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8 tips to stave off the tropical heat in Singapore

Being close to the equator means there’s no escaping the sun, not to mention increasing global temperatures thanks to greenhouse emissions. With temperatures hovering as high as 35 degree Celsius, your body would be grateful for every effort you put into dampening the sun’s enthusiasm. Follow these 8 tips to keep your cool in the hottest of days: 

  1. 1. Never underestimate the power of staying hydrated
  2. Given the festering heat and humidity in Singapore, even the slightest exposure outdoors would render you glistening with perspiration. This loss of water is best countered by consistent rehydration. While water is the best option, there are alternatives for the picky. 
  • Fresh coconut water: A rich natural source of electrolytes which helps prevent dehydration, fresh coconut water is said to be a good replacement for rehydrating sports drinks if you enjoy its taste enough to down lots of it.
  • Lemon-Infused water: Not a fan of bland-tasting water? Drop a few slices of lemon into your water bottle and send it into your freezer for a cool, refreshing drink on the go.

2. Have a go at ‘cooling drinks’ by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners

The Chinese have long since employed the unique properties of natural ingredients to help maintain ‘balance’ in the human body, whether by relieving ‘heat’ or ‘cold’. The following traditional ‘cooling drinks’ are what many locals turn to when they need some cooling down.

  • Chrysanthemum tea - The Chrysanthemum flower is believed to have ‘body-cooling’ properties and can be bought as tea for your personal brew or in bottles of fresh brew from Chinese medical shops like Hock Hua Tonic and Thye Shan Medical Hall.
  • Three Legs Cooling Water - A TCM drink started in 1937 during the then British Malaya. Three Legs Brand started in Singapore and later introduce the range of Three Legs products to Malaya at a later time. This mineral-water tasting concoction is made with purified water and Gypsum Fibrosum – a mineral traditionally used to relieve excessive ‘heat’ in the body. You can find this bottled drink in all leading supermarkets.
  • Luo Han Guo drink - Commonly prescribed by TCM practitioners for coughs and sore throats, this humble fruit is quite literally, a ball of relief for excessive ‘heat’ in the body. Stocked at Chinese medical shops like Hock Hua Tonic and Thye Shan Medical Hall, you can buy this dried fruit for brewing your own drink, or in in bottles of fresh brew.

3. True ‘coolness’ begins from the inside

What you eat greatly influences your body’s response to hot weather. Taking foods that are water and nutrient rich, such as bitter gourd, bamboo shoots and cucumbers are a good way to keep your body hydrated and cool. Cooling fruits like oranges, pears, water chestnuts, starfruit and lime are also great dietary additions to keep your body cool and your skin healthy.

4. Dress for the weather

Apart from the usual linen and cotton offerings, you can consider wearing other woven fabrics such as Seersucker, Hopsack and Oxford. These fabrics do not cling to the skin and enable heat to dissipate faster with better air circulation. New clothing collections such as AIRism by Uniqlo, Adidas Climacool and Nike Dri-fit feature material innovations with enhanced ventilation to keep you cool. More apparel innovations can be found here.

5. Your mattress matters

We spend at least 6 hours in bed every night, naturally, our mattress plays a big role in keeping us cool and rested. That’s why choosing a latex mattress makes sense. A good alternative to the comfy memory foam, latex mattresses provide uniform comfort and similar adaptive features, without memory foam’s heat issues. Thanks to tiny air bubbles infused into the latex compound, air circulation and breathability is enhanced, keeping your body cool as you sleep.

6. Opt for a cooler pillow

Just like latex mattresses, a latex pillow performs similar cool wonders. With good airflow and breathability, plus elastic qualities that keep its shape intact, a latex pillow is what you need to stay ‘cool headed’ through the night.

7. Adapt by exercising outdoors

Acclimatising to the heat is beneficial as it facilitates perspiration and cooling, thereby moderating skin and core temperatures. It generally takes 2 weeks of continual training outdoors or in the heat for your body to acclimatise. By doing moderate exercise in hot conditions for at least an hour every day can help your body adjust better to high temperatures.

8. Face the world coolly

Just like how drinking lots of water is important in hot weather, the same can be said for your skin. Regardless of your skincare regime, hot weather presents the need for rehydration in the day. Facial mists are a good way to keep your face moisturised on the go, as each spray cools and freshens.

26 May 2016
Maxine Loh