Here in the Mid Atlantic we seemed to have bypassed Spring completely and dove headfirst into summer. As the weather heats up and the season changes there are actions we can take to make sure our summer is a healthy one.
Good hydration prevents heat illnesses and actually helps our bodies acclimate to warmer climates. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water per day. Good hydration helps our bones and muscles stay healthy. It helps maintain weight and can improve brain function. Most importantly, it fuels our daily activities.
2. Eat Fresh Food
There is nothing better than eating produce directly from a farm. I am munching on a bowl of farmstead blueberries right now. Eating a broad range of vegetables and fruits ensures our bodies are getting all the nutrients they need. Reserve a place on your plate at every meal for fresh produce.
3. Be Sun Smart
Make sure you use a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen every day (that also includes overcast days). Aim for SPF of at least 30. Make sure you apply your sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside for maximum coverage and reapply throughout the day. Wear a hat. Protect your eyes against UV damage with sunglasses. Wear light weight, light colored clothes. Try to limit your time in direct sun exposure between the hours of 10 to 4. It is important to know the signs of heat stroke: altered mental state, not sweating, and nausea and to seek immediate medical attention.
It is important to continue exercising even in the summer months. If you exercise outdoors either change the time you exercise to early mornings or later in the afternoon/evenings or move your exercise indoors. Use the summer to try a new activity. Be adventurous.
Make sure you spend some time in nature. But be aware of the hazards. Watch out for
mosquitoes and ticks. Wear appropriate clothing and check yourself for ticks. Be able to identify poison ivy and poison sumac. Call your physician if the rash is extensive or on your face. For mild cases you can use cool compresses and calamine lotion. For more extensive cases call your physician for medication.
6. Water Safety Rules
Be smart around water. Never swim alone. Always wear life jackets on boats. Don't mix alcohol with water activities
7. Relax and Enjoy
It's summer. Enjoy yourself. Go on vacation. Take time to reenergize and refuel. Disconnect from the online world. Focus on conversations and socialization. Read a book.
No matter the season, sleep plays a vital role in your health and well being. It protects both your mental and your physical health. It also plays a role in safety and the quality of life.
I am going to make some time this weekend to sit on my hammock, read a book, and nap. As always if things are not going as you plan with your health and you need some help managing it, please don't hesitate to reach out to me... your healthcare advocate.