How to stay healthy in searing heat as Met Office issues rare amber warning

News

When it’s hot outside, it can be easy to let healthy habits slip.

As the sun shines long into the summer nights, the temptation to let our routine lapse can be difficult to resist.

In fact, conditions across the UK are so hot, the Met Office has issued a rare amber weather warning for extreme heat was been issued for large parts of the UK as the mercury sizzled above 30C today with Brits warned it could become too hot to work.

The warning doesn’t come into effect until Sunday but temperatures are already starting to climb into the 30s.

Iced tea
When choosing cool summer drinks, swap a crisp glass of white wine for a spritzer, low-calorie wine or perry – they are lower in calories and alcohol.

Stick to gin and diet tonic or a mojito, rather than sugary cocktails such as a pina colada. Pimm’s with diet lemonade comes in at fewer calories than sangria, too.

Salad daze
Seemingly healthy, the classic summer dish in a restaurant or as a takeaway can actually be laden with calories due to fatty dressings.

Businesses that employ 250 or more staff must now display calorie counts on their menus so read the small print – some Caesar salads have more calories than a burger.

Pint of order
There’s nothing like a cold lager on a hot day. But you can avoid sinking too many by swapping a pint for a bottle, which could save 100 calories per round, equivalent to a 20-minute walk. Check the strength – a lower ABV beer is often lower in calories too.

Stay active

Can’t motivate yourself to head indoors to the gym while the sun shines? Try your hand at something more summery.

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found racket sports were one of the best for reducing the chance of dying early. Tennis burns more than 500 calories an hour.

Go for cold
You can still enjoy a chilled treat if you opt for one of the new lower-calorie ice creams, such as Halo Top and Oppo. They can have fewer than 100calories per 100ml compared to 250 in a usual scoop.

Consider swapping that Magnum, at 260 calories, for something like a Solero Exotic at just 98 calories.

Grass act
Traditional picnic treats are often high in fat and salt.

Take carrots, cucumber or celery sticks rather than crisps or make sensible swaps such as ditching the pork pie for a cocktail sausage, or a Scotch egg for a boiled one with celery salt. They are both lower in calories and fat and just as tasty.

Sweet truth

At the seaside, swap a stick of rock for candy floss to slash the calorie and sugar levels by half. Beware chilled coffees and milkshakes, which can be laden with multiple teaspoons of sugar.

Grill thrills
We typically eat 3,200 calories at every barbecue, which is more than the recommended adult allowance for a day – it’s 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

Instead of burgers, steaks and sausages, go for chicken without the skin and salmon kebabs. Switch mayo-laden sides such as coleslaw for grilled corn on the cob and a green salad with vinaigrette.

Life’s a beach
Not quite ready to join in the beach cricket or volleyball this summer? Build a sandcastle instead. It’s a good workout and burns off 40 calories every 10 minutes.

The resistance provided by running through surf or along a sandy beach will make you burn more calories than your usual pavement jog does too.

Burning issue

Most of us know to apply sunscreen with a SPF of at least 30 about 20 minutes before going into the sun.

But wearing a wide-brimmed hat not only reduces the chance of sunburn to your head and neck but also reduces your eyes’ exposure to UV by up to 50 per cent.

Hol of an idea
Going abroad? A US study found sitting in a window seat on a plane could make you less prone to infection. And get travel insurance – two fifths of us still don’t.

Kip of advice
Nearly two thirds of adults struggle to get their eight hours of sleep when the mercury rises.

Wear cotton fabrics at night and close your bedroom curtains during the day to stop it warming up.