By Rozina Bhutto
The phone beeps and you see the dreaded message, “Warning! The temperature will rise by six degrees tomorrow.” You do a quick detour to the weekly weather report and it takes you a nanosecond to realise that it was a mistake of immense proportions. Your brain has done the math before you could freeze it (who are we kidding, nothing freezes in this heat). You stand there sweating from your hair follicles to your pinky toes in 38 degrees – six degrees cooler than what’s ahead – as the bad news catches up with you, and an emotional and physical meltdown looks imminent.
While nothing can be done about the speed with which the ozone layer is depleting, we at Women’s Own have found ways to keep ourselves sane during the heatwave.
Here’s what our team had to say when we asked them what they did when it got too hot outside.
“I have a jetsport!”
Putting the blatant branding aside, ice lollies do have the ability to provide us with momentary relief – momentary being the key word.
According to a website called the conversation.com, “While it [ice cream] may seem logical that introducing something cold, like ice cream, into the stomach should help reduce temperature, its initial cooling effect is rapidly replaced by heat generated by digestive processes needed to break down the nutrients in ice cream. Digesting calorie-rich food leads to an increase in body temperature.”
So if you’re looking for a more long lasting cooling effect, you might want to consider the upcoming option.
“I eat light.”
And let us tell you, that’s a brilliant decision even if it feels like eating ‘light bulbs’. A heavy intake of proteins or a heavy meal will make your body produce more heat due to increased metabolic activity. This summer, say hello to salads and vegetables and bid farewell to steaks and eggs.
But load up on spices, because they trigger a sweat response which has a cooling effect on the body.
“Take a shower, that’s what I do.”
You might go, “Duh!” But what you might not know is that people are tempted to take a bath with really cold water and that’s wrong. Yes, go for water which is only a few degrees below your body’s temperature because according to DailyMail, “if you have a cold shower your body generates heat afterwards to compensate for the heat loss.”
“I head to the mall or to the movies. Basically, any public place which is centrally air conditioned.”
This reminded us of our CIEs when learning the chemical formula of sulphuric acid between English Paper I&II and Chemistry Paper II seemed impossible as heat clogged our brains. We headed to the nearest mall and the result was wide manic smiles coupled with instant increase in our learning ability.
The lesson to learn here is that if you’re away from home, but are on the verge of dying, then head to a mall and calm your nerves.
“Sugarcane juice is your saviour!”
“So is Shikanjbeen, slush, and any other juice,” rest of our team was kind enough to point out. Quick research tells us that one should opt for low-calorie drink in a large quantity because you don’t want your digestive system to go in overdrive.
“A small amount of liquid will lose its cooling effect quite quickly as it gets warmed up by the surrounding organs. And large amounts of cold liquids will cause blood flow to slow, making heat transport less effective.”
“I look towards lighter clothes in terms of shades and fabric.”
Yes, lawn is your best friend and dark shades that trap sun’s rays (in other words heat) should be shunned to the back of our collective closets. Breathable fabric absorbs perspiration and help you feel cooler.
“Take a dip!”
Head to the beach or a pool and explore the depths of cool blue waves. Water is the only cure to fighting the heat.
“Use prickly heat powder.”
This powdery concoction is magical. It promises to transport you to Murree in two seconds and there is a science behind it. It has menthol and refreshing essential oils which helps absorb sweat and causes an instant cooling (prickly) sensation.
These weren’t the only responses, one of our team member, looked us straight in the eye and said, “I’m too cool to feel the heat!” Please note that she was sitting right underneath the heavy duty air conditioner. Then there were few who refused to step out in the heat. “I’ll turn the lights off and sleep the heat off in a chilled room,” they said more to themselves than us.
We only wish beating the heat was this easy.