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06 Jul

London Summer: Tips for surviving the heat!

Temperatures in the UK are set to soar this summer, with Brits likely to see the hottest temperatures of the year So to help you get through some of the hottest days of the year so far, here are a few handy tips to help you cope, both at home and on your commute.


Prolonged periods of high temperatures and high humidity can be very dangerous for your health. In extreme heat and humidity, evaporation is slowed and your body has to work very hard to maintain a normal temperature. The risks vary depending on your age and health, but by knowing how to prepare for a heat wave and what to do when one occurs, you can avoid the biggest health dangers, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.


Avoid the Central line

Any Londoner who’s spent a summer commuting at rush hour in the city will know the Central line can feel balmy even in the depths of winter. Avoiding the hottest tube lines might work if you have a private helicopter or a crash pad on the Metropolitan line but tough luck if you live on the Central line which can hit 32 degrees. Get a fan and refer to TfL’s advice about water. Leave earlier in the mornings and take an alternate route that favours the overground lines: the air conditioned Circle line will feel like a nirvana compared to the inferno temperatures elsewhere on the network.


Take Advantage of a Beer gardens

If you leave the office dripping with sweat and can’t quite face squashing onto a train home just yet, wait it out at one of London’s bountiful beer gardens. It’s often standing room only on the hottest days, but once that cold pint’s in your hand, that won’t matter.

Carry a bottle of water

  Drink water, and lots of it.  Think you’ve had enough, drink some more.  Dehydration is the first thing that will strike you down on a dessert island, and the same applies to a city like London.  As you sweat, you are losing liquid from your body, meaning you need to take on more to stay hydrated.Those constant reminders on the Underground may be irritating after the first fifty times, but you’ll be thankful you heeded Sadiq’s advice when you’re parched between stations at a red signal.


Be Prepared 

Deodorant is your friend. Trust us, your fellow commuters and your colleagues will thank you for applying it liberally. The opposite is true for perfume and aftershave — no-one enjoys being enveloped in a miasma of J-Lo.


Wear the Correct Clothing 

Jeans, lycra and polyester on a 30°C heatwave is simply a silly choice.  Aim for loose fitting clothing of a lighter colour.  Natural fibres are cooler so look for cotton or linen.  These natural fibres absorb moisture, dry quickly and allow everything to breathe.  These generally crease the most, so if you have a VIP meeting, your safari linen trousers probably aren’t ideal but at least you’ll be cooler than the guy in the black suit!


Ditch the coffee and the booze

Tea and coffee are dehydrating, the same is true of alcohol – so don’t think a cool beer at the local pub will be your antidote after you clock off for the day. Keep yourself hydrated with water – you should be aiming for over the recommended 2 litres per day in hot weather. But if you really can’t live without your morning caffeine fix, opt for an iced latte instead.


Protect your phone

Smartphones and heat don’t mix well – who hasn’t experienced the irritation of the “iPhone needs to cool down before you can use it” warning? Avoid keeping your phone in your pocket – when body heat can be a contributing factor – or on surfaces with direct sun exposure.


Shade is what you need

Seriously, being in the shade makes all the difference. So, when it gets too hot, go to the very shaded part of the park or better yet take a woods or forest country walk. I know most people want to hit the beach when it’s hot (including me), but going to places like Epping Forest or Ashridge Estate is actually a good idea to stay cool. It might help to wear a sun hat or carry an umbrella to create your own little shade. 
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