Five things you must not do in hot weather
Exercise a few hours after a cramp
Cramps are one of the early signs of heat exhaustion, and because symptoms can escalate quickly and heatstroke can be deadly, avoid exercising for at least a few hours if you have a muscle cramp on a hot day.
Also, if you experience other signs such as dizziness, weakness, nausea or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
Hydrate with soda
Although soda ads would like you to believe otherwise, cracking open a can on a hot day and downing it to quench your thirst is a bad idea.
A study done on rats and published in the American Journal of Physiology showed that drinking soda to rehydrate could not only cause more dehydration, but also damage your kidneys at the same time.
Drink warm bottled water
If you are taking water with you, use a reusable stainless steel or aluminium bottle.
That is because a University of Florida study found that when heated, the plastic containers of bottled water can leach a cancer-inducing element called antimony as well as a hormone-disrupting compound called bisphenol A, commonly known as BPA.
For this reason, it is also a good idea not to store bottled water in hot spaces like your car, or to purchase water from stores where the bottles are left out in a sunny spot.
Store vitamins and medicines in kitchen or bathroom
Doing so may make it more convenient for you to take them, but keeping the pills in these two spaces is not ideal.
According to research by Purdue University, some active ingredients in tablets, including water-soluble vitamins such as B and C, may dissolve completely in warm and humid conditions, and opening and closing the containers in these moist environments speed up the irreversible degradation.
Store your supplements in a cool and dry place instead.
Thaw food on counter
Defrosting food on your kitchen counter when the weather is warm seems like a good idea, but bacteria proliferates quickly once food hits 4 deg C and above, setting you up for potential food poisoning.
This is why the United States Department of Agriculture recommends defrosting methods such as transferring frozen food to the fridge, which keeps your food cool (usually under 2 deg C); thawing in cold water and changing the water every 30 minutes; using a microwave; or cooking it directly from the freezer.
This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)