10 June, 2019
News reports from the past few days are suggesting an extreme heat wave in the Northern parts of India. It was even suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s oath-taking ceremony was kept in the evening to ensure comfort for the guests. As it was held on the lawns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, even a late afternoon ceremony as it was last time, would have meant extreme discomfort from the heat for the invitees, which also included few regional heads of state.
Temperatures are touching 46 degree Celsius in certain parts of the country, and the most affected regions are Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, and west Uttar Pradesh. The administration has even sounded a red alert in certain cities, with people being asked to stay indoors during the peak hours to avoid heat stroke, dehydration, and such issues. In the Southern part, though, the Monsoon is expected to hit Kerala on the 6th Jun, which is just about two days away. However, it will take some time for the Monsoon to travel across the country and touch the parts affected by extreme heat. As such, one needs to take some extreme precautions and stay safe for a few more weeks at least.
As much as possible, avoid stepping out during the 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. time slot as the sun’s heat is maximum felt during this period. If not possible, try to minimize at least the time spent in the direct heat outside. Avoid travel by two-wheeler and try to travel by car. This is only to ensure that, you are not setting yourself for a possible heat stroke, dehydration, or fatigue issues, which are common, due to overexposure to the sun.
Keep yourself hydrated
Please ensure proper hydration by drinking enough water and fluids, even if you are staying indoors. You may allow for some cool atmosphere in the house by drawing curtains, allowing cross ventilation and using fans, and coolers. Avoid constant use of the air conditioning except when the heat is really unbearable.
When stepping out of the house, ensure that you carry at least a 1-liter water bottle handy with you always. Minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water should be consumed a day, to make up for the loss of body fluids through sweat due to the heat. Also, try not to over exert yourself, especially during the peak heat hours. Also, try to take a bath in cold or lukewarm water as suiting your health. Avoid taking a bath in hot water, as it can add to your woes.
Use sun protection
Kindly use sunscreens if you are stepping out during the extreme heat hours, and also carry an umbrella, cap, hat, cooling glasses, etc. to protect your body from the heat. This will help to a certain extent and also the skin is protected from sunburn and rashes etc.
Wear cotton clothes
Please make sure only to wear light cotton clothes till this heat wave blows over. Cotton material has many properties that make it an ideal wear for summer. It allows the body to breathe through it, and absorbs the sweat and helps the body to cool down. It helps keep your body temperature regulated, and it also has anti-fungal properties. So, it helps prevent itching and rashes, that is usually seen during such weather. Also, it will be easier to wash and maintain these clothes as well.
Eat light, nutritious food
A good, balanced diet with lots of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables can help you counter the heat, by regulating your body temperature and keeping you cool. Cook before the peal heat hours and eat light food, without much spice. Include seasonal fruits like melons, litchis, oranges, etc. in your everyday diet. Use vegetables like bottle gourd, radish, bitter gourd, garden beans, etc. in your cooking.
You could also use fennel seeds, methi seeds, mint, lemon juice, etc. to spice up the food as they help in countering the heat too. While you may eat mangoes as they are available in plenty, keep it in moderation, as mangoes increase body heat and can upset your tummy as well, especially in the hot climate. Try your hand at tender coconuts, aam panna, jal jeera, buttermilk, lassis, and the likes, as these can be a healthy snack. Eat cucumbers as these are also a healthy snack for the summer. Follow the guidelines and stay safe to tide through this extreme heat wave conditions.
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