How to stay cool during a heatwave

Warm summer weather can be enjoyable, however intense heatwaves can be dangerous. Here is our guide on how to keep cool and stay safe as the thermometre rises.

Summer in a London park (Getty)
Published: June 25th, 2019 at 1:30 pm
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Warm summer weather can be enjoyable, however intense heatwaves can be dangerous. Here is our guide on how to keep cool and stay safe as the thermometre rises.

In the midst of the heatwave, stay cool with ten simple steps:


Wear cotton

Swap synthetic, silk and other fancy fabrics for cotton and linen. These are great for ventilation and will help cool you down.

Woman swimming



Combat dehydration

Drink plenty of water as well as cold drinks - the NHS recommends 8-10 glasses of water every day.

Citrus cucumber berries blueberry and raspberry sassy sassi water for detox in glass bottles on gray texture background. Clean eating, healthy lifestyle concept, sunlight. (Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images)
Cool water filled with berries, cucumber and citrus fruits © Getty

Grab a parasol

Umbrellas are great for protecting yourself from the heat when outside, so grab one before you step out.

IZMIR, TURKEY - JUNE 16: A drone photo shows the aerial view of a beach as people sunbathe under colourful parasols and swim on a summer day at Cesme district, during the Eid al-Fitr in Izmir, Turkey on June 16, 2018. (Photo by Mahmut Serdar Alakus/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Beach-goers protect their skin under parasols © Getty

Stay cool

Place some ice cubes on your wrists and around your neck for a minute for two - it makes a real difference to your core temperature.

Ice Cubes with Vegetables. (Photo by: Hermes Images/AGF/UIG via Getty Images)
Flavoured ice cubes © Getty 

Freshen up

Go for a quick shower before hitting the hay to lower your temperature and help you nod off.

The Tall House. Interior view of shower. Terry Pawson Architects. (Photo by Arcaid/UIG via Getty Images)
A running shower © Getty

Keep calm and drink tea

If you are an avid tea drinker, toss your hot herbal tea into a glass full of ice. It’s refreshing, cheap and keeps you hydrated.

Peach Ice Tea. (Photo by: Anjelika Gretskaia/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images)
Peach Iced Tea © Getty 

Spicy food

Try eating spicy food. Surprised? Spicy food triggers the heat receptor in the mouth making you sweat, which cools you down from within.

JAPAN - 2017/10/31: Red chili peppers drying in the small village of Ashigawa on Honshu Island in Japan. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Drying chilli peppers © Getty 

When to exercise

Avoid exercise in the middle of the day. Head out for your daily run first thing in the morning or at twilight to avoid fatigue.

A jogger runs past the Round Pond as the sun rises at Kensington Gardens in London on August 31, 2017 / AFP PHOTO / Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS (Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Running in the mist of early morning © Getty 

Avoid cold showers

Cool or tepid water is better for showering as freezing water will actually make your body attempt to preserve heat.

Heatwaves in history

Do you remember the sizzling summer of 1976?


More than forty years ago, a heatwave held the country in its shimmering, searing thrall. The land cracked, gardens withered and reservoirs lay parched and bare. Matthew Oates looks back to the Great Drought of 1976...


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