Hints and tips on staying fit and healthy a focus on Stay cool and beat the heat
Summer has officially arrived and not only have the met office forecast a warm end to the week, alongside the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) they have issued a Level 3 heat-health alert for London, East, and Southeast England with temperatures likely to reach 34°C over the next few days.
Extreme Heat Warning, Heat Health Alert, and heatwaves.
With hot weather becoming the norm I find myself interested to gain an understand as to how the met office define a heatwave and seek a little more information into the heat alert levels.
The met office has an awful lot of reading in this area however I’ve done the hard work for you and extracted a few bits, starting with the below summary explaining all 3 key areas.
Ok so maybe the heatwave definition here isn’t that informative so to add to this a heatwave is defined as a period of at least three consecutive days with the daily max temperature having been met or exceeded.
What about the Health Heat Alert Level 3 what does this mean?
The UKHSA provided a Level 3 alert, the heat health alert has 5 response levels (0-4) as detailed below with the levels designed to help planning, preparation and protection against the heat.
A Level 3 Amber alert is triggered when the met office confirms that the threshold temperature has been reached or exceeded for one day and night, so in a nutshell hot hot hot!
Tips on staying cool in the heat
So, what to do when the temperatures rise? How to continue staying fit and healthy which in turn helps to keep yourself focused for your studies and exams?
Keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of fluids, for those visiting our drop-in centres we have reintroduced allowing students to use the kitchen area in Exeter and so we encourage you to top up your water bottle and drink plenty of water.
If you don’t keep yourself fully hydrated during your study or exercise time your body must work harder to cope with the lack of fluids and you may start to feel hot! Try to drink plenty of water
throughout the day, perhaps carry your own water bottle and aim to have this full and drink little but often throughout the whole day.
Visit a forest or local parks and wear sunscreen
So whilst the sun is shining and the weather is warm the temptation is to go and sit on the beach and sunbathe, however with little shade you’ll actually start to heat up and feel hotter and even risk sunburn ( and of course we recommend using a high SPF…for those who know it the Baz Luhrmann song ‘ Everybody’s Free to (wear sunscreen)’ well yes thank you Baz I will take your one top tip in life and wear sunscreen and if you haven’t heard the song, here is the link https://youtu.be/sTJ7AzBIJoI
Heading to a forest shall be on my agenda for the weekend, I love heading up to Haldon Forest with the MTB, for one most of the trails are deep in the forest with plenty of shade so the coolness of the forest is simply bliss. Secondly with most people head for the beach on the hottest days of the year so I shall most likely have the trails to myself, so buck the trend and spend a day forest bathing.
Exercise first thing in the morning or later at night
We all know the early bird catches the worm…well the early bird is also one very clever bird because this bird knows its cooler in the morning…and the same goes for the night owl.
If you plan to exercise during the coolest part of the day not only, will you have more time to focus on the studies but exercising in the cool rather than during the hottest part of the day is good for your body, you’ll find you have more energy and a higher focus …great for the exams!
I’d recommend heading out first thing, personally I love heading out on the bike along route 2 when there are very few people on the route, its quiet and the views are amazing and if you manage to make it out for a sunrise well even better, if you can’t make this a habit at least head out early once. Trust me a sunrise exercise session is extremely rewarding for all round wellbeing.
Change up and plan out your exercise plan
If you’re a big fan of running but you cannot plan a shady route to run along and you aren’t able to head out earlier or later then simply think about changing to perhaps swimming? Paddleboarding?
A different exercise that either encourages for you to spend time in cool water or into a cooler environment than your normal routine can really help to beat the heat.
Another tip is perhaps change the length of your workout, if normally you run for hours outside this wouldn’t be ideal in super-hot weather, so reduce the running time to be kinder on your body and to prevent dehydration and injury and add in alternative exercised to make up the shortfall in hours and remember quick burst ‘hit’ workouts can burn as many calories as a long workout so its worth exploring a new workout routine and you never know you may enjoy the new routine!