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Sun-Kissed and Hydrated: Top Tips for Staying Healthy This Summer

As the sun shines brighter and the days grow longer, summer invites us to embrace the outdoors and soak up the warmth. Alas, while we revel in the season’s delights, it’s crucial to prioritize our well-being. High temperatures and increased sun exposure can pose risks if we’re not careful. 

To help you enjoy a safe and healthy summer, Medical House Calls has compiled essential summer health tips. From protecting your skin to keeping cool and hydrated, these guidelines will ensure you stay safe and healthy.

Importance of Summer Health

Summer is a season of warmth, fun, and outdoor activities, but it also comes with health challenges. High temperatures, intense sun exposure, and changes in routine can impact our well-being. Staying healthy during summer involves taking proactive steps to protect ourselves from the heat, sunburn, dehydration, and other seasonal health issues. 

By following essential health tips, we can enjoy the season to its fullest while minimizing risks. From staying hydrated and using sunscreen to managing allergies and maintaining mental well-being, these guidelines are crucial for a safe and enjoyable summer.

Tip #1: Staying Hydrated in the Summer Heat

Drink Plenty of Water

Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day, more if you’re active or spending time in the sun. Carry a reusable water bottle to remind yourself to drink often throughout the day.

Eat Water-Rich Foods

Incorporate fruits and vegetables with high water content into your diet. Foods like watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, and oranges can help you stay hydrated while providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Beverages like coffee, tea, and alcohol can have a diuretic effect, leading to increased fluid loss. To maintain hydration, opt for water, herbal teas, or electrolyte-enhanced drinks.

Set Hydration Reminders 

Use apps or set alarms on your phone to remind you to drink water. This is especially useful if you forget to hydrate throughout the day.

Monitor Your Urine Color

Check the color of your urine to gauge your hydration. Light yellow or clear urine indicates good hydration, while dark yellow or amber urine suggests you need to drink more fluids.

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Tip #2: Protecting Your Skin from Sunburn

Sunburn is a typical summer ailment that can lead to long-term skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is essential. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or outdoors. 

Wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long sleeves, to shield from direct sunlight. Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the sun safely and keep your skin healthy.

Tip #3: Essential Summer First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have for summer activities. The kit should include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and gauze for minor cuts and scrapes. Add antihistamines for allergic reactions, hydrocortisone cream for insect bites and rashes, and pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. 

Include a digital thermometer, tweezers, and an emergency blanket. Having an ice pack or cooling gel can also be beneficial for minor burns or heat-related issues. A comprehensive first aid kit ensures you’re prepared to handle common summer health concerns.

Tip #4: Managing Seasonal Allergies

Summer can be challenging for those with seasonal allergies. Pollen, grass, and mold spores are common triggers that can cause sneezing, itchy eyes, and congestion. To manage allergies, monitor pollen forecasts and stay indoors on high-pollen days. Keep windows closed and use air conditioning to filter the air. Shower and change clothes after spending time outside to remove pollen from skin and hair. Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays can provide relief, but consult your doctor for the best treatment options.

Tip #5: Healthy Eating Tips for the Summer

  • Incorporate Seasonal Produce: Enjoy the abundance of fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Berries, tomatoes, zucchini, and leafy greens are nutrient-dense and delicious options.
  • Opt for Light, Refreshing Meals: Choose salads, grilled fish, and smoothies. They prevent the sluggishness that often accompanies heavier foods.
  • Stay Hydrated with Water-Rich Foods: Include foods with high water content, such as cucumbers, watermelon, and oranges, in your diet. These foods keep you hydrated and provide essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Grill Smartly: When grilling, opt for lean proteins like chicken, fish, and plant-based alternatives. Add grilled vegetables for added nutrients and flavor, and use marinades and seasonings to enhance taste without excessive calories.
  • Practice Portion Control: With summer gatherings and barbecues, it’s easy to overeat. To maintain a healthy diet, be mindful of portion sizes and balance your plate with a mix of protein, healthy fats, and a variety of vegetables and fruits.

Tip #6: Outdoor Activities in Summer

Staying active is essential, but summer heat can make exercise challenging. Choose early morning or late evening for outdoor activities. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing and stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise. 

Consider water-based exercise like swimming or paddleboarding. Always listen to your body and avoid strenuous workouts during extreme heat. Incorporating physical activity into your summer routine can enhance your well-being and help you make the most of the season.

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Tip #7: Sun Safety: Using Sunscreen and Sunglasses

Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays is vital. 

Apply Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Apply it generously to all exposed skin 15-30 minutes before going outside, and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.

Don’t Miss Sensitive Areas

Pay attention to overlooked areas such as the back of your neck, ears, scalp, and the tops of your feet (dorsum). These areas are prone to sunburn and need adequate protection.

Wear UV-Protective Sunglasses

Choose sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Look for styles that wrap around the temples to provide comprehensive coverage.

Use Protective Clothing and Accessories

In addition to sunscreen, wear long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking fabrics. These provide an extra layer of defense against harmful rays.

Seek Shade During Peak Hours

Avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest. Seek shade under trees, umbrellas, or canopies, and plan outdoor activities for early morning or late afternoon.

Tip #8: Beating the Heat: Cooling Strategies

High temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To lower your body temperature, wear loose, light-colored clothing and a hat. Use fans or air conditioning to cool your indoor spaces. Take cool showers or baths. 

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day. Cooling towels or ice packs on pulse points can also provide relief. Recognize the signs of heat-related illnesses, such as dizziness and nausea, and seek shade or air conditioning if you feel overheated.

Tip #9: Sleep Tips for Hot Summer Nights

To create a comfortable sleeping environment, use lightweight, breathable bedding and wear loose, cotton pajamas. Keep your bedroom cool by using fans or air conditioning, and consider placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan. Taking a cool shower can lower your body temperature. Avoid heavy meals and caffeine close to bedtime. Establish a relaxing routine to signal your body that it’s time to rest. Staying cool and comfortable can improve the quality of your sleep.

Tip #10: Mental Health in the Summer

While summer is often associated with fun and relaxation, it can also be a time of anxiety. To reduce stress, practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga. Stay connected with friends and family, and make time for activities you enjoy. 

If you feel overwhelmed, seek support from a mental health professional. Balance your schedule to include self-care. Prioritizing your mental well-being can help you enjoy the summer season and maintain a positive outlook.

Medical House Calls Is a Call or Text Away

Staying healthy during the summer involves more than enjoying the warm weather and outdoor activities. You can make the most of the season while protecting your wellness by following essential tips for hydration, sun safety, managing allergies, and maintaining a balanced diet. 

For all of your at-home healthcare needs in Middle Tennessee and along 30A Florida, contact Medical House Calls. Same-day and next-day appointments are available to ensure you stay healthy and happy all summer long.