Britain is experiencing a mini-heatwave this week with temperatures reaching above 30C in southern regions. Northern parts of the UK will also see a rapid rise in temperatures between 25-28C, with temperatures are expected to remain above average for the rest of the week.
Commuters in the capital are already suffering the effects of the high temperatures, as London Underground soar in the mini-heatwave. Here are eight ways to keep cool as the temperature rises:
1. Drink plenty of water
It seems obvious but it is safe to say Brits are simply not used to hot weather – and so we are unlikely to change our habits of not drinking enough fluids as the mercury rises. Dehydration is a major risk in a heatwave, so make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times, particularly if travelling on public transport.
2. Cool your pulse points
Cold compresses on your wrists, neck, the backs of your knees and other pulse points can help cool your body down.
3. Avoid the heat
Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm – the hottest part of the day – if you are vulnerable to heat. If you are going outside, make sure you stay in the shade and wear plenty of high-factor suncream.
4. Keep rooms cool
Use shades or reflective material outside the windows to prevent your home heating up like a greenhouse. Beware, however – metallic blinds and dark curtains can make a room hotter, so stick to light-coloured curtains. Turning off electrical items can help keep the temperature down.
5. Eat spicy food
Although it sounds counter-intuitive, eating spicy food, such as curry, can help you keep cool. It contains capsaicin, an active component in chilli peppers, which will help stimulate sweat production and cool you down as it evaporates.
6. Loose clothing
Tight clothing will increase your body temperature and can be extremely uncomfortable in humid heat. Wear loose, cool clothing and put on a hat if you go outside.
7. Stick to cotton
Cotton and linen clothes are best for keeping cool when it's hot, as it is a breathable material that allows sweat to evaporate easily. Cotton bed sheets are ideal for sleeping better in hot weather too.
8. Take a day off from sports
Don't overdo it with strenuous exercise – use the hot weather as an excuse for a day off.