Thursday, 30 March 2017

5 Tips to Beat the Heat

1.     Keep hydrated - Use infused water

Our bodies are about 60 percent water. Each drop of this fluid works hard to promote proper blood circulation, food digestion and elimination, temperature regulation, and the flow of nutrients. A suggested study from Food & Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine says a healthy woman should intake 11 glasses (91 oz.) of water while a healthy man should intake 15 glasses (125 oz.) of water normally every day. This depends on person's age, body weight, activity level, environmental factors such as altitude and of course medical conditions. Fresh fruit juices can be an alternative but again they have sugar and have to be limited to a glass a day. Making a habit of drinking more water is beneficial but sometimes consuming plain water can be boring.  We can make it interesting by making our own infused water. Fancy your water by adding slices of lemon, cucumber, grapefruit, and strawberry and give it a flavour of mint or basil. This will help keeping body hydrated and lessen your urge to have sugary soda. Drop 4-5 leaves of fresh Mint (you can also mildly crush and put) in your glass of water, leave the water for 2-3 minutes and consume it. This soothes the digestion and skin irritation.

2.     Cover Up - Specially your Head

Some people prefer to shed their clothes in the heat, but keep your modesty with long loose clothes in natural fibres. Those living in the hottest countries will often cover themselves from head to toe, which can help to shade the skin and protect the body from the sun.Dark colours absorb more heat than light ones, so stay clear of black. Not only is it a depressing to colour to wear mid-summer, but it will also make you feel more hot. White, beige and light pastel colours are the best shades to wear to keep your skin cool. Stay away from synthetic fibres as they reflect the body’s heat back towards the body itself, prevent air circulation, allow sweat to build up, and are generally poor in facilitating evaporation. Cotton on the other hand absorbs perspiration and releases it quickly into the atmosphere. The fibres are hollow in the centre, allowing air to easily pass through. Khadi is another comfortable choice for a cooling fabric. When you have to go out into sun, take a cotton towel, wet it, and wrap it around your head. Don’t be shy to wear straw hats, scarves, or carry an umbrella with you.

3.     Never eat to the brim / food to avoid

Eating a lot in one go will only make you feel hotter, as digestion uses a lot of energy and generates body heat. If you want to stay cool, eat small amounts of cold food throughout the day, instead of stockpiling your body’s work after one big meal. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine, as both of these substances can act as diuretics and promote dehydration. Don't eat large, protein-rich meals such as Meat Products that can increase metabolic heat and warm the body. Stay away from Tetra Pak juices and ice creams because they only make you thirstier. The high sugar content makes your body think it is dehydrated and hence demands more water by making you thirsty.

4.     Power nap post lunch - Guided Relaxation

Take a power nap of 20 minutes in shavasaana where the body sleeps but the mind remains awake listening to the instructions. The state achieved in such nap is termed the hypnogogic state, a state between sleep and wakefulness. The practice promotes deep rest and relaxation that isn’t found in an average meditation practice. The all the steps of body and breath awareness are practiced to calm the nervous system, leading to less stress and overall calmness to the body. Post lunch, the metabolic activity is high and that generates heat. Taking a power nap keeps the heat in the digestive system and not to all parts of the body.

Audio Instructions by Sri Sri Ravishankar -

5.     Cooling Pranayama - two times a day
Yoga has a cooling breathing technique, where you roll your tongue and breathe slowly through the mouth, to help lower body heat and ease stress. Also known as Sitali Pranayama. Breathe in through your rolled tongue (or, if you’re not genetically able to, purse the lips) and exhale through the nose. Breathing through the mouth should allow your saliva cool the air you breathe before it enters your lungs. Other Cooling Pranayama like Seethkari (rolling tongs backwards and putting it between the teeth and creating through mouth) and Sadanta (keeping tongue inside the mouth and breathing through the teeth) also help in cooling the body. Exhale is always through the nose. Doing 6-9 rounds of such breathing twice a day helps in regulating body temperature.

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