Being able to stay cool even in hot weather is a tricky challenge. When you feel too hot in hot weather, you run the risk of dehydration and various heat-related illnesses, such as stress, heatstroke, fatigue, or even heat stroke. By keeping your body cool, you can also calm your mood because hot weather often triggers stress, tension, and annoyance. There are many simple, effective, and inexpensive ways to keep your body cool in hot weather.
Method 1 of 5: Eating Food and Drinks to Stay Cool
Step 1. Meet the body's fluid needs
Water is an important substance to keep the body cool in hot weather. In addition to keeping the body cool, water also needs to be drunk, even when you are not feeling thirsty. You can consume commercial products (such as Vitamin Water) or sports drinks (such as Powerade or Gatorade), although you really don't have to take them unless you want to restore vitamins and electrolytes lost after strenuous activity or exercise.
- The most appropriate way to check body fluid levels is to measure the color of urine. If your urine is darker than straw yellow or golden in color, you may be dehydrated and need water.
- Avoid drinks that contain lots of sugar, such as soft drinks. Such drinks reduce the body's ability to retain fluids. In addition, avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee, and caffeinated drinks which are natural diuretics.
Step 2. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink
Try to drink plenty of water before doing any activity. If you wait too long, you may experience cramping or convulsions which are symptoms of heat-related illness. Remind yourself to drink water often by following one of the following options.
- Buy a plastic water bottle or container (water pack) that is strong enough so that it can always be carried and refilled.
- Freeze a bottle of water before you take it away. When you leave the house, the water remains frozen. However, hot weather can melt the ice once the water bottle is removed from the freezer. Wrap the bottle in a towel so that the water droplets don't wet or moisten the other items in the bag.
- Download and install a drink reminder app on your phone. Set daily reminders and goals for the amount of water to drink, and find out when you last drank.
Step 3. Choose foods that can cool the body
If chosen properly, the food you eat can make you feel cool. Try to enjoy lettuce, fresh raw foods, vegetables and fruits. In English, there is a fairly well-known idiom, "Cool as a cucumber". Literally, it turns out that the idiom is true. Almost 100% of the content of cucumber is water so it can maintain body fluids and keep you feeling cool. Avoid meat and high-protein foods in hot weather because they can increase the production of heat from the metabolism so that body fluids can be reduced.
- These tips may sound ridiculous, but eating spicy foods (especially chili peppers) can make you feel cool. Fresh food makes you sweat so it can have a cooling effect on the body.
- Smaller meal portions can also lower body temperature. Meanwhile, large meals (full portions) can increase body temperature because the body needs to work harder to break down the foods that enter the digestive tract.
Step 4. Make a meal without using an oven or stove
Look for foods that don't need to be cooked or processed using heat. If you absolutely must cook, make sure fresh air can enter the room and cook in the microwave, not the stove or oven, to keep the room temperature cool. For example, you can warm frozen vegetables or canned soup in the microwave instead of heating them on the stove.
- Cold soup can be the right choice of food to be enjoyed in hot weather. If you've never tried it, the hot weather is a great reason to give it a try! In addition to cooling, the nutritional content is also healthy!
- Make popsicles, slushies, frozen fruit, frozen yogurt, and other cold snacks to keep your body cool.
Method 2 of 5: Protecting Yourself from the Sun
Step 1. Stay out of the sun when the weather is very hot
This practical approach is not always easy to take while on vacation or spending time outdoors. So, it's good you always remind yourself. As much as possible, avoid activities carried out in the hot sun. It's a good idea to limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day in hot season or weather. When you are out of the house at these hours, as much as possible limit exposure to sunlight on the body.
- Schedule activities in the early morning or late afternoon.
- Some people, such as children, the elderly, and people with health problems, are more susceptible to heat and should stay in a cool place when the weather is hot.
Step 2. Use sunscreen
While sunscreen doesn't always have a cooling effect on the skin, it is important to protect it, especially when the weather is hot. In addition to making the skin sore and damaged, sunburn wounds can also cause fever and various signs of dehydration. If not checked, sunburn injuries can lead to fatigue and heat stroke.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 (at least). If you are going to be outdoors for a longer period of time, a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 may be a better choice.
- Reapply sunscreen as often as possible. It is recommended that you reapply sunscreen every two hours. If you want to swim or sweat a lot, you will need to reapply sunscreen more often.
- Sunscreen as much as about one shot is enough to be applied all over the body.
Step 3. Find a shady place
As much as possible spend your time in the shade. To be more comfortable, you can take shelter under a tree because the tree releases water into the air so it can absorb heat. While shade doesn't always lower the air temperature, a lack of sun exposure can make the air feel cooler.
