Spring has arrived in many parts of the world, but in Dubai summer is already coming with its extremely high temperatures. Other than being uncomfortable, bearing the hot weather also carries a risk of suffering a heat stroke and many other health conditions. So, how can we beat the heat and stay healthy in the hot climate?
Usually the elderly, the very young and the people with chronic diseases, overweight and even mental illnesses are at greatest risk of heat-related conditions. But even young, strong and perfectly healthy people can easily get sick if they stay under direct sunlight or participate in exhausting physical activities. Some of the major dangers of hot weather are the heat cramps, the heat exhaustion, and the heat stroke.
Heat cramps are caused by dehydration and muscular deprivation of needed oxygen and can be avoided by drinking water, stretching, and light massages.
Heat exhaustion happens when the body temperature is elevated (often around and over 39 degrees Celsius) and can be very dangerous. The person feels weakness, lethargy, headache, loss of concentration and nausea, and often judgment can be affected.
Heat stroke affects both older and younger people who stay at home without air-conditioning, stay outside, or exercise during heat. It is a real medical emergency and the person suffering should be immediately taken into a hospital. Patients feel weakness, confusion, delirium, and often stupor, coma and seizures.
The problem with hot weather is not only the high temperatures, but also the humidity which in Dubai can reach over 90% in the summer. Basically, the hotter, and the more humid it is, the higher your risk. So, how to stay protected and avoid heat-related conditions?
Well-known practices are drinking more water and electrolyte drinks, staying in a room with air-conditioning, and avoiding exercise. Other good ideas to beat the heat are the following:
Food! Food generates metabolic heat when the body breaks it down, so avoid large meals that are rich in protein. Eat more spicy foods because they stimulate the heat receptors in the mouth, increasing the process of sweating, which cools the body down. Drink water – not cold, but cool in temperature, and lots of black, green or herbal tea. Chrysanthemum tea, for instance, is very effective in reducing the body heat.
Take a shower – at least once daily, in lukewarm water because the cold water will generate even more heat after leaving the bathroom. Another way is to keep your wrists under a cold tap of water every two or three hours. It will cool your blood because the main veins pass through the wrists.
Clothes. Wear loose, lightweight and pale colored cotton clothes – they reflect the sun’s radiation and make evaporation of sweat easier, so your body cools down. You can even wear wet clothes – this also cools the body down.
Things to avoid – alcohol, coffee, and mostly Coca Cola because it generates metabolic heat. Avoid wearing your brand new shoes. Choose only trains, buses and taxis with air conditioning. You can easily tell the train has air-conditioning if the windows are closed.