Soaring Temperatures in 2019 Sees Australia’s Hottest Month In 100 Years – Here’s How You Can Keep Cool This Summer
Yep! It’s that time of the year again when the weather starts to warm up and the humidity rises. Every year, we’re constantly warned about the bush fire/storm season and the deadly heat waves that follow and how this impacts our environment and health. Your health and the health of others around you should be a priority in your household. Not only this, ABC reported that Australia has experienced heatwaves where 30C was the mean temperature across January. Now that Summer is approaching again, you’d be correct in thinking we’ll experience similar temperatures over the holiday period. Whether you have trouble sleeping, are headache prone, or have little knowledge about Australia’s climate, there are a few things you need to know in order to keep your cool this summer. So, here are a few tips we gathered for you.
1. Stay Indoors
Sometimes our Aussie sun can be a little too hot for comfort. We might find ourselves searching for shade despite cooling off in a pool or avoiding going driving as the leather steering wheel is unbearable to touch! The best way to stay cool is as simple as avoiding direct sunlight. An effective way to stay cool is to go shopping indoors. There are plenty of shopping centres that offer cafes, retail outlets and fun activities that can keep you entertained and out of the sun especially during the hottest hours of the day. Alternatively, go to the movies where there is plenty of air conditioning that is sure to help reduce your body temperature.
2. Keep Your Home Cool (however, you can)
Though not everyone can afford to have the air conditioner on all the time, putting the air conditioner on for a few hours before bed can help reduce your power bill and help circulate the air around the room. There is also the option of using cooling devices like ceiling fans, small portable air conditioner units or just simply opening windows. Canstarblue.com.au suggests that depending on the capacity of your air-con (2.5 kW – 14kW) the most efficient temperature is 24 degrees as this can cost up to 12 cents per hour and around 84 cents per day (if left on for 7 hours) and around $25 a month. Using this method can help you to become cost-conscious when using the air conditioner during the day. When using your air conditioner, please remember to check whether your home is insulated. Insulation allows your house to stay cool during summer and warm during winter and this makes a difference when using the air conditioner to cool your house down. Insulating your house will help reduce the running costs of your air conditioner. Air-Rite has a wide range of Fujitsu air conditioners to choose from if you want to stay cool this summer.
3. Keep Hydrated: Electrolytes
Our bodies are made up of 60% water and this usually means we need to sustain our levels of hydration. According to the SDA (Sports Dietitians Australia), we need fluids such as Powerade or Gatorade in our system when we sweat or take part in any vigorous exercise to maintain electrolyte balance which reduces hydration and muscle contraction. Verywellfit.com suggest we need to drink water as a way to replenish fluids, whilst drinking electrolytes accelerates water absorption in our bodies. Drinking both types of fluids can really benefit us during hotter periods and reduce dehydration and prevent other health problems.
4. Be Sun Smart
We’ve all seen the skin cancer prevention ads on tv, so you know just as well as we do how important it is to maintain skin health. Cancer Council Australia states that our country has one of the highest rates for skin cancer in the world with over 11,500 Australians diagnosed with melanomas every year. When UV levels reach higher than three, you should always protect your skin from the harsh sun by either wearing UV protective clothing, sunscreen or remaining indoors. UV radiation can’t be felt or seen but can cause damage to your health. If you want to stay informed about your suburb’s UV radiation level are, use the BOM website for more information.
5. Dress In Loose Clothing: Wear Breathable Material
During the hottest months of the year, the last thing you want is to feel hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. It’s important to rethink what materials are best suited to your climate. In this case, wearing breathable clothing made from cotton is beneficial towards reducing your body temperature and keep you cool throughout the day. Athletic wear is common amongst us Aussies as it’s comfortable, durable and breathable allowing good mobility. Cotton Australia suggests that cotton is a good conductor of heat keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. Even using cotton bed sheets can help reduce heat and assist in allowing more air circulation throughout the night.
6. Have Nightly Showers: Increases a good night’s sleep.
Our sleep is so vital to our health as it contributes to our daily productivity throughout the day. When our sleeping pattern is disrupted from lack of sleep, this causes us to become more fatigued and loss of concentration. Sleep Health researcher Dr Michael Gardisar suggest avoid covering your torso with bedding and to avoid drinking hot caffeinated drinks before bed. He also suggests that if using the air conditioner is beyond your budget, then simply spraying water on your pillow or using a damp cloth can help you sleep. A cold shower before bed reduces the body temperature rapidly, helping you sleep better throughout the night. When you wake up, an early cold swim in the morning can help revitalise you before you start work!
7. Consume Lighter Meals
Another method to reduce the heat is to avoid using appliances that rely on heat for cooked food. Eating meals that consist of cold meats, salads and seafood use less heat to prepare, and in smaller quantities, can help increase energy level, as opposed to bigger and heavier meals. PressCare believes that less work on your digestive health can improve your body core’s temperature by keeping it regulated.
8. Drink Colder Fluids
After your light meal, why not finish it off with a cold drink. Air conditioning can keep our bodies cool from the outside, but a cold drink usually keeps us cool on the inside. Our metabolism needs to stay balanced so if it’s hot outside, we need to avoid overheating our bodies. SBS states that ice blocks or frozen treats do little to reduce our body temperature, however, cold drinks can actually slow heat in bodies right down. Not only are we hydrating ourselves but also we’re keeping cool. It’s a win-win!
9. Avoid Exercising Outdoors: Use indoor gyms
If you’re hydrating yourself well but still feel a nasty headache coming on while working out, this could be due to exercising in hot weather. It’s possible to get what’s called “exercise headaches” where you feel throbbing on both sides of your head. Verywellfit states that this is due to little blood flow circulating around your neck and head area. It’s important to avoid running during the hottest days of the year and an alternative option includes going for a run or using equipment in an air-conditioned gym. Follow up with a cold shower to top off a great workout!
10.Stay Informed: Storm Season
According to ABC, heatwaves kill more people than any other natural disaster and in 2009, more than 400 people died from heatwave and bushfire related causes due to the Black Saturday Fires. But if you find yourself staring at a fierce storm coming your way or if the storm has left you with a power cut and no air-con or fan, then it’s important to stay up to date with the latest weather events. RACQ has a SoundCloud episode called Summer Survival which you can listen to for free to help you prepare for this storm season. Though if you live in an area that is not prone to bushfires or power outages, staying indoors with the air conditioner on at a set temperature of around 24 degrees is your safest option to avoiding any heatstroke.
Each year seems to get hotter than the one before, so it’s important to stay informed of any dangers, keep up with hydration and prevent any sickness or injury during the heatwave. Preparing for the hotter season and heatwaves can be very daunting, especially if you have very little knowledge or money on how to maintain a steady temperature within your home. Your health and wellbeing should always remain important during the summer. Air-Rite has the best products and services available to keep you comfortable this summer. Contact Air-Rite for more information.