October Heat: Expert Tells You How To Stay Protected From The Harmful Effects of The Sun
October heat tips (Photo Credit: Flickr)

If you live anywhere in or around Mumbai and the Indian subcontinent, you'll know the 'October heat'. A big part of North India, begins to prepare for winters during October whereas Mumbai suffers from the issue of 'October Heat'. This year the weather forecast agencies have also confirmed that the temperature is going to be on the rise for a while now in Mumbai. While the increase in temperature is associated with a lot of inconvenience and a lot of health issues, the increased temperature also impacts the air quality which may add a gamut of other health issues like infections, dehydration and decreased stamina. How the Extreme Temperature Can Affect Your Body and What You Can Do About It!

What is 'October Heat'?

During the month of October or November places situated in the Indian sub-continent like Mumbai, you may feel an increase in the temperature. This sudden rise in the temperature is called the 'October Heat.' It is claimed to be caused because of the movement of the sun towards the south that makes the low-pressure trough weaker over the northern plains. This may lead to the gradual withdrawal and weakening of the south-west monsoon winds. October and November months become the transition period the hot rainy season to dry winter climate and the retreat of the monsoon causes the temperature to rise usually during the days and causes the nights to be cool and pleasant.

Here are tips from Dr Paritosh Baghel, Consultant Physician at SL Raheja Hospital to deal with the October Heat.

1. Hydration is essential- A hydrated body should be your utmost priority during the October heat. The importance of drinking water cannot be stressed upon enough. You may want to invest in an insulated water bottle to keep the water cool throughout the day. Experts suggest infusing your water with fresh fruits as it is extremely healthy as well as encourages you to drink more water. Citrus, Mint and seasonal fruits are some of the great options.

2. Get rid of the sweat- Sweating is inevitable, and for the people who sweat excessively October heat can be much worse for them. However, you may want to keep your sweating under control to not cause skin irritation, rashes and itching caused by sweat being left on the skin for a long time. One good idea would be to use antiperspirant at night. However, elderly people should be more cautious about the use of antiperspirant.

3. Know your body's cooling points- Usually, the cooling points on the body are the wrists, feet, temples and the back of the neck. You can take try different ways to cool these points. One of the ways could be to soak a few washcloths and soak them in water (you may add essential oils of your choice if you want for having relaxing effects) and put them into the freezer after squeezing out the excess water. Once the towels freeze till they are solid you can apply these towels on the cooling spots.

4. Swimming- Swimming is a great recreational activity for the summers. There is nothing better than a cold swim or shower on a very hot day. Experts advise you to swim or shower at least twice a day is advisable and if not possible, once during the day is a must.

5. Eat cool- There are so many foods that are cool in nature. Consume foods that are cool for cooling your internal systems down. Expert suggests, 'Homemade frozen fruit juices are the best. Go for sweet and ripe fruits, fresh veggies, and foods that are bitter or astringent. Fruits like Watermelons and Sweet Limes are perfect for this scorching weather, whereas Apples are excellent for winters.'

6. Opt for exercise and meditation- Pranayama or breathing exercises is highly advisable during the October heat. They will help bring down your body temperature and also help alleviate Anxiety and mood swings. Meditate to cool your mind and perform breathing exercises to aid relaxation.

7. Wear right to beat the heat- It is always advisable that you wear light materials like Cotton and Linen to help reduce the effects of the heat. Wear loose-fitting clothes to allowing your skin to breath. Avoid dark colours and choose more bright pastel shades like Yellows and Whites to help deflect the heat.

8. Protect your skin from the UV rays of the sun- The harmful UV rays from the sun can have damaging effects on your skin, therefore it is very important for you to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the Sun. You may want to invest in a sunscreen that is at least 50SPF and make it a point to apply 1.5-2hrs before stepping out. Don't forget to re-applied every 2hrs after that. Other ways would also be to carry an umbrella or a cap while stepping outdoors, to block direct Sun rays. Avoid venturing out between 12noon to 4 pm.

While this heat comes right before the winters, you must still take steps to protect yourself from the heat.