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Beat the heat

With the mercury rising high and the throats going dry, the
Indian summer is set at its optimum high. Going from April
to July, India experiences its hottest period in many parts.
The scorching sun and sweltering heat drains the energy
even from the liveliest ones.

Our energies going low with our tempers difficult to hold, it

is important that we beat the heat before it tightens its
grasp over us.

Why and how does this heat exchange happen?

On sultry, humid days, muscles contest with the skin for blood circulation. When it is hot outside, more
blood flows near the skin to help disperse body heat and cool the body down, thereby keeping your
body’s temperature from rising to dangerous levels. But that can mean less blood reaching muscles,
hence the lethargy.

At the same time, as when your body becomes hotter, muscle enzymes speed up and burn glycogen
more rapidly, depleting stores of the sugar that your muscles use for fuel. Hence, it is imperative to drink
plenty of fluids that would help hydrate your muscles and skin adequately in order to maintain internal
cooling down.

Tips to beat the heat:

 During summer, your body loses maximum amount of water through perspiration. That is why it
becomes even more important to drink loads of water during this season to replenish your store. So, if
you are used to drinking about 8 glasses of water a day, up that to 12! What is more, include water in
your diet through juices, stews, and broths. Further, the fruits having rich sources of vitamin C are
helpful in reducing rashes and take care of itching sensations.
 Eat light: Avoid fried and heavy foods that take long to digest and in the bargain slow down your
body’s cooling process. Substitute a heavy meal with salads made from tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce,
spinach, and beans. Just keep the dressing simple (olive oil and herbs may be). Light sandwiches are
also a good option. This diet will leave you a lot less sluggish and will help you drop pounds over the
summer. Start the morning with a sweet, juicy fruit at breakfast. Ripe summer fruits — peaches,
plums, melons, and pears — are exactly what your skin craves for in the hot season. Citrus fruits are
also very cooling. Eat whole or extract their juice, store in the refrigerator, and sip often throughout
the day.
 Include salads in your diet. Consuming leafy lettuce and summer greens, corn on the cob, and
cucumbers in salads are delicious ways to stay cool. These foods contain a significant amount of
water and can actually thin the blood, which has a cooling effect. Onions too are great in the summer,
because of their ability to beat the heat and provide relief from summer ailments. So, throw in some
washed onion slices onto a sandwich or in your salad.
 If you get burnt (sunstroke or heatstroke), seek relief by sipping on green tea or take a spoon of onion
juice. They are potent antioxidants that can neutralize cellular damage caused by the sun’s rays.
 Dress easy: The worst thing you can do in summer is wear extremely tight-fitted clothes/synthetic
fabrics. Not only will they make you feel stifled, but they could also cause prickly heat as well as other
skin irritations and rashes. So, bring out your whites and cottons and flaunt those summer dresses
and hot pants this summer! Wear loose, full-sleeved cotton clothes to protect the body from the sun
and to aid evaporation of sweat. While you are at it, buy yourself a stylish summer hat to protect your
face from the glare of the sun.
 Eye gear: While they may be a great style statement, sunglasses are a summer necessity. You do
not want to get crow’s feet and wrinkles from all that squinting in the sun, now do you? Invest in a pair
that has 100% UV protection and not just fashion value.
 Apply sunscreen about half an hour before you step out and keep reapplying every three hours or so.
Use a sunscreen with SPF 15, or SPF 30 if you are outdoors for long. Choose a sunscreen that suits
your skin. For example, if you have oily skin, use an oil-free sunblock, but as you get older, move on
to a vitamin-enriched one. For working women, a moisturizer/sunblock combination works best.
 Apart from the heat, the dust has been causing throat infections, bronchitis, and laryngitis too. So
take precautions — hold a scarf around your mouth when traveling and avoid drinking chilled water
when you are just back from the outdoor heat. The change in body temperature could affect your
throat and voice box. Do not forget your insect repellents as insect infections and mosquito bites are
common in the summer.

So, go ahead and be at your coolest best with the evident precautions. But, please be advised that the
best place to start the cooling process is within your body core.

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