How we dream of hot summers. Lazy, languid days spent laying out in the sunshine. Lovely, long days spent relaxing and reading books whose pages have curled at the corners; dry and delicate from the heat. The scent of sun cream and saltwater. Holidays and happy children. Sundresses and swimming costumes and splashing in the water. Never-ending rounds of barbecues and picnic food. Then a heatwave hits, and actually it’s all a bit too much. Too hot, too humid, too uncomfortable, too sweaty, too aggravating, too exhausting, too dehydrating, too much. Suddenly the scales tip from balmy to unbearable.
As a nation, we do seem easily overwhelmed by the weather. Stereotypically, the English love to talk about the weather. My Dad will check the weather and give random temperature updates sporadically throughout any given day. Our newspaper headlines love to scream catastrophes at us: “FLASH FLOODS COULD BE FATAL”, “STORM OF THE CENTURY” and, “KILLER FREEZE”. Currently, newspapers are bellowing at us that there is a: “RED HOT HEATWAVE”, “HEATWAVE MELTDOWN” and the succent: “MELTDOWN”. Ironically, the response by our media is not to ‘keep calm and carry on’. Yet, as sure as strawberries and cream being served at Wimbledon, we can cope with the weather with a few little tips and tricks. I have scoured the wild world and World Wide Web for the best remedies for keeping cool this summer.
Plenty Of Water
Drink in, swim in, bathe in it, just keep on consuming it. It may seem overly simple, but drinking water really is the best remedy to the heat. Drinking plenty of fluids will prevent dehydration caused by hot weather. These fluids do not include caffeine or alcohol. Both tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks will dehydrate you. Instead, drink water even if you do not feel thirsty. Luckily, our bodies are really good at letting us know if we are getting dehydrated. You should check the colour of your urine – if it is pale, you are drinking enough fluids!
Take cool or cold baths or showers, and keep wet flannels or towels in the fridge or freezer. You can then use these anytime you start to feel hot and bothered. I especially recommend having these ready to place on your forehead when you go to bed.
Plan Your Day Around The Weather
Changing your routine to fit the weather is a rather more holistic approach, but an effective one during hot weather spikes. The early mornings and late evenings will be the coolest part of the day. Helpfully, summer months mean light in the early mornings. Get up extra early to do any household chores and work (if working from home) and avoid having to physically exert yourself during the hottest part of the day. It is usually hottest from 12pm-3pm. In countries such as Spain, which regularly have hot summers, most people will have a siesta or a rest during these periods of the summer days. For some reason, in the UK we try to ‘soldier on’. If you can, adapt. Rise earlier, work earlier, rest, resume, eat late and repeat.
Keep your home covered during the day by keeping curtains, blinds and shutters drawn. The sunlight won’t have the chance to come streaming in and warming the home. Re-open your windows at night to let the cooler air in. Try to turn off any but the essential electrical appliances and lights as these will be producing heat.
Just as a room will heat up if exposed to the sunshine, so too will you. Hotweather makes us want to wear less but according to guidelines, you are better off wearing loose fitting, light and longer length clothing. This will help protect your skin from sun damage as well as keeping your body cool.
Get Wild and Wild and Wallow
The MET Office recommends, “during warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief.” It is worth seeking out water sources to cool off and find that sweet, sweet releaf. These can be found from the sea, certain rivers, lidos and lakes! Waterparks are ideal companions to hot weather. Teenagers and children don’t often seem to get the memo that when it’s really hot, you don’t have the energy to do much. Waterparsk is the perfect remedy to that lethargy. Finding cool bodies of water to swim and splash about it will keep families entertained and everyone revitalised. From the NHS, MET Office to the official government guidelines, all specify finding safe and preferably guarded bodies of water for swimming and laying in.
Dorset Adventure Park is fully staffed with many trained lifeguards on the water with you and your families. The waterpark lets you know that, “all our lifeguards are fully trained and qualified, but don’t be fooled, they are not there to simply watch, they take pride in offering you an experience that you will never forget.”
From the Lion King to David Atenborough, the wallowing warthogs, hippos, rhinoceroses and elephants have been giving us the best hints to help you through the hot weather. We must simply wallow. These mammals wallow by rolling around in the mud. Wallowing allows them to protect their skin from the sun and keep them cool from the heat. It helps protect and soothe them from insects and skin irritation.
Spas have been long been sharing with us the many and varied skin and wellbeing benefits of mud masks, wraps and baths. At Dorset Adventure Park you don’t have to sweat it out in a sauna but meet the mud trail. Wallow, wrestle and wiggle your way through the mud for the ultimate cool down activity!
Either leap into the lifeguarded lakes, bounce across the water inflatables or slather yourself on the muddy assault course and keep cool this summer. Recommended by Tripadvisor, Visit Dorset and probably David Attenborough…
Words by Olivia Lowry