5 natural ways for older people to reduce body heat in hot weather

Hot weather can leave older people at greater risk of heat stroke and exhaustion. Here, Jo Webber shares with us the best methods for cooling down naturally.

eat hydrating foods - reduce body heat
Stay hydrated by eating water-rich foods such as melon. Staying hydrated will help reduce body heat.

After a long winter period, it looks like the weather is finally starting to heat up with a heatwave predicted to be just around the corner in April. And as it’s expected to hit during the school holidays, the whole family can enjoy some fun in the sun.

While this gives us the opportunity to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in the sunshine, the high temperatures can be difficult for many of us to manage. There’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable and overheating in high temperatures, especially when it can sometimes seem impossible reduce body heat.

The good news is that there are a number of natural ways to stay cool so you can enjoy the nice weather comfortably. To explain more, Pukka’s herbal experts are here to share with us the best methods for cooling down naturally.

Drink tea

It may sound counterproductive to drink a hot tea when you’re already uncomfortably warm but it can actually help you cool down quicker. In fact, drinking hot tea is common in many warm countries, such as Morocco, India and Indonesia. But how exactly does it work? Well, it’s all down to sweating. Drinking a hot tea on a warm day triggers the temperature sensors in our bodies, which make us sweat more. This sweat then evaporates off the body, helping to cool it down.

You can also make yourself a delicious iced tea to cool down as well.  However, avoid iced drinks if you have any cold symptoms and enjoy them in moderation as they can lead to weak digestion if drank too much.

To make an iced tea, simply brew your cup of tea with hot water as normal, then leave the mixture to cool (you can chill it in the fridge for quicker results), and top it up with cold water, ice and some fresh fruit or herbs of your choice. There are so many delicious recipes to try out, including a peach iced green tea or a refreshing mint iced tea. For extra flavour you can even make tea-flavoured ice cubes.

cool down pulse points - reduce body heat
Reduce body heat by placing a damp cloth on the back of your neck, or place ice on your wrists.

Cool down your pulse points

If you’re looking for a way to cool your whole body quickly, it’s a good idea to know where your pulse points are. These points are the parts of your body where the blood vessels are closest to the skin and where you can easily feel the pulse. By applying something cold to these points, such as cold water, a damp cold flannel or an ice pack, you can lower the temperature of the blood running through the veins so your whole body can cool down.

There are a number of different pulse points on the body. The easiest to reach are the wrists, neck and temples. However you also have pulse points in the bend of the knee, the inner elbow and the chest, so you may want to try cooling these down too.

If you’re heading outside to exercise and you want to avoid overheating, you could put some head and wrist sweat bands in the freezer for quarter of an hour before to cool down your wrists and temples. And if you’re out and about and you need to cool down in an instant, it’s a good idea to have a bottle of ice water with you so you can pour a little on your wrists.

Cool down the bedroom

Many find that the most uncomfortable part of a hot day is the night-time. Hot weather makes it a lot more difficult to drift off easily. This is partly because the production of the sleep-cycle regulating hormone melatonin is interrupted which means it takes longer for us to fall asleep. Plus, simply being uncomfortable in the heat can leave us tossing and turning at night.

The good news is that there are a number of different ways to keep cool at night. Having an evening walk can both cool you down and tire you out to help you drift off easily. You can also try taking a cool shower before bed and opting for breathable bedding and pyjamas made out of cotton or bamboo.

Eat hydrating foods

We all know that staying hydrated is important for keeping cool. This is because we lose a lot more water in hot weather through sweating, so it’s important to keep hydrated to avoid headaches, fatigue and digestive issues. While it’s vital that you drink enough water throughout the day, you can also support hydration by adding water-rich food to your diet on hot days.

There are lots of tasty and hydrating foods which are perfect to enjoy in hot weather. You could enjoy some hydrating fruits, such as watermelon, strawberries and peaches and perhaps add these  to your drinks to add an extra boost of both flavour and hydration.

There are also plenty of hydrating veggies, like cucumber, lettuce and tomatoes, which can be easily included in salads. Cucumber slices are also a delicious addition to water or iced tea.

Consume cooling herbs

Not only are many herbs good for your health, but they can help you cool down on hot days too. There are a number of herbs which can help cool you down. Naturally cooling herbs— such as lavender, peppermint and chamomile — cool the tissues in the body, while other herbs like lemon balm and elderflower encourage sweating which can cool the body down. Some other cooling herbs to consider include:

  • Coriander leaves
  • Hibiscus flowers
  • Cardamom
  • Dill

Try adding a few of these herbs to your favourite recipes when the hot weather approaches. Dill and coriander work well together and can be added to sauces and salad dressings. And lavender works well in tea as it complements a variety of popular herbal tea flavours, including mint and chamomile.

“As much as we love the arrival of sunny days and hot weather, it can make us overheat and leave us feeling very uncomfortable. However there are a number of natural ways to help us keep cool and make the most of this gorgeous weather.

Hot drinks are surprisingly effective at keeping us cool as they make us sweat which cools down our bodies. And staying hydrated with a delicious cold drink can help us cool off too. So, whether you prefer your tea hot or ice-cold, making yourself a few cups throughout the day can be a helpful trick.

“And to make your drink even more effective on a hot day, why not add some cooling herbs too? Herbs such as lavender, chamomile and mint are the perfect additions to both hot and cold tea and they can help our body cool down naturally as well.”

If you found 5 natural ways for older people to reduce body heat interesting, you’ll find more advice for coping with hot weather on our Health channel.

Jo Webber is herbal education lead at Pukka Herbs.

Tags: , Last modified: July 18, 2022

Written by 1:50 pm Health

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