Health Tips to Be Cool in the Warmer Months
Summertime is here, and there’s no better time to be active and think about how to live your best, healthy life. The summer months are warmer, the sunlight stays around longer, and vacations take advantage of the fresh air and freedom from winter.
However, like everything else in life, management of all aspects of your health is the key to truly enjoying and making the most of your summer. There are a variety of practices and decisions for you to consider so that your summer is healthy and, as a result, happy.
Fun in the Sun, Not Sunburn!
Can anything ruin a trip to the beach quite like a sunburn? Just thinking about sunburn, for someone who has experienced a particularly nasty one, can send chills down your spine.
While sunburns are terrible to experience, they are avoidable. One of the most important things that you can do to make your summer the best it can be is to take care of your body’s largest organ, the skin. While the sun's warmth can feel amazing, too much exposure to ultraviolet rays could put you at risk for larger problems like skin cancer down the line.
The first thing that you can do is select the right clothing for the occasion. Consider what is going to be covered by your clothing. Want to shield your face and neck? A baseball hat will only do so much; try a wide-brim hat that will provide more comprehensive coverage. If you’re going to be working outside in the garden try wearing a light, UV-protective long-sleeve shirt. Be intentional and consider what will be exposed.
In addition to proper clothing, sunscreen is your best bet for protecting your skin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15 protection and applying it every two hours. Allow the sunscreen to fully dry before activities and go the extra mile to cover all areas of exposed skin, including ears, your scalp, and hands.
So long sunburn!
We’re not the only ones who want to get outside and enjoy the summer. With warmer temperatures comes the less fun parts of the season - bugs. While a column of marching ants may disrupt a picnic, the two insects to be most aware of are the classic mosquito and tick.
To repel unwanted biting visitors most effectively, utilize insect repellent with DEET, as recommended by the CDC, or, for a more natural route, oil of lemon eucalyptus. Also, don’t just spray your skin, but your clothes as well.
Furthermore, familiarize yourself with the species of ticks in your area to know what to watch out for, as the diseases you’re most at risk for are region dependent. While manageable, tick-borne diseases can certainly alter the infected person’s life. Check yourself, and any animal companions, frequently for ticks while outside, especially if you’re hiking or camping. If you have been bitten by a tick, consult your doctor for any necessary tests and precautions.
Do your best to avoid mosquitoes by not hanging around stagnant pools of water and be aware that mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Use repellent as well, and if you do become a snack for a mosquito, you can find some itching relief by applying an ice pack to the bite to reduce swelling and itching.
Follow these tips and tell these annoying bugs to beat it!
Too Hot Too Handle - The Important of Hydration During Summer
As temperatures rise, so do health problems. Even if not heat stroke, the rates of heart attack, stroke, and pneumonia rise steadily with the thermometer. Staying cool is important, and there are simple ways to do it.
First, limit the amount of prolonged exposure to high temperatures. If working or playing outside, take breaks in the shade and get into cooler air conditioning when able. A common rule of thumb, according to the CDC, is to take a ten-minute break every two hours if the heat index is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or greater.
Second, plan based on the heat. If you’re going to have prolonged periods of exertion in the heat, make sure you have plenty of water (more on that later) and a plan for breaks. When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Beat the heat before you’re even in the flames!
Move It for a Healthy Summer!
The benefits of physical activity can’t be overstated, and if you’re looking to make the most of your summer then getting moving is a great way to feed two birds with one scone.
Enjoy an early morning or evening walk when the heat is less intense, get involved in a local recreational sports league, or head to the pool. If you’re not already an active person start small and be sure to do things that you enjoy.
Take advantage of the warm summer months to get yourself into a regular routine of physical activity. You’ll find year-round benefits from this vital lifestyle change.
Summer Fun Sips and Snacks
What’s one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and wellness this summer? Drink some water! By drinking water over sugary, less hydrating drinks you’re setting yourself up for success with the best hydrating drink for summer!
If you think water is boring, try slicing up fruit and adding it to your H2O for a kick of flavor, or try out one of the many naturally flavored and sugar free seltzer waters on the market. However you go about it, the importance of hydration during the summer is paramount.
In addition to water, take advantage of the summer growing season to enjoy some fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables. Spruce up your salads and sandwiches with some fresh roughage, and enjoy delicious fruits, like strawberries or melons, as a healthy snack time alternative.
By eating and hydrating well you’ll feel better and have more energy to get the most out of summer fun.
Liberty HealthShare Can Help You Have a Healthy Summer
Liberty HealthShare’s programs can help make sure that this summer you’re getting the healthcare you need at prices you can afford. You have the freedom to use any provider, and your contributions will directly support other members so that you can have the peace of mind and know you’re helping others like you.
Find the program that is right for you by clicking the banner below, and then once you know your health needs are set, go have some summer fun!