Five steps to keeping cool in a heatwave
Written by Jon Clarke
With this consistent searing sun, you'd be forgiven for forgetting we are in England. And with temperatures set to continue, we thought it might be useful to offer some handy advice on keeping cool in a heatwave. As with anything extreme in the way of weather, this nation struggles to adequately prepare. So as hosepipe bans take over, and rivers quite literally disappear, take five minutes to learn how you can survive this heatwave...
1. Like Batman, stay in the shadows…
We’re pretty sure shadows are the least of Bruce Wayne’s worries in a heatwave, as merely running around in a black rubber suit must get… moist. Mmm. Anyway, when we say shadows, we mean things like keeping your curtains closed when you leave the house for work. It’s a simply trick that many might not think of, but if you have a spare minute in the morning, doing this will really help to keep your house cool - especially if you have lots of windows.
Another top tip is (if possible) park your car in the shade. Over the course of a working day, not having the sun relentlessly beat down on your leather seats means that you’ll avoid first degree burns when you drive home - which is always a nice bonus. You could always invest in one of these heat reflectors too.
2. Stay hydrated
Not only is this strongly advised for health reasons (heatwave and no water = potential death), but if you consistently hydrate yourself through the day, it will help to lower your overall core temperature. Not a lot mind, but just enough to make you feel more comfortable in the searing heat. To make water more interesting, we would definitely recommend investing in an infuser bottle, which means you can create all kinds of wonderful fruit recipes. Refreshing!
The general recommended intake of water per day is eight glasses, but in this heat, we say up it to 10. If you're working out too, maybe a little more.
3. Try swimming as a cardio alternative
Going to the gym in a heatwave isn’t the most appealing thing you’ll do in your life. Especially if your gym’s air conditioning is constantly ‘being fixed’. A far more appealing alternative than pounding out an hour on the treadmill would be to go for a swim. Not only will this keep you nice and cool, but you’ll potentially get more out of it, as science has proven swimming to be one for the most beneficial workouts you can do.
The fact that you’re not going to be red in the face and on the verge of passing out from heatstroke also means that you’ll be able to give more effort - making the workout higher intensity.
4. Expose those wrists and ankles
There are four key parts of your body that, if you cool them, the rest of your body will cool quicker. These are: wrists, ankles, neck and head. Why? Well these are all of the key vascular ‘junctions’ carrying blood to and from the rest of your limbs. So it makes sense that, if you cool these at source, then the rest will cool down too. Kind of like that nice feeling you get when cold water falls down your throat and you feel it all the way down to your stomach. Yea, we loved biology at school.
Minimize jewellery on the wrist, as the closeness of a leather watch strap can just add to the feeling of heat oppression. Invest in a pair of quality linen trousers or shorts, go sockless, and pair them with some nice loafers. We might be biased, but the Milton Navy loafer is a fantastic choice, and your ankles will thank you for them. Or, if they aren’t cool enough, you should take a look at our all-new Goodwin Smith Sliders!
5. Avoid memory foam mattresses
This last one might sound odd, and there’s not a lot you can really do about it if you already have one. But heed this advice if you are thinking of investing in a memory foam mattress: they are HOT. No matter what the marketing might tell you about ‘cooling gel layers’ or ‘Nanotech cooling technology’ - they lie. Memory foam absorbs your body heat and essentially throws it back at you all night long. Not what you need in a heatwave right?
Granted, they are fantastic in the winter months, and when you consider how little sun we usually get in the UK, this is might be a small issue. But be warned, expect uncomfortably sticky nights on a memory foam mattress in hot weather.