Ways to feel well in a heatwave
Get the right sleep set up
Sleeping in a cool room, in summer or winter, is scientifically proven to be good for us. To achieve a more tolerable room temperature before bedtime, a fan is an obvious choice, but wet cloths, cotton bed clothes and non-synthetic bedding, keeping blinds and curtains closed during the day, and face masks chilled in the freezer are good for keeping and staying cool. Here at M Life we also love ice boots, which are very light, stretchy socks with holes for ice packs. They are amazing for those of us who struggle with hot feet.
Switch up your exercise routine
For those of us who like to exercise outside, take advantage of the longer days and try exercising early in the morning or late at night, and have a cold shower before and after working out. Gyms are typically air conditioned and can provide a good respite and chance to cool down during the day with a cold shower and refresh, so taking advantage of a lunchtime session or late evening session, if possible, is very worthwhile.
Gentler forms of exercise can be better in the hotter months, such as a hatha flow class or pilates practice. When done in the sun or without aircon, they also offer the opportunity to step up our training. We can sweat more and burn more calories, essentially creating our own bikram or hot yoga class. When doing this, it’s super important to drink lots of water before and after (more than we usually do) and use rehydration salts if possible.
There’s no such thing as bad weather - just bad clothes
For loungewear, cotton and natural fabrics are great for ventilation and feel less clingy. Workout gear should be breathable and ergonomic, with lots of mesh or cut away panels. Shorts, vests and t-shirts are a must have, but if exercising outside, sunscreen is essential. Getting sunburnt is not only bad for us, but if we get sunburnt our skin stays hot, which means a bad and uncomfortable night’s sleep.
Think about food and drink differently
What we put into our body can hugely affect our temperature - even eating per se raises our temperature slightly. Lots of water-based fruit and vegetables, grilled and cooled, and avoiding processed foods is important. Spices can also create unnecessary heat and inflammatory foods should be avoided. If in doubt, look to a mediterranean diet.
Don’t forget to breathe - and meditate
There are very good breathing exercises which send oxygen round the body while using meditation to quieten our racing, hot minds which can be irritated and stressed. There are types of ‘cooling breath’, known as Sheetali or Sitkali which, if combined with meditation, ensure we stay sane and slow down when we start to heat up.