It’s officially summertime! With family gatherings, vacations, and outdoor activities keeping us busy all season long (especially after being stuck inside during COVID), it becomes so easy to overlook our health by overindulging on mojitos, ice cream, and forgetting to reapply a much-needed layer of sunscreen. The warmer weather can actually make us susceptible to various health risks, so we’re sharing nutritional tips and safety hacks to keep you healthy this season.
Eat fresh (and more often!)
Take advantage of the sweet fresh fruits and tasty vegetables the season has to offer. The high water content in our favorite fruits & vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes are natural ways to prevent potential dehydration caused by the warmer climates. Eating lighter, fresher meals and eating more frequently help keep our bodies cool throughout the day. Exploring your local farmer’s market is not only a great outdoor weekend activity, but it helps support local businesses that are providing your community with the freshest produce. You can also start a fun hobby by growing your own herbs & veggies at home, here’s a great how-to guide to get you started.
According to the CDC, approximately 76 million people suffer from food poisoning, and with the increase of outdoor gatherings in the summer heat, food can spoil more quickly with bacteria spreading at even faster rates. To avoid this, use insulated food containers to keep your food away from the heat. These coolers are an affordable storage option that’s made entirely from biodegradable materials.
"The CDC states that children 4 and under and adults 65+ are at increased risk for heat-related illnesses. "
The CDC states that children 4 and under and adults 65+ are at increased risk for heat-related illnesses. However, young and healthy people can also develop illnesses from the heat from participating in outdoor activities in hot weather. Be sure to hydrate by drinking water often to prevent the risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Everyone’s water intake varies, click here to calculate your hydration needs and check out these useful apps to keep you on top of your water intake.
Our favorite summer alcoholic beverages can also add to dehydration risks in the warmer months. While it’s OK to drink your favorite summer cocktail in moderation, it’s especially important to be mindful of your water consumption. Infusing your water with fruit & herbs is an easy way to add some fresh flavor to your H2O and can be a great replacement to sugary beverages and serve as a low-calorie beverage. These infused water bottles are great for someone who is always on the go and serves as an eco-friendly alternative to single-use plastic bottles.
Wear lighter colors, natural fabrics, and clothing that covers you up to prevent sunburn. Not only can they keep you from burning up, but they can also deter mosquitoes from biting you. Wear wide-brimmed hats to protect your face and your head from sun exposure and wear sunglasses that have 100% UV protection. Also try to practice outdoor activities when it’s cooler in the day, typically before 11 am or in the evening time to avoid direct sunlight and the UV index at its peak.
While taking advantage of the great outdoors is encouraged, it’s important to protect yourself from the UV rays that can cause harmful damage to your skin. Cancer.org advises using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and to be sure to reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating. If you’re someone who forgets to reapply, set an alarm as a quick reminder. Here’s a list of recommended reef-safe & eco-friendly sunscreens to keep your skin protected.
Take these preventative tips to help you enjoy a happy and healthy summer. These simple steps can go a long way and help you prevent long-term health issues and heat-related illnesses.