10 Tips for Staying Healthy This Summer

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Image credit: istockphoto.com/portfolio/kieferpix

Summer is known as the season of fights and festivals. In other words, it’s the time of year when people are most active, outgoing, and potentially pugnacious. With this in mind, let’s take a look at ten ways to stay healthy this summer:

Protect your skin

Summer skincare tips center around applying sunscreen every time you go outside for an extended period of time. While sunscreen is essential to protecting your skin as well as your body, more goes into summer skincare than SPF. The sun’s rays dry out your skin, requiring moisturizer to maintain healthy-looking skin. While daily sun damage is the ticket to early aging, daily moisturizer is the ticket to protecting youthful-looking skin.

Stay hydrated

Much like eating right and sleeping enough, staying hydrated is essential to maintaining a positive state of mind and a strong sense of wellbeing. It’s no surprise that people who recall extreme episodes of dehydration commonly describe rapidly diminishing awareness coinciding with a looming sense of dread. Therefore, staying hydrated is key to staying healthy in summer. Make a point to drink as much water as possible. It will keep you healthy and sane at the same time.

Stay cool

Ask a cop which time of year they dread most. Chances are they’ll say summer. That’s because crime rates soar in summer, a by-product, perhaps, of the human reaction to heat. We become impatient, intolerant, and quick to anger. While the average person is unlikely to delve into a crime spree during a heatwave, the fact remains we’re better off when we stay cool. That doesn’t mean hiding out indoors all summer, soaking in the air conditioning rather than going outside. It just means there’s a limit to our ability to endure heat before we experience physiological repercussions. The solution is to be mindful of that and take steps to stay cool.

Stay active

Summer is the season for swimming, hiking, bike riding, and other outdoor activities. We need to make the most of the good weather and stay active as much as possible. Doing so will burn off the fat we acquired during the winter and build our endurance back up. Even a walk around the block during your lunch break – or an evening walk around the neighborhood – is better than nothing.

Eat well

With so many fresh fruits and vegetables available during the summer, eating well is easier than during other times of year. Apples, bell peppers, corn, and green beans are just some of the healthy foods on the menu. Throw in some grilled meat or mushroom seasoned with fresh herbs, and you have a classic summer meal ready to go every night.

Use insect repellent

We all look forward to the beautiful sight of nature at its peak in the summer months. But among the green trees and vibrant flowers lurk ticks and mosquitos ready to bite and possibly spread diseases, such as Lyme, West Nile, and Zika. Remember to apply insect repellent on your arms, legs, and neck before venturing out into nature. Doing so discourages these bugs from latching on or landing for a bite.

Shower after a hike

While bug spray is an effective deterrent, all it takes is one determined tick to latch on and cause problems. By showering right after a hike and checking for ticks, you’ll have time to remove them before they burrow into your skin. Make a point to inspect your legs and feet closely, as they tend to be where ticks are found.

Dress appropriately

When it comes to keeping skin protected in summer, sunscreen is only one component. Clothes, hats, and sunglasses also help shield our skin from the sun’s rays. With that said, nobody wants to cover themselves head to toe in the heat of summer, so balance is key. Stick to shorts, sandals, and light-colored t-shirts to stay cool while using hats and eyewear to shield your face. Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas.

Get quality sleep

Quality sleep is essential no matter what time of year. But summer heat makes it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. With this in mind, it’s vital to take steps to keep your bedroom as cool as possible. Use oscillating fans, avoid heavy bedding, and stick to a minimal amount of sleep clothes. If your sleep schedule includes times of day with the sun shining through your window, consider putting up heavy curtains to block the heat from getting into your bedroom.

Take time off

Summer vacation is something we associate with our childhood. But those with PTO available can – and should – take a week or two off during the summer. Doing so is key to preventing burnout and maintaining good mental health at work. Where you go and what you do is entirely up to you. Travel to an exotic city. Ride the train from coast to coast. Or, just take it easy by the pool. With so many things to do when the weather is warm, don’t make the mistake of letting summer come and go without taking time off.

Stop and smell the roses

They say the best things in life are free. One can argue that’s especially true in the summer, where one is never far from enjoying the wonders of nature. Taking time to enjoy the beauty around us will go a long way in helping us unwind after a long day or recover after getting bad news. A walk through the neighborhood can open your eyes to things you never noticed before. A newfound appreciation for your community – and the world-at-large – will change your perspective for the better.

Summer is nearly here, and with it comes a chance to improve our health and wellness. But it won’t happen on its own. Each of us must take steps to stay healthy this summer. From skincare to mental health, each piece is as important as the other. By staying on top of these health and wellness factors this summer, we stand a great chance of forming positive habits that last a lifetime.




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