This Monday (July 23) marks the start of this year’s “Great Heat” (大暑 Dà shǔ), the twelfth term in the Chinese solar calendar. Although the recent heavy rains gave us respite from the sweltering heat, be prepared, as we’re entering the peak of the summer season that will last until August 7 (that’s two weeks, to be exact). I, for one, don’t like this warmth because I’ve had too much of it back in my home country. And by too much, I mean intense heat that’s enough to fry an egg on the pavement.
Let’s go back to Beijing, where we always have a hot and humid summer combined with recurring air pollution. That being said, many of us will not like the idea of wearing a face mask while we’re sweating like pigs on a hot and polluted day. But wearing it in spite of everything else is important to keep healthy.
In addition, high temperatures can cause heat-related illnesses like cramps, exhaustion, and at worst, heat stroke. They can strike anyone from healthy adults to children to elderly people. In most cases, these illnesses are preventable.
1. Keep yourself hydrated and eat cooling grub that helps regulate your body temperature. If you want to get more flavor out of your usual water, give it zest by adding fruit and vegetable blends or perhaps get some refreshing flavored tea from a nearby bubble tea store.
2. Limit outdoor activities. If it’s possible, stay away from the sun, especially between noon and 4pm when it’s always hot. If you’re planning to take a weekend jaunt, wear loose-fitting and light clothing, and make sure that you bring water during this hot period to keep you hydrated.
3. If you just can’t resist basking in the sun, wear sunglasses (to protect your eyes against bright reflections and ultraviolet rays) and apply sunscreen especially on body parts that are often missed, like ears and feet.
4. Cool down before you sleep. Take a quick shower before you hit the bed. You don’t want a day’s worth of pollution sleeping with you, right?
READ MORE: Beating Heat-Related Illnesses