Staying healthy in the summer might seem easy enough as it’s not the season for cold and flu, sore throats and blocked noses. Summer is the season for fun, carefree days in the sun, the beach, barbecues, and swimming, however, more health risks are lurking around than you might think so you do need to have your wits about you to stay and here’s how:
Look After Your Skin
Sunburn is no fun for anyone, and odd tan lines don’t look good either, so make sure you apply sunscreen, not just to prevent sunburn and skin cancer, but it has also been proven to help slow down your skin’s aging process. Severe sunburn and sunstroke are dangerous and can also lead to extreme dehydration. Not only do you want to apply a high factor of sunscreen (at least factor 30) and apply it every two hours and after swimming or sweating, but you should also cover up when you are out in the sun with long sleeves and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes as well with sunglasses and make sure they block at least 99% of UV light. Also try and seek as much shade as you can and limit your direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are most active.
Water is the best possible summer beverage. Of course, you can still enjoy the occasional cocktail, but you need to drink more water if you are going to be out in the sun for more than a few hours. For every hour that you are out in the sun, you should try to drink at least one or two glasses to prevent dehydration. This will replenish your energy levels while you soak up the rays.
You obviously want to make sure that you have everything you need when you’re going away; however, it is essential that you pack light. While it’s not the most popular thing people think of when you mention summer injury, but actually, it is quite common. You can prevent injuries by packing light as heavy luggage can causes strains, pulls, and tears. However, if you do need to pack more because you are going on a more extended trip, make sure you bend at the knees, and use your leg muscles, and avoid twisting or rotating your spine.
Allergies and Pests
Hay fever is a popular one but summer is also rife for other allergies such as Home Fever which is mainly caused by house dust mites which are commonly found in carpets, upholstered furniture and fabrics and furry toys, and while they are entirely harmless to most people, in some they can trigger an allergic reaction in others. As the weather warms, insects and wildlife emerge from their winter slumbers and begin their search for food. This means that there are more nuisance pests around such as mosquitoes which are the most common. But there could be more than that, such as ticks in your pets or ants are very common during the summer months. If this is the case for you, then you might want to call pest control as there could be something more serious causing your allergies such as the ants or even roaches or termites.
All too often, people forget to or don’t want to eat breakfast in the morning before heading out for the day. Without an excellent nutritious meal first thing in the morning, your body can wilt in the summer sun, which can potentially lead to dehydration, fainting or heat overexposure. Eat a breakfast high in protein, such as eggs, with a side of fruit or whole grains; this will also jump-start your metabolism.
For the rest of the hot summer’s day, it’s the perfect time to enjoy outdoor meals with friends and family, celebrating and enjoying the long light evenings. Delicious salads, melons, and berries add color and flavor to picnics and barbecues but remember that warmer temperatures can quickly spoil food, so you’ll need to be extra careful. Make sure you wash all the utensils, containers, work surfaces and of course your hands before handling food. Cook food the same day as you go on a picnic, rather than in advance as this will give bacteria less time to grow. Also remember to wash fruit and vegetables before cutting, in case bacteria are present on the rind or peel and keep mayonnaise-based foods and other cold foods in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. Always throw out leftovers that have been sitting out for more than two hours, or one hour if the temperature is over 90°F.
If you have a barbecue, then make sure you know about healthy grilling, for example, you want to serve more fish, chicken, and vegetables, and cut back on minced beef, pork, and sausages. Defrost food in the refrigerator, marinate foods in the fridge too and don’t reuse marinade that has touched raw meat or poultry unless you boil it first. Always bring one set of plates and utensils for handling raw foods and another for cooked foods to prevent cross-contamination. Remember to bring a food thermometer to be sure that grilled foods are cooked enough. Hamburgers should be prepared to at least 160°F and chicken breasts to 165°F and make sure you clean charred bits off your grill before you start cooking and from your food before you eat it. Line your grill with foil poked with holes so that the fat will drip off, but the smoke won’t reach the meat.
Avoid Getting Drunk
It’s understandable and very common for the sunny days to bring out your fun side, they make you happy, and you want to have a good time. However, it is essential that you watch how alcoholic beverages you have if you are going to be outside for more than a few hours. Drinking alcohol in the sun, dehydrates you further, causing you to sweat and urinate more, so it’s crucial that you drink water between alcoholic beverages.
Stay active, but stay coolRegular physical activity is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle no matter what the season is. The hot summer weather can make it easy and appealing to exercise outdoors and to get the whole family involved. It is better to exercise in the morning or evening when it’s likely to be cooler outdoors. If it’s too hot to go outside and exercise, still go to the gym, or walk laps or climb stairs inside an air-conditioned building or even better go for a swim where you can really cool down. Make sure you drink plenty of water and don’t wait until you’re thirsty, you can help your body to sweat and cool down by drinking water frequently. Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing as this will help perspiration evaporate and keep you cooler. If possible, wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat. Also, involve the whole family because physical activity is essential for everyone. Take children and even older family members to the park for a nice walk or play a game of ball. When you’re planning a holiday, you could also plan an active one such as camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling as these are all great ways to spend time at one with nature at the same time as getting exercise. If you’re on holiday, then you can get some great exercise while exploring by renting bicycles or going on a walking tour.