With the summer heatwave looking set to continue, you’ve got lovely, longer days to spend in the garden, getting out and about in the sun and fresh air. But equally, it’s important to take extra care of your health at this time. Extreme weather conditions can cause problems, particularly if you’re older or in ill health, as you’re more vulnerable to conditions such as dehydration, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Here’s some advice on how to keep healthy and comfortable…
10 tips for staying cool
- Avoid spending long periods outside from late morning to mid-afternoon – the hottest time of the day. So, if you enjoy going for walks, head out earlier in the morning or in the evening.
- Apply plenty of sunscreen to prevent burning – the best time is about half an hour before you go out, to give it time to sink in.
- Make sure you drink lots of fluid – even if you don't feel thirsty. Keeping a bottle of water handy when you’re travelling by car or public transport can help with this.
- Take it easy and limit activities like housework and gardening to the early morning or evening when it’s cooler.
- Try to stay in the coolest parts of your home and keep the curtains and blinds drawn in rooms that catch the sun.
- If it's cooler inside your home than out, keep the windows shut and only open them when the temperature gets hotter inside. If it’s safe to do so, you could leave a window open at night.
- Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothing that’s preferably made from breathable cotton or linen.
- Enjoy your bath or shower with cool, tepid water, rather than warm.
- Splash your face with cool (not very cold) water, or place a damp flannel on the back of your neck.
- Even if you aren't hungry, eat a normal diet to replace mineral salts in your blood lost from sweating. Try to have more cold foods too, particularly salads and fruit, as these contain a lot of water.
How else can you help?
Look out for neighbours living alone – checking regularly that they are okay. Likewise, if you live by yourself, ask a neighbour, relative or friend to check in on you.
Local radio will provide up-to-date hot weather advice in your area. You can also check the forecasts and temperature warnings on TV and through the Met Office website.
It's important to be aware that if you have breathing problems or a heart condition, your symptoms might get worse when it’s very hot. Get in touch with your GP if you’re worried. You can find more detailed information on staying safe in a heatwave by visiting Age UK.
Light and easy does it
Making sure you continue to eat and drink well is vital. Stock up your fridge and freezer with plenty of drinks, foods and desserts that help cool you down, and keep your energy levels up.
Our range of meals can simply be defrosted and served for an effortless lunch or dinner. Spanish Quiche makes the perfect Mediterranean style lunch served with a green salad on the side. You could then finish off your meal with a fruit salad or for an extra special indulgence – raspberry trifle or our new lemon meringue pie. Drinking squashes and cordials such as Lemon Barley Water and Blackcurrant Ribena diluted with plenty of ice-cold water will keep you hydrated all day.
When it’s baking outside, lunchtimes call for something light and easy to eat – such as a wholesome sandwich. Making your own couldn’t be easier, especially when you’ve got a supply of staple ingredients stored away in your food cupboard, fridge and freezer. Try slices of pork meatloaf or ready-made fillings like tangy Coronation Chicken – a new addition to our chilled range of groceries. And if you like a classic tuna sandwich, always have some tins of tuna, a jar of real mayonnaise and butter to put on your bread.
Remember to store bread in a cool, dry place such as bread bin. Or buy a pre-sliced loaf for the freezer – a good way to avoid unnecessary waste, as you just take out what you need each time.
What better way to mark the long, hot summer than by having a special day in honour of our favourite treat – ice cream. It falls on 17th July in the UK. While in America, they’ve gone even bigger and turned it into a National Ice Cream Month – something President Ronald Reagan actually signed off as a national law in 1984.
So, bring out your scoops, spoons, cornets, bowls and sprinkles. From simple vanilla made with rich Clotted Cream to Crunchy Toffee and low glucose Strawberry Ripple. Why not visit our Ice Cream Parlour that’s devoted to delicious ice creams and sorbets and make your selection? Or browse our range