Most people who live through terrible winters dream of living somewhere where there’s no snow and the sun shines brightly almost everyday of the year. But, take it from someone who has lived in a tropical country all her life, tropical weather isn’t always that friendly.
In the Philippines, summer temperature soars to the high 30’s yet the body feels that it’s much hotter than that. On April 14, the temperature in Metro Manila reached 36.4C while heat index soared to 43C.
But, wait… the record-breaking 43C wasn’t the temperature? No, that’s the heat index which is a combination of the temperature and the humidity. So, while 36C might sound like a beach-perfect summer day, your body feels that it’s much hotter than that. And it can get dangerous. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) explains how the heat index impacts our body and health:
Just how are we going to survive the heat? PAGASA has some tips but let me expound on a few of them.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Take lots of fluids. Water is my favorite but coffee and tea are fluids too.
But don’t coffee and tea dehydrate the body because of the caffeine? That was what we had been led to believe.
Along with alcohol, caffeine is a diuretic which means it makes you go to the bathroom and pass water more often. However, two to three cups of coffee (about 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine) won’t dehydrate you. But if you drink more coffee than that in a day, then, dehydration is possible.
Eat light meals
Keep the air-conditioner on
It’s still cool enough at night here in the boondocks and we can sleep comfortably without switching on the air-conditioner. But, between 12.00 noon and sunset when the heat is at its worst, the air-conditioner is on. The electricity bill will probably look horrendous but getting sick will cost more.
Isn’t it cheaper to go to the mall and avail of the free air-conditioning? Seriously? Factor in the cost of transportation and the amount you will spend on drinks and food. In some malls, you can’t even take a seat without being obliged to order food or drinks. If you have to go to the mall everyday to escape the worst of the heat during the day, well… I say it’s cheaper to just stay home.