Healthy Summer Tips for Fun in the Sun
Summer is a time to get outside and enjoy warm days and long, lazy nights. While the warmer weather and longer days encourage us to be more active, they can also challenge our well-being. Excessive heat, sun exposure, dehydration, and changes in diet and routine can all impact our health. By adopting healthy habits and taking precautions, we can enjoy all the fun of the summer months. Here are a few healthy summer tips to keep you well this season, whether you’re hiking, swimming, or just enjoying a picnic.
Common Summer Illnesses
During the summer certain illnesses and conditions are more common due to various factors such as increased outdoor activities, exposure to insects, and changes in weather conditions. Here are some common illnesses and healthy summer tips for how to avoid them:
- Sunburn: Excessive sun exposure can lead to sunburn, causing redness, pain, and peeling of the skin. Protecting yourself with sunscreen, hats, and appropriate clothing is essential.
- Heat exhaustion and heatstroke: Prolonged exposure to high temperatures and inadequate hydration can lead to heat-related illnesses. Symptoms may include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, headache, confusion, and loss of consciousness in severe cases. Stay hydrated, seek shade, and avoid excessive physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day.
- Dehydration: With increased sweating and higher temperatures, dehydration becomes a common concern in the summer. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated. You may also consider IV therapies to replenish electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals.
- Foodborne illnesses: Warm temperatures create an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria in food. Improper handling and storage of perishable foods can lead to food poisoning. One key healthy summer tip is to ensure proper food hygiene practices, such as refrigerating perishable items, avoiding cross-contamination, and thoroughly cooking foods.
- Allergies: Summer can be a challenging time for those with allergies, particularly to pollen, grass, and mold spores. Symptoms may include sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, nasal congestion, and coughing. Take necessary precautions such as avoiding triggers, taking products to boost the immune system and fight allergens, and keeping indoor environments clean.
- Insect bites and stings: Mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects are more prevalent during summer, increasing the risk of bites and stings. These can lead to discomfort, itching, swelling, and in some cases the transmission of diseases. Use insect repellents, wear protective clothing, and check for ticks after spending time outdoors.
- Swimmer’s ear: Frequent swimming, especially in non-chlorinated or contaminated water, can lead to swimmer’s ear, an infection of the outer ear canal. Symptoms include pain, itching, and inflammation. Dry your ears thoroughly after swimming and avoid inserting objects into the ear.
- Traveler’s diarrhea: During summer vacations and travels, changes in diet and water sources, as well as exposure to new bacteria, can result in diarrhea. Maintain good hand hygiene, drink safe and clean water, and eat at reputable establishments to minimize the risk.
Following healthy summer tips, ensuring proper hygiene, and taking necessary precautions can significantly reduce the risk of these common summer illnesses.
Healthy Summer Tips
Staying healthy during the summer helps you stay refreshed, energized, and ready to join the fun. Here are some healthy summer tips to help you stay active, fit, and well.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated, especially when it’s hot outside. Carry a water bottle with you and sip water regularly.
- Protect yourself from the sun: Apply sunscreen with a high SPF before going outside, even on cloudy days. Wear protective clothing, such as hats, sunglasses, and lightweight and loose-fitting clothing that covers your skin.
- Stay cool: Avoid excessive heat exposure by seeking shade, staying indoors during the hottest parts of the day, and using fans or air conditioning to keep cool. If you need to be outside, take breaks in shaded areas and use umbrellas or sun shelters.
- Eat a balanced diet: Eat a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Summer is a great time for salads, smoothies, and grilled vegetables. Avoid excessive intake of sugary drinks and processed foods.
- Be mindful of food safety: With warmer temperatures the risk of foodborne illnesses increases. Practice proper food handling and storage to prevent bacteria growth. Keep perishable foods refrigerated and avoid leaving them in the sun for too long.
- Stay active: Engage in regular physical activity to maintain your fitness levels. Enjoy the pleasant weather by walking, riding a bike, swimming, or participating in outdoor sports. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Manage your body temperature: If you engage in vigorous outdoor activities, one healthy summer tip is to be aware of overheating. Take breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas and listen to your body’s signals. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or exhausted, rest and cool down.
- Practice proper insect protection: Use an all-natural insect repellent to prevent mosquito and tick bites. Wear appropriate clothing to cover exposed skin, especially in areas where insect-borne diseases are a concern.
- Prioritize sleep: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule and ensure you’re getting adequate rest. Good sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being.
- Take care of your mental health: Summer can be a busy and sometimes stressful time. So, as a final healthy summer tip, make self-care a priority, engage in activities you enjoy, spend time with loved ones, and seek support if needed.
You can make the most of this season by prioritizing your health during the summer. Taking care of your body by staying hydrated, protecting yourself from the sun, and maintaining a balanced diet will help you maintain optimal physical well-being. Regular physical activity, proper food safety, and mindfulness of your body’s temperature are crucial for staying healthy and active.
Additionally, tending to your mental health and finding moments of relaxation and self-care will contribute to your overall well-being. You can have a safe, enjoyable, and memorable summer experience by embracing these healthy habits. Remember also to consult with your functional medicine doctors for personalized advice and customized healthy summer tips.