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Tips for staying cool during the heatwave in Spain

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Tips for staying cool during the heatwave in Spain
Photo: AFP
13:30 CEST+02:00
In case you missed the news, "Hell is coming" to Spain in the form of a punishing heatwave. Here are some tips for staying cool and avoiding any negative impact on your health.
In case you missed the news, "Hell is coming" to Spain in the form of a punishing heatwave. Here are some tips for staying cool and avoiding any negative impact on your health.
 
Drink water (but not too much)
 
It might sound obvious, but be sure to drink plenty of water - even when you're not thirsty. It's recommended that you drink at least somewhere between 1.5 and 2.5 litres per day. 
 
Although be careful not too drink too much water which can lead to a drop in salt (sodium) levels in the blood, which can have an impact on your health.
 
And avoid iced water too which can also provoke stomach problems which is the last thing you'd want in the middle of a heatwave.
 
And to avoid dehydration stay off the alcohol, yes that even includes sangria with ice in it. Eat plenty of fresh fruit.
 
Stay inside
 
Try and avoid going outside between the hours of 11 am and 9 pm. If you have to, then be sure to wear light clothes, preferably cotton as it lets your skin breathe. It's not a bad idea to take a parasol (see below).
 
 

(Photo: AFP)
 
Shut the shutters
 
On the home front, keep the blinds closed throughout the hottest hours of the day. When the temperature outside drops below that of your home, open the windows and doors to get some fresh air in there.  
 
Douse yourself in water
 
There are plenty of ways to stay hydrated besides just drinking water and taking showers and baths. Filling a bucket with water for your feet or placing a wet or damp towel on your head and shoulders can make a big difference. Even a little spray with water can keep you feeling fresh. 
 
(Photo: emanuela franchini/Flickr)
 
Get rid of the extra heat
 
If you're at home, turn off the big lights, only use your laptop if you have to, and eat cold meals rather than using the oven. 
 
Don't play sports
 
Skip your typical afternoon run and say no to your handball teammates - it's best not to over-exert yourself at all. Even going outside to do the gardening is unadvised.
 
Be aware of the risks
 
You might be in peak physical form, but not everyone else is. Remember that children under the age of four and the elderly are the most at risk when the heat strikes. 
 
 
Stay in the coolest parts of the house
 
Be sure to find the coolest part of the house and make sure that's the area you stay in. If your place has no air-conditioning, nor an electric fan, then you're advised to head somewhere like a cinema or a shopping centre.
 
Recognize symptoms of heat-related illnesses
 
If you or someone close to you is complaining of cramps, headaches, dizziness, or has a fever of over 38C, this is a clear sign they're suffering from the heat. Keep the person cool and call emergency services for help.  
 
Be careful what you drink
 
Tea, coffee, and alcohol all act as diuretics, meaning it will leave you dehydrated. Stick to water. And on the plus side, this means you won't have to turn the kettle on either.
 
While drinking piping hot drinks is not advised you wouldn't be daft if you had a warm Lemon & Ginger tea for example. The advantage of drinking something warm is that you perspire which helps your body cool down.
 
Don't forget your furry friends
 
Your pets also suffer from intense heat, so make sure you think of them too. Be sure to keep an eye on them, give them plenty of water, and the occasional cool bath. 
 
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