After experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, the world is finally coming back to a level of normalcy. And because of this, many people are taking precautions to stay healthy this summer.
While we are eager to get back out and start enjoying the best of what summer offers, you should probably check out these 7 summer tips to stay healthy and safe all summer long.
1. Drink More Water
Water is essential for life and is vital to support the healthy function of the human body. In fact, water is the largest single constituent of the human body, making up approximately 60% of an adult body.
With summer temperatures expected to reach record highs, it is crucial to stay well hydrated during summer's hot days. The best way to do that is to drink enough water for your body's needs.
There is a growing body of evidence that supports the importance of adequate hydration in maintaining proper health, especially with regard to cognition, kidney stone risk, and weight management.
In addition, research suggests that water intake helps keep our eyes and joints lubricated and helps regulate body temperature. Which is essential for those planning to be active during the summer months.
How much water should you drink? The amount of water you need varies between people and according to age, time of year, climatic conditions, diet, and physical activity levels, so it is tricky to set daily recommended values.
However, according to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) fluids a day for women.
Just remember that 20% of your daily fluid intake usually comes from food and other beverages you already consume.
2. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber might sound like an odd tip to follow for the summer, but eating foods rich in fiber or supplementing with fiber may provide surprising health benefits.
Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate that our bodies cannot digest because we lack the necessary digestive enzymes to break down these carbs. In fact, fiber can be split into two categories based on its water solubility: soluble and insoluble fibers.
Soluble fiber can be dissolved in water and is metabolized by healthy bacteria in your large intestine. Soluble fiber forms into a gel-like substance in your gut and is shown to help control blood sugar spikes and other metabolic benefits. Soluble fibers include gums, pectins, psyllium, beta-glucans, and others.
Whereas insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and mainly acts as a "bulking" agent that aids in bowel movements. Insoluble fibers include lignin and cellulose.
So this summer, ensure your digestive system doesn't suffer and embrace healthy living by eating fiber-rich foods.
3. Exercise Outdoors
Surely by now, we all know that exercising is important for our health and offers many benefits.
But did you know that there are additional benefits from working up a sweat while outdoors?
Studies have shown that physical activity outdoors lowers a person's blood pressure and heart rate.
Known as "Green Exercise Environment," workouts increase physical activity levels with lower levels of perceived exertion, altering physiological functioning, including stress reduction, restoring mental fatigue, and improving mood, self-esteem, and perceived health.
When exercising outdoors, you can also benefit from the natural sunlight. In combination with fresh outdoor air and natural light helps to invigorate and provide more energy for the mind and body as your body converts Vitamin D.
Be cautious of possible harm caused by excessive sunlight, such as dehydration and sunburn. So don't forget protective sunscreen and hydration while exercising outdoors!
This brings us to our next tip, sunscreen.
4. Wear Sunscreen
While you should apply sunscreen daily, it may be most important to apply sunscreen during summertime.
Unprotected skin can expose the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays that can damage skin and cause sunburns. Worst of all, sun-damaged skin can lead to skin cancer or cause premature skin aging.
Wearing sunscreen and limiting sun exposure is the best way to protect yourself against the damaging effects of the sun. But no sunscreen product blocks UV radiation 100%.
The protection provided by sunscreen is indicated by the sun protection factor (SPF) listed on the product label. A product with an SPF higher than 15 is recommended for daily use.
Remember to apply sunscreens every half hour before going out into the sun to give it time to absorb into the skin. Use it liberally and reapply it every 2 hours after being in the water or after exercising or sweating. Sunscreens are not just for the beach. Use them when you are working in the yard or playing sports!
5. Use Insect Repellent
Outdoor activities like hiking or walking your local park during the summer often provides a fun and active pastime. However, you can be sure to encounter all types of insects while outdoors. Yuck!
Bug bites are the worst. While some bugs may be a minor annoyance, other bugs may be carrying harmful pathogens that could cause various diseases such as malaria and Lyme disease.
This summer, avoid bug bites and use insect repellent to prevent contracting diseases.
You can reduce your risks when using insect repellents with DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus by reading and following product labels. Also, follow these precautions:
- Do not apply bug sprays over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
- Use just enough insect repellent to cover exposed skin and clothing.
- Do not use under clothing.
- Avoid putting on too much bug spray.
- After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.
- Wash treated clothing before wearing it again.
5. Avoid Excessive Alcohol
Summertime is often viewed as the time to let loose, relax and enjoy the warm weather. That mindset also often sets the stage for overconsumption of alcohol. These activities can quickly become alcohol-fueled events from block parties, float trips, weddings, and lazy days at the beach.
However, there are risks associated with overconsumption of alcohol during the summer months.
Alcohol impairs judgment and increases risk-taking, a dangerous combination for swimmers. Surfers could become overconfident and try to ride a wave beyond their abilities. Even around a pool, alcohol can have tragic consequences.
Summer heat and alcohol can equal trouble. Overconsumption of alcohol could put you at risk for dehydration as alcohol causes fluid loss as urination is more frequent.
If you plan to drink alcohol in the upcoming summer months, make sure you hydrate between drinks and be mindful of the heat!
6. Don't use Tobacco
During summer, habits change, and routines slowly set in. Take this time to kick the habit of smoking. It shouldn't be news that smoking causes damage to your body and can lead to long-term health problems.
According to the CDC, cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.
However, quitting smoking lowers your risk for smoking-related diseases and can add years to your life.
Why quitting may be challenging, you may want to consider using nicotine replacement therapy options such as gums and patches.
Another option worthing trying is a non-nicotine vape or Nutriair Relax diffuser. The Nutriair device contains a mixture of food-grade vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol liquid blended with Passion Flower Extract, Chamomile, and Valerian Root Extract. Once heated, the nutrient blend turns to vapor and is then inhaled into the mouth and absorbed through the body.
This summer, keep in mind the 6 tips we shared to stay healthy all year long.
To recap, to stay healthy this summer you should drink more water, eat foods with high fiber, exercise outdoors, wear sunscreen, use insect repellent, avoid excessive alcohol consumption, and avoid using tobacco products.
We hope these tips help you have a fun, safe and healthy summer!