There is a rule, written somewhere in the Unfair Laws of the Universe, that says two of the first three weeks of September have to be unbearably hot. This is frustrating for a variety reasons.
Firstly, school has gone back. Which means that summer holidays are over and there is no way to harness the heat into a day trip to the beach or another peanut butter Magnum opportunity. On its own this might just be bearable (at least there’s everyone’s back-to-school hair experiments to distract you), but then they insist that you have to do PE.
Now of course, exercise itself isn’t the problem. In fact, it’s pretty damn excellent; it helps boost your mood, reduces stress, does wonders for your skin and helps you live to 112.
No, the problem is that they make you run around a field when it’s a million degrees outside. Or they make you do sit-ups and pull-ups and push-ups when literally nothing about your body wants to be ‘up’. In fact, in wants to be down. As in, lying down. Preferably on a beach, or on the floor of a deeply air-conditioned room listening to a soundtrack of a beach.
But teachers can be cruel, as can September. So allow us to present: your post-PE survival guide (summer edition), to make those endless, sweaty games of netball a little more bearable.
You go, you future Olympian, you.
1. Water bottle
Sure this one seems obvious, but when half of your class are lining up for the water fountain with red faces and dry mouths, you’ll be the smug one sitting in the shade, drinking deeply from your water bottle without a care in the world. Aside from your heart rate.
2. Braids – Dutch, French, Pigtail, whatever you fancy
Pre-PE, pop your hair in braids. If you think people who can braid their own hair are sorcerers (you’re not alone in this), see if you can find someone who can braid them for you and save your arms the pain (after all we’re in the business of making PE less, not more traumatic). This way, when you take your hair out after PE you’ll have skipped the dreaded kink and given yourself beachy waves.
Also, look how weirdly happy this girl about the braid in her hair! Oh wait, that’s me. I’m the weirdly happy girl in the photo. Carry on.
Let’s be honest, people should carry wipes around in the same way they carry around tissues. They are useful in pretty much all situations. Spilled some sauce on your top? A wipe can fix that. Need to blow your nose? A wipe can handle that situation whilst also cleansing your skin. Had double PE and your body is now ¾ sweat and ¼ skin? A wipe has your back. And your front.
These ones from Wilkos have the benefit of being both gloriously cheap and great for sensitive skin. Plus, cleaning your face after exercising can help keep spots at bay #winning.
4. BB cream
BB cream is like the superhero of the make up bag. On the outside it looks like a regular moisturiser, but in reality, it’s full of secret powers. This one from La Roche-Posay has SPF 20, so it will protect you from the sun. It’s tinted, so if you’re all red and blotchy after PE, it will give your skin a nice, even tone. Plus, it’s made for oily skin, so it can help mop up that post-hockey shine.
Pop a thin layer on after wiping down with your wipes. It might not be as cool as invisibility or flight, but hey, we’ll take whatever super power we can get.
5. Dry Shampoo
Braids can do many things – like make you look like Princess Leia or a member of the Von Trapp family – but they draw the line at keeping your hair grease-free. Enter our BFF (barnet fixer forever) when your hair is less ‘beachy waves’ and more ‘it looks like I’ve been swimming in a frying pan.’ Batiste have a range of scents (our fave is blush) and they even come in travel sizes, so you don’t have to sacrifice your geography homework for bag space. Shame.
We know it sounds like something your mum would say, but a spare pair of socks really go a long way in bringing down the pong factor. Sure, some schools have regulation socks that are all boring and navy or whatever but this pair is awesome and we wanted you to see them.
But seriously, pack a spare pair of socks that you can change into after PE – your feet and your classmates will thank you. Manufacturers of athlete’s foot treatments will not.
7. Body Spray
Watermelon Body freakin’ Oil Spray. Do I really need to say more? No, seriously, do I? This is a moisturizing body spray that smells like watermelon. Spritz some of this around you (neck, wrists, hair) to leave you smelling fresh even after you’ve played an hour of field hockey.