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Travelling during a heat wave

 A group of hikers at Gura River [Jayne Rose Gacheri, Standard]

We are in the middle of an intense heatwave that experts attribute to climate change.

According to the Meteorological Department, hotter days and nights “will be here for a while”, and the experts urge the public to be ready to brace this, emphasising on the need for “smart adaptation and resilient climate practices”. 

The report says heatwaves can lead to severe consequences such as dehydration, unconsciousness, and psychological stress. 

Travelling during a heatwave can be quite a challenge. Here are some tips that experts say will help you stay cool and hydrated during the adverse weather. 

Drink a lot of water throughout the day, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol as these can further dehydrate you.  Wear light, loose-fitting, and breathable clothing. Go for light colours that reflect the sun’s rays as opposed to those that absorb them.  When possible, find shade to get a break from the direct sun. This simple act can make a significant difference to your comfort level.  Protect your skin from the strong sun rays by applying sunscreen with a high SPF. Do not forget to apply it every few hours, especially if you are sweating or swimming.  Plan your for outdoor activities wisely. Schedule them during the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening. Remember to take frequent breaks in shaded areas and avoid strenuous activities during the peak heat hours.  Whenever you are travelling remember to carry these items - a portable fan, a cooling towel, or a portable misting fan (a fan with a misting effect) to help keep you cool,  a hat or an umbrella to shield yourself from the sun, an insulated water bottle. Take a cold water bath or shower before bedtime. These items, tools, and actions will help you beat the heat.  If you have access to air-conditioning spend time indoors in cool environments like malls, museums, or cafes if your destination allows for this.  Eat light, refreshing meals that are easy to digest. Fresh fruits, salads, and cold sandwiches can help keep you cool. Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content into your diet. Cut down or stay away from protein-rich foods, like red meat, as they generate metabolic heat. Monitor our blood pressure to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Most importantly, remember that it is crucial to listen to your body. Take breaks when needed - stay safe, stay cool, and enjoy your travels regardless of the heatwave!

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