If you are in a shady place, the air temperature will feel cooler when the wind blows
Step 4. Splash water on your skin
When the weather is hot and sunny, soaking or swimming in cold water can be a refreshing activity. However, this is not the only option. You can also do other less expensive activities, such as turning on the lawn sprinklers in the garden to enjoy the water. You can also take a shower or bath in colder water than usual to cool down.
- Fill a spray bottle with clean water and place it in the refrigerator, whether you're at home or at work. When the air feels too hot, spray a small amount of cooled water on your face and body to immediately feel cool. Refill the bottle as necessary and make sure the water is always refrigerated.
- Play games that make you feel cool. Get together with friends and have them run around the lit sprinklers. You can also play balloon throwing or water shooting games.
Method 3 of 5: Wearing Clothes That Make Your Body Feel Cool
Step 1. Wear light clothing
Light, loose-fitting clothing can make you feel cooler. It would be better if the clothes worn are bright colors because these colors can reflect heat and light more effectively. Shorts and a shirt or short-sleeved shirt can be the right choice. In addition, clothes that allow air to enter easily into clothes and reach sweat on the body can also be the right choice. Some of the suggestions below include how to dress that will maximize your efforts to keep your body cool:
- Cotton or linen clothing can keep you cool and absorb moisture.
- Clothing that, when held up to the light, allows you to see through is a great choice. However, make sure you use sunscreen when wearing very light clothing as such clothing does not adequately protect the body against the sun's harmful rays.
- Synthetic clothing tends to retain moisture, making the fabric feel heavier, stick to the skin, and block the flow of air into the garment.
- Working in a low-humidity environment while wearing short-sleeved clothing can help a bit. Therefore, adjust the clothes you wear to the sun exposure conditions in your workplace.
Step 2. Protect your head
Wear a hat with a wide brim, one that covers the top of the scalp and the tips of the ears. Such a hat can block sun exposure to your head so you can feel cooler. Choose a hat with a brim that is wide enough to protect the back of the neck.
Even a brightly colored hat can make you feel cooler
Step 3. Wear breathable footwear
Depending on the activity you do, there may be types of shoes that are more comfortable or more suitable to wear than other types of shoes. Consider whether durability and comfort are the most important factors, and you should wear arch support (a device to help balance flat feet). After that, choose the type of footwear that allows air to flow easily and is best suited to the activity you are doing.
- Cotton socks are fine, but moisture-wicking socks can keep your feet cool.
- Some types of running shoes are specially designed for use in the weather or summer so that they have ventilation or airflow systems with various designs.
- Be careful if you want to go barefoot. Many sidewalks can be so hot in the weather or summer that they can scald the soles of your feet.
Step 4. Prioritize function over style
Reduce the number of accessories you wear in hot weather. Metal accessories can heat up when exposed to heat, so it's best not to wear too much to keep your body cool. Some clothing accessories can also make clothes feel large so they can withstand heat and humidity. If you have long hair, tie it up so it doesn't cover your face and body. In this way, air can flow past the neckline.
Method 4 of 5: Keeping the House Cool
Step 1. Use a fan
Although the effectiveness of using a fan in very hot and humid weather is debated, several studies have shown that a fan is effective when the air temperature reaches 36 degrees Celsius with 80% humidity, and 42 degrees Celsius with around 50% humidity. A fan, either a hand fan or an electric fan, can keep you cool by continuously circulating air. Place a fan in the room where you work or rest to circulate air and reduce heat, both at home and in the office.
- Try making your own swamp cooler. Evaporative coolers like these can lower the temperature significantly. Types range from simple coolers (eg placing a bowl of cold water in front of a fan) to semi-complex coolers. With a paralon pipe, bucket, electric fan, and 1 gallon of cold water, you can create a cold stream of wind up to 4 degrees Celsius. However, keep in mind that the use of evaporative coolers is not suitable for hot humid weather.
- In very hot weather, fans should not be used as the only cooling temperature. However, the fan can effectively cool the temperature in less hot weather.
Step 2. Use the room temperature controller (AC)
Even if your house is not equipped with a main temperature control system, you can place or install a small temperature controller near the window to keep the temperature inside the house cool. For example, you can place a temperature controller in a room that you frequently visit or occupy, such as the living room, kitchen, or bedroom.
- You can also run the temperature controller with the highest temperature level that still feels cool / comfortable to avoid high electricity bills.
- Visit public buildings if you don't have adequate air conditioning at home. There are several choices of places that you can visit to avoid the hot weather:
- Libraries can be a great place to cool off and learn new information.
- Supermarkets usually have good air conditioning. If the weather is very hot, try going to the frozen food section and reading the price/food information for a moment.
Step 3. Close the curtains or blinds
Sunlight can turn into heat. If possible, block the sunlight that enters to keep the temperature inside the house cool. By closing or lowering the curtains, or even blocking the windows, you can significantly lower the room temperature and keep the house cool. You can also install blinds or blinds as they can keep the heat away from the window, without blocking all light from entering.
