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Longer days, warmer weather, outdoor festivals, beach time, barbecues, and so much more. Sounds like our kind of summer! All of it can’t come soon enough, and we want to make sure you’re prepared to enjoy a summer full of your favorite activities while staying healthy and active. Keep these tips in mind, and have your best summer yet.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
One of the quickest ways to feel ill or burned out during the summer (or any time of year!) is through dehydration. Long hours in the sun paired with a high level of activity and sweating can dry you out quickly. On a related note, keep in mind that things like alcohol and caffeine dehydrate you. So enjoy them in moderation during the summer, and try to balance out your drinking by keeping a bottle of water close by.
Eat with the Season
The summer harvest brings fresh fruits and vegetables to many areas of the country, and we all have our regional favorites. But summer also offers plenty of opportunities to indulge at barbecues, ball games, and ice cream trucks. Of course, it’s ok to enjoy your favorite foods, but stay aware of how often you’re eating things like fried foods and fatty meats, and balance them out with lighter fare. Another benefit of fruits and veggies is that they contain a lot of water, so they can help to keep you hydrated during the summer.
Watch the Heat Index
After being inside for the winter, we’re all ready to get out and about as much as possible. When you have a day of outdoor activities planned, keep an eye on the heat index in your area to avoid the risk of heat exhaustion. And remember that the morning and evening offer some reprieve from the intense heat. When exercising, stick to shaded areas when possible or find a gym or other air-conditioned building where you can walk around or climb stairs when it’s dangerously hot outside.
Know Your Sun Exposure
There are few better feelings than the summer sun on your skin. But, like everything, it’s best in moderation.
Wear sunscreen when you go outside, and make sure to reapply more often if you’re sweating or out in the water. Other sun tips include wearing breathable clothing that keeps you cool while blocking excess sunlight, and being extra careful around bodies of water, which reflect and enhance UV rays.
And don’t forget about your eyes. Keep sunglasses handy whenever you’re outside or driving on a sunny day.
While limiting heat and sun exposure are crucial to staying healthy, it’s just as important to get outside and move your body this summer. Exercise is good for your mental and physical health, and it will help balance out those barbecues and ice cream treats. Find an activity you enjoy, like running, biking, or swimming, and make a plan to do it with friends or family. That will keep you accountable and provide the added benefit of social connection.
Should You Wear a Mask?
Most sporting events and large music festivals are fully back after a couple years of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many areas have relaxed masking and distancing requirements, and the hospitalization rate for those infected has steadily dropped since January 2022. Yet, some experts are concerned about the potential for new variants of the virus and the stalled rate of vaccinations in the United States.
For you and your family, decide what you’re comfortable with and go from there. The summer will offer plenty of opportunities for events and travel, so plan ahead and understand the risks before you go.