10 Tips for a Healthier Summer
As the weather warms up and people are spending more time outside, it’s a great time to think about your health and the easy steps you can take this summer to stay healthy and active!
In most cases, skin cancer is caused by overexposure to the sun. Protect your skin from harmful damage by coving up when you are outside and wearing sunscreen of at least 30 SPF to prevent burns. It’s important to make sure you are reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming to make sure your skin is protected all day. During the day, the sun is most powerful between 10am and 4pm. Spend time in the shade if you can during these hours. For more about sun safety, check out cancer.org.
It’s easy to get involved with what you are doing and forget to drink. Not drinking enough can lead to heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and severe dehydration resulting in a trip to the emergency room. Older adults are especially prone to heat stroke and dehydration during hot months. When exercising, it is especially important to hydrate to replenish what your body has sweat out. In general, make sure you drink enough water and stay away from drinking high amounts of sugary and alcoholic drinks.
Healthy eating is important year-round but can be easier during the summer months! Eating smaller more frequent meals helps your body process quicker and saves energy. Fresh fruits and vegetables have a higher water content, helping you stay hydrated. Lighter foods like salads, fruits, veggies, fish, and chicken are great ways to get proper nutrition without feeling bogged down after eating a meal. For a quick list of healthy foods and their benefits, click here!
Getting regular exercise helps to keep you healthy and the summer offers a lot of fun ways to do this. Mornings and evenings are a great time to exercise because temperatures are cooler and the sun is not as intense during these times, so exercising won’t be as strenuous for your body. Wearing light-colored and lightweight clothing also helps keep you cooler by reflecting the light instead of absorbing it like darker colors do, making you hotter. Certain activities, like swimming, are a great way to be active and stay cool at the same time!
5-Keep cool in extreme heat.
Extreme heat is dangerous for everyone, but can be especially harmful for older adults and people who suffer from chronic medical conditions. Easy ways to stay cool are staying hydrated, staying indoors in a cool space when heat it at its hottest, and staying informed about the daily temperatures and air quality. Air-conditioning and fans can go a long way to helping keep cool. Staying hydrated during extreme heat is also very important to helping your body regulate its temperature and stay cool.
Resting is a crucial thing that your body needs in order to reset and repair itself for the next day. You should be getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Keeping your room dark and cool will help make sleep more comfortable, allowing you to sleep deeply. A full night of sleep also helps to give you more energy by feeling well rested and can lift you into a better mood, helping your mental health.
7- Practice good hygiene
As we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to have good hygiene. Simple tips to achieve this are to make sure that you wash your hands frequently, don’t share food and drinks with other people, and cleaning frequently used surfaces such as kitchen counters and bathrooms. When eating outdoors, keeping plates and utensils separated from raw meats and unclean surfaces will help reduce the risk of contamination. For more tips on proper food preparation, click here!
8- Your pet wants to say cool too
Remember that our pets feel the heat as much as we do so it’s important to keep them safe and healthy during the summer! Simple things like making sure that your pet has plenty of fresh clean water and walking your dog in the early morning or late evening can make them much happier. Hot pavement can burn the pads of their paws, making it very painful to walk. Don’t ever leave pets in a hot car, even just for a few minutes. Your pet is happier at home where it is cool! A full list of summer pet safety can be found here!
9- Air Out the house!
Summer is a great time to open the windows in your home and let fresh air flow through. Fresh air cleans out stagnant air that gets trapped inside and helps reduce odors and cleaning chemicals that may be lingering in the air. In addition to refreshing the air, open windows help prevent mold and dust which can lead to health issues down the road. Opening windows also allows sunshine in which helps brighten the home and kill potential dust mites. Opening windows can improve your mood, especially when spending extra time at home during quarantine. Check our more reasons to air your home out here!
10- Protect your eyes!
Just as the sun can be damaging to your skin, it can also be damaging to your eyes. Wearing sunglasses and a hat can help prevent damage when you are outside and looking at bright objects or reflections. Remember, never look directly at the sun!
Brought to you by the StayWell Health Center Team