1. All things water
By all things water, we mean ALL things water. Whether you are drinking it or dousing yourself with it, you need to embrace this cool clear liquid as a best friend. Aim to drink at least 2 litres a day, and in hot weather, make sure you drink this amount even if you are not feeling thirsty, in order that you keep hydrated.
Additionally, you can cool your skin by running or sprinkling water over it. Many people find running their wrists under cold water helps to quickly cool them off, as this cools one of the main veins running through your body, helping to lower your overall core temperature.
Cooling your head can also help to cool your overall body temperature, so try laying a cold wet flannel on your forehead for some refreshing relief.
If cold water on isolated parts of your body isn’t enough, trying full immersion in water by taking a shower or going swimming. Cold showers aren’t a good idea, as your body compensates for the temperature drop by making you warmer, whereas showers or swimming pools one or two degrees cooler than your body temperature can be refreshing and help you stay cool for longer.
2. Stay in the shade
Keeping out of the sun, the greatest generator of heat that we have, is probably a good idea if you are trying to cool off. The sun is at its most enthusiastic between 11 and 3 o’clock, so try to avoid being out of it at these times (and this will help to protect your skin too).
You can create a shaded environment in your house by closing blinds or curtains during the day. This keeps the house cool, so that when you come home you do not feel as if you are stepping into another sauna.
3. Be clothes conscious
What you wear can have a significant impact on how you fare in hot weather. While it is unlikely that you will be tempted by thick woolly jumpers, remember that the little details count. Find natural fibres to wear, as these are breathable, helping you to keep cool. Wear long loose sleeves and trousers or skirts, as these will protect your skin from the sun, whilst pale colours will reflect the light and heat.
Adding a floppy hat to your outfit helps to give you a little shade and protection wherever you are. It keeps the sun off your body, so helps to keep you temperature steady and cool.
4. Protect your skin with sunscreen
If you are exposing skin to the sun, make sure you wear sunscreen, as this not only helps protect against sunburn, but it provides a protective layer to keep you cool. In particular, look out for sunscreens with aloe vera or peppermint in them, as these herbs have cooling effects.
Make sure you moisturise your skin after being in the sun, or it will become dehydrated and make you feel warmer.
5. Eat yourself cool
What you eat affects your core body temperature too, and though some people suggest eating hot, spicy food as it makes you sweat to cool you down, there is much evidence which contradicts this. It is better instead to eat small, light meals scattered throughout the day, rather than one or two big, protein-laded heavy meals.
Salads make great meals for hot weather as they have a high water content, helping you to stay cool and hydrated. As well as that, the digestive system breaks this type of food down slowly, releasing the energy over a longer period of time, so that you do not get surges of energy and heat.
From potato salads to courgette carpaccios, explore our selection of delicious and easy-to-make salad recipes.
Which tips have you found most helpful for keeping cool in hot weather?