Beat The Heat

By MWB Desk

How to stay cool without air-conditioning

September has brought a few showers to cool us down, but we’re still not clear of the hot and heavy weather. If the load-shedding and your electricity bills are giving you a migraine, you might want to try out a few tips to help you cope.

Move the air

Stand fans are surprisingly effective at cooling down a room, and actually don’t draw much electricity. The added bonus to having one of these droning fans is that if you live in an area that sees a lot of construction, they produce some comforting white noise.

If you’re working in a space that can’t accommodate a big stand fan, invest in a small desk fan. The goal here is to get air moving around you, to lower perceived temperatures.

The right time

Wait to run heavy household appliances until the cooler parts of the day, such as the early morning or after sunset. Dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and ovens all generate heat that spills into the rest of your home.

Photo: Kelly Sikkema, Piret Ilver

Let there be light

We know they’re more romantic, but if you need another reason to replace your filament-style light bulbs with LED bulbs, do it for the sake of keeping your cool. Energy-efficient LED bulbs generate far less heat, and they’ll lower your electric bill

More than water

That you need to up your water intake is a no-brainer; the more you sweat, the more you’ll need to hydrate to replenish yourself. As you sweat, however, you’re losing more than just water. Electrolytes are minerals in your body such as sodium and potassium that have an electric charge, and your body needs them to function. When you sweat them out, you have to replace them.

Early in the day, drink plain water. As you begin to sweat more heavily, switch to drinks containing electrolytes to replenish those you’ve sweated out: coconut water, or electrolyte drinks such as Pocari Sweat or Gatorade. 

Photo: Alan Carrillo

A case for salt

Plain water, on an empty stomach, speeds through the body. What this means is that when your digestive system recognizes that there are no nutrients to absorb from the water, it gives the green light to pass through the body as fast as it wants. 

Any kind of food can help, from fresh fruit to a snack bar. But the best is salty food, which helps absorb and hold onto the water you drink. If you have a history of kidney disease in the family, however, consult a nutritionist about the right intake amount for you.

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