Excessive heat and sweat in the summer months can lead to dehydration, sunburn, and heatstroke. Before you start hitting the beach and enjoying the outdoors, it’s important to keep your health in check. Below are smart, simple tips for staying active and healthy this summer.
1. Stay hydrated
While you should stay hydrated every day of the year, it’s even more important during the summer when the days are longer and your sweat levels increase. Drinking the recommended 8-10 glasses of water a day keeps your temperature normal, lubricates joints, gets rid of wastes, and protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
Choosing water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages can also help you control weight gain. Research shows that drinking water instead of a 20-ounce sugar sweetened soda can save you 240 calories.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration. Insufficient water in your body can cause unclear thinking, mood changes, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. You can keep your internal temperature in check by sipping water infused with mint, lime, or lemon.
2. Stock up on electrolytes
Drinking enough water in the summer is not the only way to stay hydrated. You can also add a variety of water- and electrolyte-rich foods to your diet to help regulate your body fluids. Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electrical charge and spark cell function in the body. They support hydration, help in energy production, and stimulate muscle functions.
Raw fruits and vegetables naturally contain more water than other food. They offer rich electrolyte content as well. Fruits such as cherries, bananas, strawberries, mangoes, and watermelons help keep your energy levels stable. Vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, spinach, and broccoli also help refresh the body, stimulate muscle functions, and maintain acid-base and water balance.
3. Stick to sunscreen
Because UV rays are at its peak during the summer, it’s important to apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes before leaving the house. A dermatologist in Cottonwood Heights recommends using broad-spectrum sunscreens to defend you from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Use an SPF rating of at least 30 if you’re anticipating prolonged sun exposure. Wearing protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses can also give you extra protection.
4. Exercise moderately
Warm summer weather is the perfect time to go outside and be active. Regular exercise has been shown to maintain your blood levels, reduce your risk of heart diseases, and improve your mental health.
Typically, early morning is the best time to work out during the summer. Avoid going out from 10 AM to 3 PM which is often the hottest part of the day. When exercising, make sure to wear loose, lightweight, and breathable clothes. They help reflect heat, evaporate sweat, and pull moisture away from your skin.
On boiling hot days, choose cooler cardio activities like cycling or swimming. Staying hydrated throughout your workout will help prevent dizziness and headaches.
With summer quickly approaching, people can be tempted to have fun and forget about their health. As with any season, it takes discipline to make the most of your summer days without sacrificing your health.