The warmer months bring eased eating habits and more outdoor activities. While these can both definitely be perks, when the days get longer, the risk of heat-related illnesses also increases. Keeping your cool requires balancing work, travel, and outdoor activities with healthy eating habits and adequate hydration. Fortunately, there are ways to stay safe and healthy all summer long without sacrificing time or energy. A few small changes go a long way toward keeping you cool and keeping your body healthy!
Drinking enough water is incredibly important, but it can be easy to forget when you are busy. Getting enough water protects against dehydration, which can lead to headaches and muscle cramps. Water also protects against heat stroke and heat exhaustion, so staying hydrated makes sure that you are at your best. If you are working in a warm environment and you are physically active, you need more than the standard eight glasses per day.
Light, healthy meals
When the weather heats up, lighter meals are the best choices. Keeping your energy up and your blood sugar balanced allows you to stay alert and productive, even during the hottest parts of the day. A few smart meal choices include whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, and low-fat dairy. Cereal is a classic morning choice, but it is also a great way to start the day with calories and sugar. Consider other light and healthy options like oatmeal, eggs, or yogurt too. For lunches, salads are always a great option when you want to stay light and healthy. You can mix and match veggies, grains, and proteins to create a variety of different dishes. You can also add a dressing to add flavor and help keep you hydrated!
Take care of your skin
The sun’s harmful rays can seriously damage your skin. This can lead to wrinkles, dark spots, and even skin cancer. When you are spending time in the sun, use sunscreen to protect your skin. Look for a sunscreen that has SPF 30 or higher. Also wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and light clothing that covers your arms and legs to help shield your skin from harmful rays. If you are going to be outside for a long period of time, you may want to consider wearing protective clothing or reapplying sunscreen sprays throughout the day to ensure your skin is protected. If you have sensitive skin, try using a moisturizer with SPF or even a chemical-free sunscreen lotion with a lower SPF.
Check-in with your physician
If you have a medical condition or take medication, you may want to check in with your physician before the summer starts. Certain conditions or medications can make it harder to stay cool during the summer. Stay hydrated, avoid direct sunlight, and get extra rest if you are taking any medications or have a condition that makes you more prone to overheating. If you have an outdoor job or participate in outdoor sports, you may also want to check in with your physician to make sure you are staying healthy. Some outdoor jobs are seasonal, so you may be more prone to certain illnesses or conditions during the summer. Outdoor sports may increase your risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Make sure you hydrate frequently, wear light clothing, and take breaks when needed. If you are worried, or don’t have the time or commitment to a current physician, take advantage of the many online options. Consult with an online doctor service, Dr Felix, to see what’s best for your specific conditions or situation.
Don’t let the heat get to you
The most important thing to remember is that no matter what, don’t let the heat get to you. If you are indoors and overheating, turn up the AC. If you are outdoors and overheating, find a place to rest in the shade and drink lots of water. If you notice someone else is suffering from extreme heat, you can offer them water and help them find a cooler place to rest. Heat stroke is a serious concern and a big risk for people not used to the sun. If you live in a cold climate, you might to be used to the humid dog days!
Simple changes and small precautions can help you stay healthy and happy during the summer. Stay hydrated, have light and healthy meals, protect your skin from the sun, and make sure you are getting enough light during the day. Additionally, travel safely, check in with your physician, and don’t let the heat get to you.