Can you survive the summer without air-conditioning? If you can, feel free to turn the page. Because this column is for people for whom a summer without air-conditioning is a rehearsal for the flames of hell.
Health problems associated with air-conditioning are small but significant. Constant exposure to air trapped in a room can lead to headaches, dizziness, eye irritation, throat and skin allergies. Walking out of an air-conditioned room into the heat and vice versa can trigger respiratory allergies.
But since life in summer would be unlivable with air-conditioning, here’s how to avoid the side effects.
1. Hydrate yourself: Air-conditioners absorb moisture in the air, leading to dry skin. So drink lots of water. Lukewarm water with a slice of lemon hydrates the body and gently detoxifies it.
2. Service your ACs regularly: Ensure the filters and ducts are cleaned to eliminate dust, moulds and viral or bacterial accumulations.
3. Moisturise your skin: Use an aloe vera gel and try the herb guduchi that is good for the skin, liver and the burning sensation associated with a urinary tract infection.
4. Refresh your rooms: Spray each air-conditioned room once a day with a herbal oil essence to cleanse odours in closed rooms. Or use air purifiers.
5. Build your immunity: Eat amla chutney for enzymes and vitamin C, and watermelon for its minerals.
6. Fill your room with oxygen-giving plants: There is no better air purifier than this for an AC room in which the air gets stale and low on oxygen.
7. Get moving: Air-conditioning seems to turn us into couch potatoes. Exercise regularly to get circulation up and reduce muscle stiffness.
8. Avoid sudden changes of temperature: Do not drink chilled water immediately after coming indoors or you’ll a cold. Set your AC to 25 rather than 18 degrees so that the difference between indoor cool and outdoor heat is not extreme.
9. Keep your car AC on a mild setting: The high cool setting can cause your muscles to seize up and cramp. Rotate your ankles every 15-20 minutes.
From HT Brunch, May 22, 2016
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