With temperatures rising and the sun shining, summer is here! But with climate change and more time outdoors comes certain health risks.
Read through these tips for keeping yourself safe and healthy this summer:
- Protect your skin. Wearing sunscreen is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s sunny and bright or cloudy and rainy, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays (UV rays) can damage your skin. It is recommended to use a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking water is always important, but when you are outside in the summer heat sweating, it becomes even more important. Sweat is the body’s natural way to cool down and the more you sweat, the more water you are losing from your body. Be sure to replenish your body by increasing your daily water intake.
- Watch for bugs. When the heat comes out, so do the bugs! Insects such as mosquitoes can carry deadly diseases including lyme disease and malaria. Protect yourself and your family from bugs by applying insect repellants, maintaining proper landscaping and staying behind screens when possible.
- Avoid harmful plants. While hiking and spending time outdoors is a fun summer activity, be mindful of your surroundings and watch out for harmful plants such as poison oak, poison sumac and poison ivy. These plants are common, but can be difficult to identify. Familiarize yourself with the distinctive features of the plants, how to protect yourself against their harmful oils and how to treat skin rashes and irritations.
- Beat the heat. No matter where you live in the U.S., summertime means rising temperatures. In some parts of the country, temperatures can rise as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Not protecting your body against extreme heat can be very dangerous to your health as it could result in heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even cardiovascular and respiratory issues. By staying hydrated, relaxing in shaded areas, using a portable fan and eating the right foods, you can help your body beat the heat this summer.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating healthy foods during the summer time is important to keep your blood sugar level stable, your body hydrated, and your energy up! Fruits including melons, berries, apples and peaches are all in season during the summer. Bring a fruit salad the next time you visit the community pool to stay healthy and eat right this summer.
Living a healthy lifestyle is not only about eating right and staying active, but also about taking care of your body and protecting it against external conditions. Just like we have to prepare ourselves in the winter by wearing warmer clothes, caring for our skin and staying warm, we have to do the same in the summer. Following this simple guide can help you and your family stay safe this summer. Remember, always talk with your primary care physician if you have questions or concerns. Your doctor can make sure that you are taking all the necessary precautions when it comes to caring for yourself in the summer.