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How to cope with excessive heat while on holiday

How to cope with excessive heat while on holiday

When preparing for a summer holiday, we never fail to plan what to do and which clothes to wear. Often overlooked, however, is how to cope with the excessive heat. This is particularly essential for Puglia in southern Italy, where temperatures can reach up to 30 C.

Stay hydrated


The first thing to consider is staying hydrated. Dehydration is the most common heat-related issue. Ensure you constantly have a bottle of cold or cool water with you. Dehydration symptoms are feeling tired, dizzy or lightheaded. You can also have a really dry mouth or pee very little, as your body keeps hold of fluid.

You’ll know when you’re drinking enough when your pee is a pale clear colour.

As tempting as it may be on holiday, try to avoid caffeine or alcohol until you adjust to the heat.

Siesta


It’s also important to cope with the hot weather and high humidity by avoiding the hottest part of the day. Typically, this is early to mid-afternoon (2-4 pm). Choose this time to read indoors or have a nap. Or you could use this time to visit one of the many museums. Museo Faggiano in Lecce or Museum of Primitivo Wine in Manduria.

You’ll be helped by most places closing for a siesta. If your country doesn’t have this mid-afternoon downtime, you may at first wonder why everything’s closed!

Wear suitable clothes for the heat


Lightweight, loose-fitting clothes, preferably light-coloured, are perfect. Loose cotton clothing ‘breathes’ and allows air to circulate against the ski. This helps to cool your body. Once you have your baggy clothes, don’t forget your hat and sunglasses. It’s also not recommended for you to sleep naked. If possible, sleep in cool, 100% cotton.

If you don’t dress appropriately, you may run the risk of heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can very quickly turn into heatstroke. Warning signs for this are a headache, dizziness and confusion, excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin.

If this happens, you need to take steps to cool yourself down. Move yourself to a cool place and spray or sponge your skin with cold water.

Average daily temperatures in a Puglian summer are between 24 - 30 C, with humidity around the 70% mark.

Keep your room cool


If you don’t have air conditioning, cool your room as much as possible by opening windows and closing curtains or blinds. Sleep in your 100% cotton and forego the duvet in favour of a thin sheet. Try to also sleep spread-eagled - though you’ll be unlikely to wake up like that!

Recovery


If you’re suffering from the heat after the fun from the day before, it’s important to know how to recover quickly.

If you have a dehydrated headache, rehydration sachets can help you replenish what you’ve lost through sweating. Sports drinks containing electrolytes can help to regulate fluid levels in the body.

If the heat has caused your feet and ankles to swell, try to stay barefoot as much as possible. You can also soak them in warm water with Epsom Salts to ease pain and swelling. Then elevate your feet in the air for around 20 minutes. This reduces the water retention that can cause aching feet.
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