Summer is an exciting time for backyard barbecues, pool parties, and loads of fun in the sun. However, the summer season also brings its fair share of temptations, including calorific treats, overdone tans, sunscreen neglect, and many other poor lifestyle choices.
To make sure that your entire family stays happy and healthy this summer season, follow these 20 tips:
1. Hydrate your body
Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water a day can help prevent illness, keep your bones and muscles healthy, help maintain your weight, improve brain function, and fuel your activities.
2. Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption
While fluids can help replenish you, certain ones—such as iced lattes and alcoholic drinks—are diuretics that can cause your body to lose more water than you take in. Either limit caffeine and alcohol this summer or stay away from them altogether.
3. Turn activities into exercise
The warm summer weather is ideal for staying active. Regular exercise provides several benefits to your health, including excellent heart health, maintained weight, reduced pain, and less stress. If you have no time to hit the gym, turn simple activities into complete exercise routines. For example, when walking your dog or going to the grocery store, try adding in stretches and strengthening exercises along the way.
4. Dress for the weather
Layering clothes is a trend during colder seasons, but when it’s hot out, you will feel much more comfortable wearing breathable and light-colored fabrics, loose-fitting clothes, and a wide-brimmed hat to help protect against sunburn.
5. Take cover
Though the sun is an excellent source of vitamin A, it is still important to seek shade to reduce your risk of sunburns and skin cancers. Aside from dressing appropriately for the weather, try limiting your time under direct sunlight between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, which is when ultraviolet exposure is at its peak. If you will be outdoors for prolonged periods, read our next summer health tip.
6. Apply sunscreen every two hours
Sunlight is the primary source of skin cancer, which is why it’s important to use a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to shield your skin from UVA and UVB rays. If you will be out in the sun for prolonged periods, reapply sunscreen every two to three hours, and more if you will sweat or swim all day.
7. Get wet
Summer is the perfect time to jump in the pool and switch up your workout routine. Swimming is an excellent form of cardio, and a 30-minute session doing front crawl, breaststroke, and backstroke will burn almost 400 calories. You may also join a water aerobics class or create your own aerobic exercise by doing jumping jacks and butt kicks in the water.
8. Protect your hair
The constant exposure to heat, salt water, and chlorine can leave your hair feeling frail and dull. If your summer plans include trips to the pool, it is advisable to use anti-chlorine shampoo and conditioner to neutralize the chlorine from your hair. If you are visiting several beaches, use an oil spray to protect your hair from salt water’s dehydrating effects. In addition, minimize the use of hair dryers, straighteners, and other heating products.
9. Be good to your eyes
When outdoors, remember to wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays. The right pair of sunglasses can aid in preventing cataracts, as well as wrinkles around the eyes.
If you like playing sports or will be doing renovation work around the house, it is also recommended to wear protective eyewear. Consult your eye doctor about the best type since some are sport-specific.
10. Prevent bug bites
Mosquito bites not only cause itching and discomfort, but they can also transmit serious diseases, such as Zika, West Nile virus, and many others. Choosing an effective mosquito repellent can help prevent bites and protect against mosquito-transmitted illness. Some common active ingredients used in mosquito repellents include deet, permethrin, picaridin, and citronella.
11. Plan a personal vacation
A vacation to get away from work, responsibilities, and stressful obligations is necessary for your well-being. Whether your idea of a relaxing holiday is at the beach, at home, or at a five-star hotel — take some “me time” this summer to refuel and rejuvenate.
Internet overuse may cause depression. Thus, disconnecting and embracing a world without selfies, hashtags, and videos, even for just a few days, can do wonders for your well-being. Instead, engage in activities that encourage real-life socialization with other people.
13. Get a good night’s sleep
Getting enough quality sleep at night is pivotal in helping protect your mental and physical health, safety, and quality of life.
14. Start a new hobby
Summer is great for finding new passions and activities. Gardening, in particular, is one way to enjoy the beauty of nature while burning some calories. Planting an herb garden is a fantastic way to get your hands dirty. It also provides you direct access to some fresh flavors for your summer meals.
Constant exposure to the sun, along with the body’s excess production of oils and sweat, can cause a buildup of dead skin cells. Therefore, it is essential to exfoliate your skin to keep it smooth and silky. The accumulation of dead skin cells can result in clogged pores, uneven complexion, blemishes, and blackheads. To prevent this, use a loofah once or twice a week to scrub away dead skin cells. You can also make a gentle exfoliating scrub by combining ground oatmeal with honey.
16. Eat fresh
Another great thing about summer is the vast amount of fresh produce available. If you visit your local farmers’ market or grocery store, you are bound to see a wide selection of healthy fruits and vegetables of every color. Making room for fresh produce in every meal is sure to provide your body with essential nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin C, among many others.
17. Beware of “healthy” smoothies
Fruit-flavored smoothies made with ice cream or frozen yogurts can be very high in calories. To ensure that your smoothie presents tremendous health benefits, opt for refreshing beverages made with fruit, juice, and ice.
18. Stay in air-conditioned areas
One way to keep cool this summer, avoid sweat stains, and prevent heat strokes is to chill in air-conditioned rooms. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, invite some friends to spend a day at the mall or the movie theater.
19. Take cold baths or showers
Cold showers can lead to thermogenesis (internal generation of body heat), which turns on the body’s adaptive repair systems to strengthen immunity, ward off depression, overcome chronic fatigue syndrome, enhance pain and stress tolerance, stop hair loss, and stimulate anti-tumor responses. It is also an effective way to cool off from a hot, humid day.
20. See your doctor
An effective way to guarantee a happy and healthy summer is to visit your doctor. A check-up will ensure that you are free of infections and diseases, and your doctor may prescribe multivitamins to help boost your immune system throughout the summertime. What are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment with your doctor today!