7 mistakes you should avoid in hot weather

Heat Heatwave Summer Germany Cooling
Photos: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay

Germany is currently experiencing temperatures of up to 30 degrees, sometimes even higher. To avoid suffering even more from the heat, you should definitely avoid these common mistakes.

Summer is finally here, at least for a short time. And with it the hot temperatures. When it’s hot, you should be especially careful with yourself and those around you and avoid the following mistakes.

1. Mistake in hot weather: Drinking ice-cold drinks

You often come across the advice to avoid cold drinks in summer. The reasoning is that the body has to actively heat up cold drinks, which leads to even more sweating. But that is a myth. The German Nutrition Society explains that drinks are warmed up in the gastrointestinal tract, but this happens passively via the ambient temperature. The body therefore does not have to make any additional effort.

So you don’t have to avoid cold drinks in summer, but you should avoid ice-cold ones. These can lead to stomach cramps. And stomach pains can hinder the necessary fluid intake.

2. Use air conditioning

air conditioner
(Photo: Pixabay / CC0 / falco)

Air conditioning is bad for the environment. Air conditioning provides a welcome cooling effect – whether in the car or at home. Why you should not use air conditioning or even buy a new one:

  • Large temperature differences put a strain on the circulatory system: if it is well over 30 degrees outside and only just over 20 degrees inside, this is a great strain on the body. The result: circulatory problems, colds or conjunctivitis.
  • Air conditioning systems are real power guzzlers. Even a small cooling system with 880 watts, for example, uses more electricity than 100 energy-saving light bulbs. In a car, the air conditioning system is the biggest consumer of fuel next to the engine, writes the Federal Environment Agency.
  • Another problem is the refrigerants used in many air conditioning systems. Some of the agents have a greenhouse effect and therefore place an additional burden on the climate.

The good news: Cooling down also works without the power guzzler:

3. Drinking alcohol can be a big mistake in hot weather

A cold beer or a refreshing cocktail after work? This is also not recommended – and not just because the drinks are too cold. Alcohol and heat do not mix particularly well:

  • At high temperatures, alcohol has a faster and more intense effect. Especially if you drink alcoholic beverages to quench your thirst, you can quickly consume too much alcohol. This can lead to unwanted side effects such as circulatory problems.
  • In the heat, we lose a lot of water through sweating. Alcohol also removes water and minerals from the body. The risk of heat stroke increases, warns the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA).

Read more: Heatwaves: How hot is too hot for humans?

4. Taking a cold shower is a heat mistake

Contrast showers: helpful in the fight against cellulite.
Although it is tempting, cold showers are not recommended. (Photo: CC0 / Pixabay / Seregas)

Another mistake that many people make when it’s hot: taking a cold shower. A cold shower is actually quite refreshing at first and also saves energy. However, it’s not much use when it’s very hot – because our body’s own mechanism makes us sweat:

The cold shower reduces the body temperature. This triggers a counter-reaction in the body: the pores of the skin and blood vessels contract to keep the heat in the body. The body also increases the temperature to get back to 36 to 37 degrees Celsius. The result: you sweat even more than before. A shower with lukewarm water is more helpful – for the sake of the environment and your wallet, the warm water flows through an economical shower head.

5. Leave electrical devices in the sun

Whether outside or in the car, you should not leave electronic devices such as smartphones or sat navs in the sun for long periods of time – they cannot tolerate high temperatures. Depending on how hot it is, the worst case scenario is that the battery fluid could leak. Therefore, always leave sensitive devices in the shade.

Animals and plants also suffer from the heat. Please also read: Animals suffer from the heat and need your help and The trees are dying of thirst – it’s that easy to help them!

6. Drinking too much coffee

Coffee preparation
Better to drink a little less coffee. (Photo: © Unsplash / CC0)

You should also be careful with coffee: the caffeine it contains has a diuretic effect. Under normal circumstances, this is not a problem and the body compensates for it. However, since we already lose a lot of water through sweating in the heat, it is advisable to be a little more careful in summer. You don’t have to avoid it completely, but it is advisable to drink a little less coffee than usual.

7. Stay indoors only

Should you stay at home in hot weather and move as little as possible instead of sweating outside? That’s not a good idea either, because the body then slows down its circulation – so much so that even small exertions quickly overwhelm it. In order to stay fit even in hot temperatures, you should still get enough exercise, for example by taking short walks in the park or doing (lighter) sports sessions at cooler times of the day, as sports doctor Prof. Ingo Froböse recommends.

Read more on Techzle\.com:

  • What to do in hot weather? The best tips to endure the heatwave
  • Make your own ice cream without an ice cream maker: 5 summery recipes
  • Animals suffer in heat: How you can help

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