Key Takeaway: Summer, especially nowadays, can kill if you’re not careful, what with the intense temperatures and humidity. Here are six ways to keep cool and well in a natural, healthy, or responsible manner.
June is here, and that means summer for everyone: summer is beginning in the temperate countries, and is drawing to a close in the tropical ones. That doesn’t mean that the tropics – where I live in – is already free of it; we should still always be on our guard. Intense heat plus humidity, which seems to be the norm here in the Philippines now (to my deep chagrin; heat index was in the high 30s to early 40s these past weeks), can spell death if one isn’t careful.
My prayers go out to the more than 2,000 people in India who died unnecessarily due to the heat wave there. Now, the best thing society can do is prevent it from happening again – especially in a country like the Philippines, where there is relatively little protection from said heat.
Of course, as much as we’d all like to move or vacation to a cooler place, we can’t all do so. That said, here’s a list of natural, conscious, and responsible ways to stay cool and well from the infernal heat.
1. Drink water…
…and LOTS of it. My best friend set a daily quota of drinking water twice the recommended amount because we’re in a tropical country. Drinking lots of water ensures you stay hydrated; although the amount of water you drink isn’t an indication of how well-hydrated you are, it helps much. This helps your body emit excess heat, which will keep your temperature in check and prevent heatstroke.
Do not drink alcohol or caffeine-laced drinks as this will cause the opposite to happen. But do consider tomato juice as well; according to Janet Wright in The Top 100 Health Tips, tomato juice replenishes important sodiums lost after a workout. Plus, it’s really delicious. 😉
2. Bring an umbrella
It may not keep the humidity away, but having an umbrella does protect you from harsh direct sunlight that could intensify your risk of heatstroke and even skin cancers. And if the heat + humidity suddenly turns into a downpour, you’d still be protected.
To read about my post on bringing an umbrella, see here.
3. Use sunscreen
Again, like an umbrella, using sunscreen won’t necessarily alleviate the discomfort from humidity, but at least it protects you from the sun’s harmful UV rays. An SPF 30 sunscreen protects us from 97% of UV rays, while an SPF 15 one protects us from 93% of them (just 4% weaker).
The sunscreen above, that of Human Nature’s, is even more special in that its all-natural properties mean it’s good for us and the environment, too. (Click here to visit the page.)
4. Wear proper clothes
“Sacrifice for fashion” doesn’t need to be done in this case. You simply need a wide-brimmed hat, like a sun hat, and long sleeves when you’re outdoors. You’d think the long sleeves would make you even hotter (and I mean it both ways :p) but they do serve as a form of protection as well.
Now bring on those nice dress shirts!
5. Schedule intensive activities when it’s cooler
As much as possible, do your outdoor, heavy-duty, and intensive activities when it’s not as hot – for example, at dawn or at dusk. Do them right in the middle of the scorching heat and you might faint from being physically overwhelmed by the strenuous effort and the heat combined. Take care of yourself!
6. Take a dip
There’s a reason beaches get crowded in summer: it’s one of the best ways to cool off and have fun at the same time. There is no sensation like swimming wild and free in the deep blue sea (okay, enough with my rhyming).
But even if there’s no beach near you, go for a swim at your nearest swimming pool. Not only do you get to cool off naturally, you also get productive health-wise as you do your laps and exercise. (If you do do your laps… Hey, we know you want abs, so push yourself and go for it!)
Below is an infographic made by Nico Villarete of and for Rappler about heatstroke, how to prevent it, and how to treat it.
Stay safe from the heat and enjoy your summer!