Can you feel the warmth of the sun’s rays on your face? Summer is finally here! We all love the summer season and always look forward to this time of year. Summer 2020 was dull because of the looming health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year things are a bit different. Although the pandemic is still here, due to the introduction of the coronavirus vaccine, there is hope that this might be a better, happier summer as more people continue to get vaccinated.
However, some people might still be reluctant to hold and attend pool parties, barbeques, or go on vacation this summer, as things have yet to go back to normal completely. Despite vaccination, one might still feel anxious and apprehensive about traveling and being in social gatherings.
If you choose to celebrate and engage in your normal summer activities, your health should still be a priority. There are some health risks you might be exposed to in the process, and this is why we have compiled some summer health tips to help you stay healthy and safe while having fun.
How to Stay Healthy in Summer: Problems and Remedies
1. Get vaccinated
In order to enjoy a carefree summer without worries about becoming infected, the first step is to get the COVID vaccine, if you haven’t yet. Since most activities require you to be among people or outdoors, there is a higher risk of becoming sick and thus, staying safe is paramount. By getting vaccinated, not only will you be protecting yourself but also those around you.
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2. Eat a healthy diet
Enjoying a barbecue or cookout with friends and family is one of the highlights of summer. However, this brings with it other problems because warm weather provides the ideal temperature for the multiplication of bacteria. Often when hosting these functions, the food is prepared in advance and left to stand in the sun, exposing it to contaminants and increasing your risk of getting food poisoning. Food to be eaten in BBQs and picnics in the summer should be handled carefully and put in a cool place.
We also tend to eat unhealthy foods in summer, which could lead to weight gain and a higher risk of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. To maintain good health in the summer season, substitute the unhealthy diets with healthy ones. For instance, eat grilled chicken or fish instead of burgers and hot dogs. Also, include more fresh fruits, vegetables, as well as berries in your meals.
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3. Stay hydrated
Another summer tip for good health is drinking water. You spend more time outside in the sun and are bound to get thirsty fast. You lose a lot of water through sweat, and even though the evaporation of the sweat helps keep your body cool, the water loss needs to be replenished. Unfortunately, many times people mistake thirst for hunger and eat instead of drinking water. Your body needs water to keep functioning properly, and thus you need to remember to stay cool and hydrated. Not only does water help you stay fit in summer but also provides a feeling of being full hence reducing the chances of overeating. Drink 1-2 glasses of water every hour you spend in the sun to avoid dehydration.
4. Stay active
You have probably been cooped up in your house since the pandemic started and are looking forward to spending more time outdoors bonding with friends and family. The summer season is perfect for you to engage in fun outdoor activities and sports with them. There is no better way to stay active and get rid of any extra weight you may have gained than by working out.
Physical exercise is crucial for your health. However, due to the hot temperatures, you need to be careful how and when you exercise in summer. This is because too much exercise in the hot weather can lead to heatstroke, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and dehydration. To stay healthy in summer and reap the benefits of exercise, work out when the temperatures are lowest, keep your body hydrated, wear loose-fitting clothes, and slow your pace. Some other fun ways to stay active during summer include regular exercise, walking, jogging, biking, hiking, water sports, playing soccer, or volleyball.
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5. Protect your skin
As enjoyable as spending the day in the sun is, you could get sunburn. Exposure to ultraviolet rays is dangerous as it damages your skin cells, and hence wearing sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat while outside is paramount to protect your skin in summer. Sunscreen helps reduce your risk of getting skin cancer and slows down the aging process of your skin.
Furthermore, exposure to too much sunlight and heat may lead to extreme dehydration, which is quite risky to your health and may result in hospitalization. Take care of your skin in summer by using sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor(SPF) of at least 30 to extend the time of effectiveness. Ensure it is labeled broad spectrum to protect you from a wide range of radiation.
6. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin
Your body sheds dead cells daily and that can make your skin look dull and rough. Summer is the perfect time for you to show off your glowing, healthy skin. To achieve this, you need to keep your skin in top condition by exfoliating at least thrice a week to get that radiant and glowing skin everyone envies. Select a gentle exfoliant that contains natural ingredients such as baking soda, sugar, sea salt, or oatmeal.
Furthermore, the skin may get dehydrated due to excessive heat and needs to stay moisturized in summer. You can apply lotion to your body as it contains more water than oils. Exfoliate and moisturize your skin regularly to keep your skin healthy and glowing all summer long.
7. Take a break
The past year and a half haven’t been easy for anyone, and taking a break from work this summer will do you a lot of good. You enjoy many health benefits when you take the time to relax and unwind including; lower blood pressure, increased production of the stress hormone(cortisol), and reduced heart rate. Not only is a vacation great for your physical and mental health, but it is also an excellent way for you to spend more time with your family and improve your relationships. You will return to work healthier and more motivated.
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8. Protect your eyes
Wear protective eyewear, such as sunglasses, when doing outdoor activities to protect your eyes from the dangerous ultraviolet sun rays. The rays damage your eyes slowly and may affect your vision by putting you at risk of conditions such as cataracts, thickening of the sclera (white part of the eye), as well as macular degeneration. Your eyes are important, and they need just as much protection as your skin does. To stay healthy in summer, you should wear protective eyewear such as sunglasses, a hat, and the recommended equipment if you engage in sports.
9. Get enough sleep
It is not odd for you to go days without sleep in the summer months. There are just too many activities to do that you find little to no time to rest. There are games to play and pool parties to attend, but at the end of the day, we all need a good night’s sleep to stay healthy. Avoid taking naps in the daytime, unless you nap at the same time daily. Also, maintain a good sleeping schedule by not staying awake too late and sleeping at the same time every night for the same amount of time.
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10. Avoid being over-intoxicated
We all want to have a good time during summer. However, one must take care not to overindulge. Limit your alcohol intake, especially before bedtime, as this affects your sleeping habits. Drinking too many alcoholic beverages while outdoors in summer may lead to dehydration because you sweat and urinate more often. You also don’t want to become an alcoholic. The recommended amount is 1-2 drinks per day. When taken in moderation, alcohol is said to help prevent heart disease.
Although summer is an amazing time to have fun in the sun, your health remains a priority. Use the above tips to stay healthy in the summer and avoid developing any problems. They are simple to do and will work for you. Do not let these minor things dull your fun.
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