Step 4. Reduce the effect of sunlight on your roof
Changes in the color of the roof can lower the temperature of the house. In the hot season or weather, the cool colored roof makes the room temperature in the house lower by up to 25 degrees from the normal temperature. You can also use a special coating on the roof to brighten the color of the roof, or replace the tiles with bright colored tiles.
If you want to give your roof a special treatment to lower the temperature of your home, try contacting a professional repairman to find out about the available treatment options. You may also need to wait for the roof to be replaced before calling him
Step 5. Make sure your home has a good insulation system
A good insulation system keeps the house temperature cool in the weather/summer. If your house feels hot, you can cool it down by checking the insulation system and fixing it. The fewer gaps or air outlet holes, the more cool air will be trapped in the house.
Make sure there is air between the insulation system and the roof
Method 5 of 5: Strategize to Fight the Heat
Step 1. Make a plan from the start
Regardless of what you'll be doing outdoors, with a plan you won't have to do unnecessary activities in hot weather. You can also limit sun exposure and come up with ways to reduce the effects of heat before you face it every day. Make sure you always follow the deadline by prioritizing the things that are important and shifting the activities that are not so important to do when the weather feels cooler.
- If you plan to go hiking, study the hiking trail map from the start and calculate the best routes, especially the most shady routes.
- If you plan to swim, pay attention to your time in the water. You may find that the refreshing effect of water makes exposure to sunlight less noticeable. However, being in the water too long without resting and reapplying sunscreen can cause skin burns.
- If you must drive in hot weather, plan the trip in advance by checking the vehicle and making sure the vehicle's temperature controller is working properly. If the air coming out of the thermostat isn't as cold or as cool as you'd like, take your car to a repair shop. There is a possibility that your car's air conditioning system is low on freon.
Step 2. Check for updates or news regarding the weather forecast in your city
As part of planning, take the time to look at the weather forecast. In the United States, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) usually provides hot weather warnings based on a heat index. These measurements are considered important because they can tell how hot it is outside when the relative humidity values are measured and matched with the actual air temperature. Keep in mind that the index may show deviations in shady or light windy places or areas. If you are going to be active in the sun and in a place with strong winds, the heat factor can increase up to 9 degrees Celsius. In Indonesia, you can visit the website of the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency to view weather forecasts and warnings regarding severe weather.
Step 3. When traveling, allow your body to adjust to the temperature
Many travelers make the mistake of trying to carry on with their usual activities when arriving in a country with a hotter climate or weather than their home country. In fact, the process of adjusting to a different climate or weather can take up to 10 days, depending on the temperature difference. Instead of forcing yourself to do activities as usual, try to adjust to a hotter environment or weather. This means, reduce physical activities (especially strenuous) until your body can tolerate the heat at the destination.
Once you are comfortable with the temperature at your destination, gradually do more vigorous physical activities until you can carry out your usual physical activity
Step 4. Don't rush or push yourself when it's hot
Calm down. There's no point in forcing yourself to do strenuous activities when it's very hot outside. Start and do the activity gradually and be aware when the hot weather affects your body. Rest is the most important way to deal with very hot weather. Don't miss the opportunity to rest when you feel exhausted in the heat.
Activities that require great physical exertion can be done in the morning or evening
- Watch your children's water intake and give them plenty of water when the weather is hot.
- Place your wrist under cold running water to feel refreshed.
- Pour a little cold water into the hat, then put the hat on. This way, you can cool your head quickly.
- Reuse sunscreen according to the directions for use on the packaging. Always apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before you go outside and are exposed to the sun. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF factor of 15 (and higher), but not more than SPF 50. Also remind children to reapply sunscreen because they often forget to reapply.
- Do not leave children or pets in a parked car when the weather is hot. The temperature inside a car or vehicle can rise quickly and cause hyperthermia that can kill anyone in it. The body temperature of children and pets can rise faster than the body temperature of adults. Even if you're away for a short time, always take the kids and pets with you (don't keep them waiting in the car), or leave them at home.
- Be aware that some objects can be very hot, such as seat belt buckles or steering wheels.
- If you are elderly, very young, obese, have an illness that causes a fever, have circulatory disorders or liver disease, have burns or a mental illness, you are at a higher risk of being affected by hot weather.
- If you experience signs of heat-related illness, such as headache, tiredness, lethargy, dizziness, and/or vomiting, stop what you're doing, seek shade or air conditioning, rest, and drink plenty of water. If these symptoms persist after you try to cool your body temperature, call your doctor. You can also call emergency services at 112 if your symptoms worsen.
- If you experience more severe symptoms, such as an increased heart rate, severe nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, a body temperature that exceeds 39 degrees Celsius, excessive sweating or red, dry skin, seek emergency care immediately (or call 112).