Keeping Healthy When Visiting Hot Countries

When taking a holiday in a hot country it is important to take account of the weather conditions, whether you are taking a beach break in the Mediterranean or a shopping trip to Adu Dhabi, over exposure to heat can cause serious health risks.

Effects of heat

Spending too much time in the sun, no matter how appealing, can have serious effects on your health. The main result of over exposure to the sun is the risk of burning. Although the idea of sun tanning is to nicely bake yourself, each year many people overdo their sun worshipping and have to be treated for serious burns or heatstroke and with the added risk of skin cancer if you expose yourself to the sun for a prolonged period.

The other effect of too much sun is dehydration, which can cause nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps and headaches. If you become seriously dehydrated your body could suffer seizures, vomiting, muscle spasms and delirium.

Tips for keeping yourself safe and healthy when taking a holiday in a hot climate include:-


1      Keep hydrated, drink plenty of bottled water, make sure they are sealed tightly when you buy them as well. This is the main way of avoiding dehydration; also remember that infants and children may suffer the effects from a lack of water a lot sooner than adults.

2      Cut down on soft drinks, sugary drinks, alcohol and caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee during the hottest parts of the day. These liquids have the opposite effect to hydrating the body.

3      Avoid ice in drinks as it is normally made from tap water.

4      Avoid over exertion, light exercise is obviously good for you but strenuous games of beach football in 40-degree temperatures can be damaging.

5      Stay clear of direct, midday sun, the hottest part of the day is between 11am and 3pm.

6   Make sure that you have all the recommended inoculations for the country to which you are travelling.

7   Wear light clothing, sunglasses and a hat to protect you from the harmful effects of the sun.

8   Apply the correct factor sun block, at least, sunscreen protection factor SPF 30.

9   Find a cool shady place to sit or spend midday indoors in a cool air-conditioned place.


For mild cases of dehydration you simply need to replace the lost fluids, electrolytes and salts from your body. You can also purchase over the counter sports drinks, which normally contain the right balance of electrolytes for your body. Where people are suffering from more serious levels of dehydration they may require medical assistance and the administration of intravenous fluids.

If you do spend too much time in the sun the best course of action is to take painkillers to help the pain, a cool shower or a bath will also help alleviate the discomfort. Drink lots of water to keep you hydrated and taking moisturisers or after sun creams on holiday with you; especially ones that contain aloe vera is a good idea.  In the case of sever sunburn a trip to the local hospital or doctor may be necessary to receive the appropriate treatment.

Jim Dean is a keen travel blogger and writes for Etihad airways who can offer you flights to Abu Dhabi as well as many other great (and hot!) places.

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Misconceptions about Mediterranean Foods and Weight Loss

Mediterranean diets are one way to lose weight and keep your cardiovascular system in good health. These diet plans are preferred by many because they can enjoy Italian-based accompaniments like a glass of red wine with dinner and small dessert every day. What many do not realize is that the typical American’s idea of “Mediterranean” is often based on the common Italian foods we knew as kids. However, a real Mediterranean diet is heavy on fish and seafood topped with light sauces, rather than huge helpings of pasta and heavy sauces at each meal.

Avoid Americanized Portions

Authentic Italian meals rarely consist of heaping mounds of pasta flooded with a heavy marinara sauce and served with large slices of garlic bread. Research shows that in a real Italian diet, people eat several small meals in a day. Each of these meals contains much smaller portions than Americans expect to see. Fruits, nuts, and fresh vegetables make up the largest part of meals, which do not center around large meat dishes.

More Fish, Less Red Meat

The Italians eat more fish and seafood than any other European countries. The nutrients in fish can help you develop a stronger immune system and overall improved health. Italians eat very little red meat in their regular diet. If you believe that spaghetti with meatballs is a cornerstone of the Italian diet, you will be sadly surprised to learn that Italians eat meat maybe once a week. Many meals do not include meat dishes at all, but rely on cheese for protein.

Moderation is the Key

The power behind the Mediterranean diet is moderation. Italians like to eat a wide variety of foods in smaller portions so that they can enjoy several different flavors at each meal. If you only eat a plate of baked pasta at lunch, you are missing the benefits that come with a true Mediterranean diet. The best way to approach Mediterranean food is to plan to eat a small amount of something from each food group at each meal. Think about foods that are natural to the Italian climate, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. Pay attention to flavors and spices to ensure a greater variety of tastes and textures.

Pasta should be Used Sparingly

The American idea of Italian food generally starts with pasta. While Italians do eat some pasta every day, they usually only have it with one meal. The pasta is never the central feature of the dish, either. If you really want to start a Mediterranean diet, you can’t go straight for the spaghetti and pizza. The most successful and healthy Italian diets contain a measured amount of all healthy foods available to residents of the Mediterranean.

Jessica Bosari writes on topics important to dieters and discusses top weight loss diet programs at The site is a helpful resource for those seeking Nutrisystem promos and coupons or the Medifast savings coupon for March.