Summer 2020 was an unprecedented season due to COVID-19. With vaccinations rolling out, it's now possible for people to safely resume many favorite summer activities. That doesn't mean that you can forget your health entirely during your summer fun.
Following these summer health tips will help you stay well so that you can truly enjoy all that the season has to offer:
Don't Forget About the Health Benefits of Exercise.
Summer heat might inspire you to kick back and relax, but it's important not to neglect your fitness routine. The benefits of exercise include weight control, a lower risk of heart disease and other medical problems, and stronger bones and muscles. Research also suggests that exercise promotes mental health, reduces stress, and improves sleep. Take advantage of the summer weather by exercising outdoors. You can go for a walk or a hike or play tennis or golf.
Take Time to Enjoy a Relaxing Summer Vacation.
You may think of summer vacation as being all about fun but taking a break from work and getting away can also benefit your health. A vacation allows you to relax and helps to alleviate the stress that can negatively impact your physical and mental health. If you can't get away this summer, you can have a staycation at home. Unplug from your screen and spend time enjoying hobbies or hanging out with your family.
Enjoy Beach Time and Tanning Responsibly.
Many people look forward to beach time in the summer, and if you're one of them, it's important to take steps to protect your health while you soak in the sun at the shore. You may love how tanning affects your appearance, but the harsh ultraviolet energy of the sun can have health consequences. In the short term, sun exposure can cause painful sunburn. Repeated exposure to UV can increase your risk of certain types of skin cancer. To protect yourself, apply 1 ounce of broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least an SPF rating of 15 around 30 minutes before you head outside. Reapply every two hours or more frequently if you're swimming or sweating profusely. Avoid tanning beds and make sure to wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun.
Eat Healthy Summer Foods.
When you think of summer food, you likely picture hamburgers and hot dogs grilled on the barbecue and sweets at festivals and fairs. While it's okay to treat yourself occasionally to these traditional seasonal favorites, these foods are highly caloric and filled with fat and sugar. To keep your diet in check, take advantage of the wide range of fruits and vegetables available during the summertime. Whip up a summer fruit or garden salad and add chicken or fish to your BBQ rotation.
Protect Yourself From Pests.
Summertime is the season for bugs, and some of the pests you encounter while outdoors can make you sick. Mosquitos can carry illnesses like the Zika virus, and ticks can cause Lyme disease. Experts recommend using an insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon, or eucalyptus essential oil to ward off biting pests.
Many people like to celebrate summer with a cold beer or a frozen cocktail. If you're among them, it's important to drink responsibly throughout the season. Summer heat can increase the effects of alcohol, lower your tolerance, and make it easier to drink excessively. Never drive a car or boat after drinking and avoid swimming when you're intoxicated. It's estimated that alcohol is involved in 70 percent of all adult and adolescent drownings.
Use Caution Around Fire.
Whether you're celebrating the season with sparklers, firing up the grill, or lighting a campfire, it's essential to take precautions around fire and heat. Never allow children to be around fire unsupervised. Ensure that there is a bucket of water nearby to quickly extinguish an unexpected blaze and keep flammable items far from flames.
When you're sweating under the summer sun, your body is losing water. Make sure to drink lots of water when you're outside in the sun and replenish what you've lost once you return indoors. Be aware of symptoms of extreme dehydration, such as dizziness, confusion, dark-colored urine, decreased urination, and extreme thirst. If left untreated, dehydration can lead to life-threatening problems like heat stroke and shock.
Follow Public Health Guidelines.
Even though the start of the season in 2021 looks a lot different than the first day of summer 2020, the threat of COVID-19 hasn't passed completely. Make sure to stay abreast of the public health guidelines in your area and those you are traveling to. Following the advice of public health experts can help you reduce your risk of contracting coronavirus and spreading it to others.