The Star, 1 Mar 2014
IN RECENT weeks, temperatures have been hitting an all-time high as the dry spell rages on.
The heat can bring about effects such as fatigue, dehydration, dry eyes and, for some, excessive sweating.
We may not be able to change the weather, but here are 10 things you can do to stay cool in this hot spell.
1. Wear a cap when you go out
Bring a cap with you when heading out for a walk or a jog under the hot sun. Not only does it keep the sun out of your eyes, but it also keeps your head cool. And for those of us without hair, wearing a cap will certainly protect your scalp from getting a nasty sunburn.
2. Drink lots o f water
Too much sweating can lead to dehydration. During this hot spell, carrying a bottle of water with you at all times is definitely a good idea. To keep cool and properly hydrated, be sure to drink enough fluids throughout the day. Alternatively, cool drinks and isotonic beverages can help to quench your thirst.
3. Close the blinds or curtains to keep sunlight out
The bright sunlight through your window can be pretty glaring, so shut those blinds or curtains to minimise sunlight. It makes your room a little cooler, and it helps when you’re trying to sneak in an afternoon nap.
4. Wear breathable clothing
Wearing tight or form-fitting clothes in hot weather is a bad idea. Your body will not be able to breathe and unsightly sweat marks will quickly form on your clothes. Avoid this problem by wearing breathable, cotton-based clothes that are comfortable and do not cling to your body.
5. Eat ais kacang or ice cream
On a hot sunny day, nothing beats the heat like a delicious bowl of ais kacang. If that does not strike your fancy, have a bowl of cendol instead, or head to the nearest convenience store for an ice cream or two.
6. Enjoy the air conditioning at a shopping centre
Not everyone owns an air-conditioning unit at home, but you can still enjoy air-conditioning at places like the shopping centre or public library. Reading a good book in a cool library can take your mind off the heat, or you can do some shopping or even catch a movie while at the mall.
7. Carry an umbrella when out and about
Umbrellas don’t just shield you from the rain, but the sun too. Using one can help protect you from long-term exposure that causes sunburn, or worse, skin damage. Some may think that it looks uncool to carry an umbrella around, but it’s better to be prepared than to be soaked in sweat or rain.
8. Go for a swim at the pool
Taking a dip in the swimming pool keeps you cool and it doubles as a good form of exercise. Some prefer to swim when it’s sunny while others prefer to go in the evening, when it’s not so hot. No matter what you choose, be sure to put on a healthy dose of sunblock before heading out.
9. Stay indoors
If you cannot bear the heat while outdoors, then maybe it’s a better idea to stay inside. Use the fan instead of air conditioning if you want to save electricity. Have a nice cold drink to keep you hydrated and tune in to your favourite TV show to get your mind off the intolerable heat.
10. Wear sunglasses, especially when driving
Put on a pair of sunglasses to keep the glaring sun and dust particles out of your eyes. This is pretty important when driving on a hot day. It may not exactly do anything to keep your body cool, but it certainly makes you look cool.