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When summer makes its arrival known through increasing heat and sweaty armpits, switching on the air conditioner or putting on the fan seems like the easiest way to get relief. However, you cannot stay enclosed in a well-ventilated room 24 x 7.

When it's hot outside, then irrespective of whether you are indoors or outdoors, you need to make an effort to keep your body cool. Apart from improving your physical comfort, it will also help in thwarting the risk of heat illnesses, skin concerns, and digestive problems during summer. Below given are 7 simple ways to keep your body cool during hot weather.

1. Stay Hydrated with Water

Stay hydrated. This is the foremost tip anyone would give you on a hot and humid weather. Water is very essential for your body and it is highly recommended to drink at least 1.5 litres of water daily. But when the weather is hot and touching new highs, it is all the more important to drink in as much water as you can.

If you are at home, it is easier to keep a bottle of water nearby and sip in at regular intervals. But when you are on the go, it is advisable to carry a bottle of water than purchasing one from a street vendor. This will not only help you quench your thirst but is also the best way to get assured clean drinking water readily at hand. In case you are looking for instant energy, then add glucose or electrolyte to water and carry it in a bottle whenever you are heading out.
2. But …… Avoid Chilled Water

When it is hot and you are thirsty, then grabbing a bottle of cold water from a refrigerator to drink is something you might have seen or done a number of times. However drinking ice-cold water is not advisable. Chilled water hinders the process of digestion and increases chances of sore throats, which is not good for optimal health. So as a precaution and preventive step, do not go for cold water or add ice to your water unnecessarily during summers.

According to health experts as well as in Ayurveda, it is best to drink water at room temperature, irrespective of the weather. So, drink enough water every day to stay fit and hydrated...but water, which is not cold.

3. Opt for Healthier Fluid Options

Water is not the only fluid you can depend during summers. Consuming freshly prepared natural fruit juices is another way to cool your body, boost your immune system and add in some vital nutrients in a healthy way. Some really healthy and cooling fluid options for this summer are watermelon juice, musk melon juice, tender coconut water, lemonade, cucumber juice, pomegranate juice, mint-lemon drink, aloe vera juice, barley water, sweet lime juice, sugarcane juice, buttermilk, aam panna (drink made from raw mango) and even mixed fruit squashes.
Besides these, you can also enjoy a glass of cool milk, lassis or have yummy milkshakes and smoothies as an alternative to aerated cold drinks, caffeinated beverages and alcohol.

A chilled glass of your preferred alcohol might seem tempting on hot days, but alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body. Combined with high temperatures outside, there is high risk of getting heat cramps and heat strokes, which is detrimental to health. So be responsible towards your health and your loved ones, limit alcohol intake to the bare minimum during summers and opt for healthier options.

4. Choose Foods that Cool You Down, Avoid that Heat You Up

Besides causing dehydration, tiredness and fatigue, heat also takes a toll on your skin, leading to itchy rashes, red bumps, pimples appearing randomly, dullness and dryness of skin. These irritating skin problems coupled with/without digestive problems are not only caused due to heat outside but also because of the body heat that is generated by the consumption of some 'hot' foods. Hence apart from ensuring that we drink adequate clean water and follow a good beauty regime, it is vital to eat right.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables are highly recommended during summers. These foods are naturally rich in water content and enriched with necessary vitamins and minerals that are needed for the hot weather. Some foods that are easily available during summers and have a cooling effect on the body are watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber, zucchini, tomatoes, celery, green leafy vegetables, brinjal (eggplant), mushrooms, asparagus, mint, watercress, curd/yoghurt, berries, apricots, pears, peaches, bananas and kiwi. Include more of them in your diet.

On the other hand, try and avoid foods that heat your body. Go slow on spicy and oily food, sauces and foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG), pickles, junk food and lean meat. In fact, non-vegetarian fare that are deep fried or have rich, oily gravies must be avoided as much as possible.

5. Dress Right, Dress Smart

Humidity and the scorching heat causes increased sweat, prickly heat and bad body odor. Most of these can be prevented by wearing the right clothes. Cotton for summers is the best choice, when you are picking a fabric to wear. Cotton is known to absorb sweat easily from the body. Plus, it also permits the sweat to evaporate easily. It also does not irritate or make your skin itch. So try and choose clothing made from cotton. If you need more breathable fabric options, then try linen, chambray, khadi, rayon or lace.
Also, light-colored clothes have the ability to reflect light as opposed to dark clothes. Besides this, clothes in light colors like yellow, pink, white, pastels, beige, cream, peach, etc. are poor in absorbing heat, which is a big advantage during hot and humid climate. So make it a point to wear clothes that are light-colored and a bit loose as they offer free circulation of air.

Light colored clothes from breathable fabrics do not mean boring. On the contrary, summer clothes are quite trendy. You can make your pick from a variety of cool summery clothing in short/sleeveless tees, shorts, dresses, sundresses, long and short skirts, loose kurtis, jumpsuits, palazzo pants to airy salwar kameez.

6. Maintain a Good Personal Hygiene

Following a good personal hygiene is an ideal way to keep yourself instantly clean and cool, get protection from illnesses and look and smell fresh all day. Be it washing your face twice every day to keep it free from dirt and oil accumulation, weekly exfoliation to scrub of dry and dead cells from your face or having a bath/shower daily, follow it religiously. If the weather is too hot, you can bath twice too. It will only help you wash off bacteria, viruses, dirt and sweat from your body.
The texture of hair and the stink due to grime and sweat is more during summers. So, wash and shampoo your hair thrice a week. Do not go for a head bath daily, as the process robs the natural oils from the hair, making it look dull and drier. Also, applying a deodorant or anti-perspirant after bath is sensible during summers. It will further enhance the process of helping you smell clean and fresh and build your confidence when meeting people outdoors.

7. Sun Safety when You are Outdoors

Warm weathers are perfect for holidaying. However, hot summer climate also shouldn't deter you from venturing outside and enjoying your time with friends and family. If you can schedule your walks and outings during early mornings and evenings, then it is the best. But if you can't, then gear up with your best defenses from the sun, before going out.
  1. Avoid walking under direct sun. Seek shade (be it trees or structures) as much as possible.
  2. Umbrella and sunglasses are handy tools to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Wear broad-brimmed hats or caps as they offer extra protection.
  3. Apply sunscreen liberally and on all your uncovered body parts. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF between 30 to 50, offering both UVA and UVB protection is good enough. While picking a sunscreen, do check the ingredients on the sunscreen tube or bottle. If potentially harmful ingredients like oxybenzone, retinol (also called retinyl palmitate) or homosalate are present, then avoid those sunscreens.
  4. Always carry a a bottle of water when you go outdoors. It can be used for drinking or splashing some water on your face, neck and wrists to cool you down and provide instant relief from heat.
  5. Allow your feet to breathe during hot weather. As the season demands airy and comfortable footwear, step into summer favorites like loafers, flip-flops, sandals, sneakers and brogues.