How do you cool down when the sun burns? Don't forget that you yourself are a heat source of approx. 37 ° C! We still feel comfortable between 20 and 25 degrees. In fact, we don't need any clothing, not to stay warm, and not to protect us from the warmth. However, as protection against burning (and for social - possibly also aesthetic (? :) reasons).

The fight against feeling of heat is a dilemma. You want to feel coolness by cooling yourself inside and / or outside, but because of the dissipated heat, your thermostat will heat up your body to keep the temperature for us warm-blooded acceptable. We are therefore looking for a balance between a fresh (er) feeling without increasing our internal heating.

To sweat

You cool down by sweating. The evaporating moisture dissipates the heat.

So drink enough, at least 2 liters of water per day.

Keep your skin clean and the pores open by washing with lukewarm mild soap, and do not use makeup or skin oils, not even as sun protection: prefer to stay in the shade.


Do not wear pinching but loose and airy clothing.

Avoid synthetic fabrics, they do not let air through. Choose linen, cotton or fresh-feeling silk.

Protect your head with a wide-brimmed light-colored sun hat (or umbrella).

Do you better wear black or white? Light-colored tropical clothing or dark Bedouin robes?

Scientists did the test (1980) with volunteers in the desert. The color made no difference, but the cut did. A loose wardrobe creates a chimney effect: the heat between the garment and the skin goes up and creates a stream of air that cools you down. Black transmits less radiation and protects better against burning. Black does absorb more heat, but it is also easier to dispose it of. So it becomes balancing between body heat and ambient heat, and factors such as sitting in the shade or walking in the sun.


During sweating you lose moisture and also electrolytes (salts) that need to be supplemented. Fruit types can supplement this moisture and salt deficiency. Very suitable: watermelon. But also melon, banana, mango, strawberries, apples, raspberries, blueberries and black currants.

The harder your stomach works to burn carbohydrates and proteins (meat, potatoes and pastas), the more energy you use and the warmer your body becomes. Eat small portions throughout the day. You naturally choose a salad rather than a heavy meal.

Spicy peppers increase the heart rate and your temperature, and stimulate the sweat glands. You can therefore better limit or avoid them, just like spicy food, cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine.

Hot weather, hot drink

Do not use ice-cold drinks that your body needs to heat up, lukewarm herbal tea is better to keep the body thermostat in your brain stem 'cool'. For the same reason you do not take a fresh shower, but a lukewarm shower or bath.

Put mint leaves in your jug ​​of water. We experience mint as fresh and invigorating because of the organic menthol content that it contains.


Hitte Ice Cube 600Find the coolness. Go to a shady forest. It is efficient. You notice it in the parking where everyone wants to stand under that one tree.

Go for a swim. Go to the cellar or to the vegetable section of the department store.

Do not wind up (about the heat), stress increases your heart rate. Relax, adjust your pace.

Avoid the heat of the day. Get up earlier and have a siesta or power nap between 12 and 16 hours.

Keep your house cool

Avoid heat sources in the home: oven or stove, chargers, (incandescent) lamps, motors and electronics.

You get a greenhouse effect behind glass. Keep the sun out by shielding windows with awnings, umbrellas, hops (climbs, and is only green in summer), trees, shutters, curtains, cloths.

If it cools down in the evening (outside cooler than inside) you can open windows to cool the house. Open all interior doors, including cupboards in which the heat lingers.

Open the chimney valve. 2400 years ago, producing cool air (air conditioning) was already possible in Iran!

Hang a damp curtain in front of the open window.

Mop the floor so that it can also "sweat".

Place frozen water bottles in front of a fan (in a container or on a dish to collect the melt water). Salt lowers the temperature at which water freezes, making the ice very cold.

Turn off fans if nobody is in the room. The engine generates heat. The air flow removes more moisture from your sweaty skin, causing your body to cool. It turns meaningless if no one is in the room.

Cool feeling

Feet look like heat regulators. When it's cold we wear thick socks. Paw bathing in a tub of water is refreshing. Use airy footwear or walk barefoot. But do not burn them on a hot surface!

Keep your wrists under the tap

Wet your hair

Put a cold washcloth on your neck

Spray water (with a spray can) in your face.

Shower with peppermint soap

Use a (hand) fan to add coolness

Use silk or satin


In 2019 3 heat waves (+ 30 ° C) with excess mortality of 4, 17 and 10% and a regional peak of 35% in Brussels), especially among people aged 65 to 84.