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5 essentials to beat the summer heat
Shifra Menezes

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June 04, 2008
While the sunshiny days of summer bring with them visions of picnics at the beach, long hours by the pool and lots of summer fun, they also bring with them a host of common maladies that can make you regret spending those extra hours in the summer sun.

To make sure your summer is as healthy and care-free as it could be, here some tips to make sure you're protected against the most common summer woes.

Water it down

The need to keep hydrated in the summer months cannot be emphasised enough. You body loses fluids through sweat, which will leave you feeling exhausted. To combat this, make sure you carry a bottle of water or juice with you when you're headed out and just keep sipping on it through the day.

According to, dehydration and heatstroke go hand-in-hand. So if you are exercising or working in the sun, make sure that you keep yourself hydrated with about a litre of fluid intake every hour.

Prickly heat

Prickly heat can be an extremely uncomfortable condition if ignored for an extended period of time. While the rashes usually clear up on their own, many complain of painful sores caused due to itching and friction caused by the skin rubbing against cloth.

According to health portal, an easy way to prevent a bad case of prickly heat is to wear light, loose-fitting cottons; also avoid using creams that could end up aggravating the situation. Instead, use calamine lotion or commonly available prickly heat powders to soothe the rash and bathe with cool water instead of taking a hot shower.


You are never too dark or too fair to use sunscreen. While having a lighter skin tone does make you more prone to sunburn, darker skin tones need protection from long hours of harsh sunshine too. According to portal, one must apply a generous amount of sunscreen about 30 minutes before leaving home and reapply every two hours if one is spending extended amounts of time in the sun. Also check the SPF level of the product -- the higher the SPF, the more protection it offers.


Sure, they are a great way to make a fashion statement, but glares, for those of you who have forgotten, were actually designed to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. So the next time you pick up a pair, make sure that they have UV protection. These will keep your eyes cool, protected and prevent achiness or strain. And as you pack your glares in, make sure you have a hat to match -- after all, wearing a hat (the bigger the better) is one of the easiest ways to stay cool.

Take a break

The summer heat can be energy-sapping, so take some time out to rest and recover your lost vigour. Take a nap in the afternoon if you can, or if you're at work just take a few minutes to sit down and unwind. This will help you keep a cool head when it comes to interacting with colleagues and keep the aggravation and irritation summer usually causes at bay.

Photograph: Narinder Nanu/AFP/Getty Images

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