The summer has been unusually hot in much of Europe, and the UK is now braced for its hottest ever day…
The Met Office estimates there’s a 60% chance we could witness a scorching 39C tomorrow! But whilst many of us will be enjoying the sunshine, we all need to look at ways of coping with the heat. Read on for our guide.
It’s looking likely that we could reach 39°C somewhere in southern and eastern England on Thursday. The hottest temperature ever recorded in the UK is 38.5°C :thermometer:
There is currently a 60% chance we could break this on Thursday, depending on the amount of cloud pic.twitter.com/n3nSKW3Ey6
— Met Office (@metoffice) 24 July 2019
Knowing the Warning Signs
If you are not prepared for such extreme temperatures, you could be vulnerable to heat exhaustion. Knowing the warning signs is key, and you should seek shelter and cool off immediately if you have the following symptoms: headaches, dizziness, nausea, excessive sweating, cramps, fast breathing and intense thirst.
Heat-stroke is likely to occur If your body’s temperature is over 40C (104F), and can lead to serious complications, including loss of consciousness, damage to vital organs or even death.
A heatwave can effect anyone, but the NHS advise the following people are most at risk:
- Those aged over 75
- Babies and young children
- Those with a serious long-term condition, especially heart or breathing problems
- Those with mobility problems – e.g. people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke
- Those with serious mental health problems
- Those on medication affecting sweating and temperature control
- Those who misuse alcohol or drugs
- Those who are physically active – e.g. labourers or those doing sports
How to Beat the Heat
Use the following tips keep your body temperature cool!
What to eat and drink
As our bodies sweat more in the heat, it’s especially important to replenish our water levels. However, it may surprise you to know your physical first is not a reliable indicator of how dehydrated you have become. Instead, your urine colour is a better tell. When the colour is darker, you are more dehydrated and vice versa.
Avoid drinking diuretics such as caffeine or alcohol which increase dehydration and dodge heavy meals containing a lot of carbs or protein as they take time to digest, and in turn produce greater body heat.
Instead, stick to drinking water and eat foods with high water contents. Such as strawberries, melon or lettuce.
Managing your activities
It can be tempting to get out there and enjoy the sun, but if you’re experiencing high temperatures you are not used to, keep your activity levels low and monitor how your body acclimatises. This is especially true if you are on holiday, as not only is the temperature level a factor, but also the humidity, which is often higher in our favourite destinations.
If you need to travel around, try to do so early or late in the day when the weather is at its coolest.
If you do choose to exercise, consider isotonic sports drinks to ensure you are rehydrating properly; as they absorb into the body quicker than water.
In general, stay in the shade, air-conditioned places and embrace cold showers!
Sounds obvious right? Yet it’s easy to underestimate how much of a difference clothes make to how our bodies handle the heat. With that being said, avoid the temptation to strip off, as not only will you be at greater risk of sunburn, but sunburn can also affect your body’s ability to cool itself.
Wear loose clothes to allow air to your skin and light colours – as remember dark colours retain more heat and reflect less light. Material choice is also key, with examples like cotton and linen great at absorbing sweat and encouraging ventilation. At night, keep your duvet lightweight too and considering avoiding sharing space with partners. You might even want to put your sheets in the freezer for a bit before you go to bed!
We hope you found this guide helpful!
The information in this blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice. It is a general overview of a broad medical care topic. Blog posts are not tailored to one person’s specific medical requirements, diagnosis or treatment. If you do notice symptoms or you require medical advice, you should always consult your doctor or healthcare provider to obtain professional medical help. Read through our disclaimer for more information.