Cool Ideas to Beat the Summer Heat
May 2017

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It is that time of the year again! The Sun is up, at its peak, wearing us down in valleys of sweat. Humidity, pollution and the scorching heat tends to be a dampener, making us feel exhausted, negatively affecting our productivity at the workplace. Indian summers, especially, are notorious for causing health problems and the resultant absenteeism from work. It's time we become proactive and follow certain measures to stay on top of the hot weather.

  • Wear loose fitting clothes made from breathable fabric, preferably cotton, as they keep the body temperature normal. Apply sunscreen on face and other exposed areas of the body, even if you are staying indoors. Make sure that the sunscreen has at least 30 SPF (Sun Protection Factor).
  • Create your very own peppermint tea mist by brewing a pot of peppermint tea and then refrigerating it. When it's cold, pour it into a spray bottle and keep misting yourself with it at regular intervals for a cool feeling.
  • Close the windows of your home or office before 9 am and draw the curtains. By doing this, you ensure that the heat does not get sucked in.
  • In most offices today there are air conditioners. Avoid suddenly going out of the cool environment into the hot forty degrees outside. Shut off the air conditioner for a while before stepping out, to bring yourself to the room temperature. Sudden temperature changes are detrimental for the body.
  • Drink lots of water and other healthy beverages like lemonade, coconut water, Kokam juice, "aam panna" and buttermilk, to stay hydrated. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol as they tend to dehydrate the body.
  • Eat salads and fruits with high water content. Cucumbers, musk melons, water melons pomegranate and other seasonal fruits are full of vitamins and minerals, and will help in keeping body from falling prey to any health related issues arising because of the heat.
  • Eat smaller, frequent meals. Include foods rich in vitamin C in your diet as they build immunity. Seasonal vegetables like gourds, radish, lettuce, leafy greens and summer squash help in cooling the body.
  • Stick to light, vegetarian food. If you're a non-vegetarian, limit red meat and instead go for fish.
  • Avoid eating oily and fermented foods. Preferably eat hygienic, home-cooked meals and avoid eating from vendors which are generally seen outside office spaces.
  • Add spices such as hot peppers, black pepper and fresh ginger to your meals while cooking. These spices have an amazing effect, making the body sweat initially and then cooling it down later.
  • Avoid going out in the sun in the peak hours between 10 am to 4 pm. If you do venture out, carry an umbrella, wear a cap and a pair of sunglasses. If travelling by car, park the vehicle in a shady area so that it remains cool.
  • If you workout, do it in moderation, as in summers over exercising can drain your entire energy.
  • This is the perfect time to go for traditional Ayurvedic treatments such as the cooling mud packs, herbal spas, shirodhara, etc. These therapeutic treatments remove the skin toxins and cool the body as well.

By being mindful of what you eat and wear as well as taking certain precautions, you are all set to take on the sweltering Indian summer. If you are not up for making any changes in your lifestyle, a simple shower with cold water can do the trick too sometimes. Or take a holiday to a nearby hill station to refresh yourself. But most importantly, take shower every day, eat hygienic food, drink enough water and stay away from the sun, to keep yourself up and about!