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Beating the Heat this Summer

Summer is a wonderful time of year, but it can also be incredibly hot, even in Cumbria - somehow! Here are a couple of basic tips to help you stay cool.

1. Stay Hydrated

Typically, it is recommended to drink six-to-eight glasses of fluid or sugar-free drinks a day. However, when temperatures start to rise, our bodies lose water via sweat, and therefore we need to drink more - around double the recommended intake.

Try to spread this throughout the day, and if drinking so much water seems daunting, or you’re caring for a loved one who struggles to drink a lot, we recommend eating foods with high water content, such as watermelon and cucumber.

2. Wear Light Clothing

Wearing light, loose-fitting clothing can help keep you cool during the summer months. Choose fabrics that are breathable, such as cotton or linen, and avoid dark colours that absorb heat - as hard as that may be for some of us.

It’s important to note that with most of us wearing less this summer, and showing more of our bodies, to never comment on others’ appearance.

Whether it’s scars, stretch-marks, body hair, a good rule of thumb is to never comment on someone’s appearance unless they can fix it in less than a minute. This includes things like hair ties falling out, food in their teeth, et cetera.

3. Use Fans

If you can find one, fans can be a great way to stay cool during the summer months.

However, if you’re not using them properly you run the risk of just circulating hot air around the room. Try putting a bowl of ice, or something cold, behind the fan so that it takes in the cold air and circulates it, or opening a window behind the fan.

4. Stay in the Shade, Protect Your Skin!

If you're spending time outdoors, try to stay in the shade as much as possible. This can help protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays and keep you cool. You can also use an umbrella or canopy to create your own shade.

If you are heading out, please, please, please remember to wear SPF! Squirt sunscreen along the length of each of your fingers, and use that as a guide for how much sunscreen you should be applying to your face.

See also the importance of applying sunscreen to your neck, as well as your face, as this 92-year-old woman found out.

5. Take Cool Showers

Taking a cool shower can help lower your body temperature and keep you cool during the summer months. You can also place a wet towel on the back of your neck or wrists to help cool down.

My nanna always recommends keeping cold wipes on you to help cool down, and filling an old spray bottle with water.

6. Avoid Peak Sun Hours

The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to avoid spending too much time outdoors during these hours.

This is especially important when you’re walking dogs! Furry pets overheat a lot quicker than us, and hot concrete can cause a lot of pain and damage to their little paws. Try to avoid walking them except late at night, or on grassy areas.

7. Stay Active Indoors

If it's too hot to exercise outdoors, try to stay active indoors. You can do yoga, lift weights, or go for a swim at an indoor pool.

You’ll still get the same sweaty feeling, I promise!

Stay safe, stay cool, take care of yourselves! But most importantly, enjoy the weather while we have it! It might seem majorly annoying now, but come October we’ll all be whinging about how cold it is, in true Cumbrian fashion.

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