Summer is here! While you’re enjoying the sunshine and making your list of summer fun activities, it’s important to keep your health and safety in mind. We’ve gathered these five health and wellness tips to help you and your family enjoy a safe and healthy summer!
1. Beat the Heat
The heat of the summer is more than just a sweaty inconvenience, it can be deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extreme summer heat sends an average of 65,000 people to the emergency room yearly. Heatstroke can occur when the body is unable to properly cool down after strenuous exercise or prolonged heat exposure outdoors.
A safe and healthy summer wouldn’t be complete without enjoying the sun responsibly. Remember these three words when facing the summer heat: Water. Rest. Shade. Staying properly hydrated, reducing strenuous outdoor activity, and taking frequent breaks to get out of the sun are simple, but effective ways to ensure you are safe while in the heat.
2. Protect Yourself Against COVID-19
The global COVID-19 pandemic is certainly a new challenge that we’re facing this summer. COVID-19 can represent cancelled travel, fewer scheduled activities, and challenges to the work-life balance. For certain things, it seems like summer is on pause.
What’s most important is that we keep ourselves safe and do our part to slow the spread of the virus, so that future summers will not be impacted. Remember to maintain social distancing and limit your exposure to larger crowds. Wear a mask in public to protect yourself and members in your community. Every day we learn a little more about how COVID-19 works and updated guidelines are consistently being shared by the CDC.
3. Swat Away Summer Pests
Summer conjures up images of chasing lightning bugs and butterflies … and also getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Biting pests like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes come with the territory of a summer spent outdoors. While most of the time these bugs are just an annoyance, mosquitoes and ticks can spread disease.
Insect repellent on your skin, clothes, and even your camping tent is the best line of defense against summer pests. Other tips include walking towards the center of the hiking trail, avoiding tall grass and brush when possible, and showering within two hours of an outing in an area that may be infested with ticks. After your outing, be sure to wash your clothes in hot water and dry them on a high heat setting as well.
4. A Safe and Healthy Summer Starts at the Table
You know the old saying, “you are what you eat.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring the warm glow of summer to your table? As a general rule, eating seasonal produce has immense benefits. Seasonal produce is more nutritionally dense because the food has been allowed to reach the peak of its season before being harvested. This allows the fruit or vegetable time to build up its nutrients as it grows, it also makes the produce taste better! Beyond the health benefits, shopping seasonally can be a healthier and more cost-effective choice. A boost to your local economy if you shop farmer’s markets or local, as well as a boost to the immune system.
Summer is an ideal time to take advantage of seasonal produce! Pick these tasty seasonal options- Blueberries, asparagus, watermelon, squash, and broccoli to name a few.
5. Shield Yourself from the Sun
The dangers of the summer sun aren’t just limited to the heat it produces! The sun’s rays are especially intense in the summer, which means it’s important to take special care to shield yourself. The sun is especially harsh on our eyes and on our skin. The solution: sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses!
A dermatologist will tell you that it is best to apply sunscreen every day for a lifetime of healthy skin, but during the summer, it’s wise to reapply sunscreen often throughout the day. Especially if you are spending a lot of time outside. Experts recommend applying sunscreen 30 minutes before being exposed to the sun so that the sunscreen can bind to your skin, and then to apply after every two hours of exposure. This protects the skin from sunburn as well as reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. For our sensitive eyes, regularly wearing sunglasses can lower the risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
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