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Take time out to cool off

The rising temperatures in Mumbai may make summer pleasures like hitting the pool or sipping smoothies more desirable, but there are few things to keep note of before you head outdoors. According to physicians, the onset of summer is also the time when infections are easy to catch.

health and fitness Updated: Apr 05, 2012 19:48 IST
Nirmika Singh

The rising temperatures in Mumbai may make summer pleasures like hitting the pool or sipping smoothies more desirable, but there are few things to keep note of before you head outdoors. According to physicians, the onset of summer is also the time when infections are easy to catch.

“Gastroenteritis, diarrhea and heat stroke are common ailments during summer. Also, many people report itchiness due to constant sweating. Fungal infections around the groin and underarms are known to occur around this time too. Also, we get cases of
conjunctivitis during this season,” says Dr Sharat Kolke, physician, Kohinoor Hospital.

He says that the best way to avoid these ailments is to keep yourself hydrated. “Drink plenty of water, around two to three litres a day. Also, fresh fruits and vegetables like watermelon, musk melon and cucumber, help the body stay hydrated,” he says. Keeping the harsh weather conditions in mind, doctors also advise wearing the right clothing.

“Keep the three Ls in mind — light-colours, loose and linen,” suggests Dr Kolke.

People who work in air-conditioned offices need to take special care as well. “Due to the temperature variations indoors and outdoors, the body is vulnerable to infections. Before stepping out, spend a few minutes in the shade so that the body gets acclimatised to the conditions outside. Likewise, never sip cold water immediately after spending time in the scorching sun as the body needs some time to gear up,” says

Dr Shahid Barmare, a Kurla-based physician.

Drink a lot of fluids
Drink two to three litres of water everyday
Drinking cocunut water helps beat dehydration
Eat watermelon, musk melon and cucumber to keep cool
Carry Oral Rehydration Solution premix sachets for instant energy
You can make your own ORS drink at home by mixing a spoonful of sugar and a pinch of salt in a glass of water
While travelling, carry a bottle of clean water

No sudden switches
Don’t step out directly from airconditioned offices. Spend some time in the shade and allow the body to acclimatise itself
Never sip cold water immediately after coming in from scorching heat, let your body adjust to the temperature change

Block the sun
Apply a good sunscreen lotion to avoid skin damage
Don’t forget to wear your sunglasses. Not only do they protect the eyes from damaging rays, but the also look cool
Use an umbrella whenever you are out in the sun
Wear hats and caps to block sunrays

Beat infections
Maintain food and water hygiene to avoid gastroenteritis and diarrhea
Keep your body sweat-free to prevent fungal infections in the groin and underarms. Wear loose cotton clothes to
avoid infections
Wash your hands and face frequently to avoid conjunctivitis
Elderly people and children are more susceptible to heat stroke, so make sure they never step out between noon and 3pm, when sun is directly overhead

Dress light
Don’t forget the three Ls of summer clothing — light-colours, loose and linen
Wear white, it helps to keep body cool
Use scarves and stoles to cover up while on the move
Avoid wearing nylon and synthetic fabric in this weather. They tend to stick to the body and block ventilation