperatures and poor air quality in the city, there is an increased risk of infections, low stamina, dehydration and a bevy of other issues. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to beat the heat effectively.

Hydrate

The importance of drinking plenty of water daily cannot be stressed upon enough. More so during this heat, adequate hydration is crucial. Invest in an insulated water bottle that keeps water cold throughout the day. You can try infusing your water with mint, citrus, and ripe seasonal fruits, to add flavour.

Recognise your body’s cooling points

Take a couple of wash cloths and soak them in water. Squeeze out the excess water, tightly roll them and place them in the freezer. Let the towels freeze till they are solid. You can also add essential oils in the water mix for a more relaxing experience. Apply these towels on the cooling spots – wrists, back of the neck, feet, wrists and temples.

Keep sweat at bay

For many of us, sweat-inducing humidity is the worst part of October Heat. Even if you don’t sweat excessively, you keep sweat under control with a few tricks, like applying antiperspirant at night so it works more effectively. Use of antiperspirants should be with caution, especially amongst the elderly.

Swim your way to being cool

Take a dip at your local gym or at a public pool, there’s nothing better than a cold swim and shower, on a day when it is too hot. Twice a day is advisable, if not, once during the day is a must.

Eat cool, stay cool

Consume foods that cool your internal systems; home-made frozen fruit juices are the best. Go for sweet and ripe fruits, fresh veggies, and foods that are bitter or astringent. Fruits like watermelons and sweet limes are perfect for this scorching weather, whereas apples are excellent for winters.

Breathing exercises and meditation

Practice pranayama or breathing exercises. These will not only bring down your body temperature, but will help alleviate anxiety and mood swings. Meditate to cool your mind and do breathing exercises to aid relaxation.

Dress light and breezy

It is important to wear light materials like cotton and linen; these should be loose fitting, allowing your skin to breathe. It is preferable to wear light pastel shades like yellows and whites, so that heat is deflected, unlike dark colours.

Sun protection

It is of utmost importance to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Make sure you invest in a sunscreen that is at least 50SPF. This should be applied 1.5- two hours before stepping out and should be re-applied every two hours after that. Carry an umbrella or a cap while stepping outdoors, to block direct sun rays. Avoid venturing out between 12p.m to 4p.m.

Dr Paritosh Baghel is Consultant Physician at SL Raheja Hospital - A Fortis Associate

Short takes

With rising temperatures and poor air quality in the city, there is an increased risk of infections, low stamina, dehydration and a bevy of other issues.

Eat cool, stay cool, ensure you are well hydrated.

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