7 Tips for a Healthy & Happy Summer
When someone says summer, you think vacation, pools, beach, and frozen treats. And while summer is definitely a season to look forward to every year, there are a few things to watch out for that can potentially bring some clouds to your sunny days! Here are a few tips to avoid summer downers and how to make the best of the season.
1. Sunproof Your Skin: Prevent Sizzling Repercussions
Enjoying the outdoors exposes our skin to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can be harmful in excess. Too much exposure to UV rays can put you at risk for long-term problems including premature aging, sun damage, and skin cancer. Plus, it can leave you with a very red and painful sunburn! Here are two ways to enjoy the sun to the fullest:
Wear sunscreen: Make sure to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 whenever you’re outdoors. Most dermatologists recommend reapplying it every two hours for protection. And don’t forget overlooked areas like your ears and neck.
Wear Protective Clothing: Covering up with clothes that cover the majority of your body is another excellent way to avoid UV ray exposure. Hats are also great in the summer as they protect your face and neck. Here are a few things to look out for when choosing a hat:
- Some products provide UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) information. Lookout for 30+ UPF protection as this kind of fabric will provide the best protection. This applies to hats and clothing.
- Use hats with a wide brim as this will offer optimal coverage.
- Try a hat with a neck shade. This will protect the back of your neck which is often exposed to the sun and prone to sunburns.
Remember that you are still exposed to the sun’s radiation even on a cloudy day, so make sure to grab a hat and wear sunscreen!
2. Bug Off! Safeguard Yourself from Bites
Summer season = mosquito season. These pesky insects are most active during the summer, especially in the evening and when it's humid out. Mosquito bites can be painful and itchy and also come with the risk of carrying diseases such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria. Some people also suffer from Skeeter Syndrome, an allergic reaction to mosquito saliva that causes large areas of swelling, skin warmth, itching, blisters, pain, and fever. To protect yourself:
- Wear insect repellent: Choose insect repellent containing EPA-Registered ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), and para-menthane-diol (PMD) as recommended by the CDC. These ingredients can be safely applied to the skin if used as directed.
- Select natural alternatives: For those who would rather not apply chemicals to the skin, there are many insect repellents that use only natural ingredients like fennel, thyme, clove oil, celery extract, and neem oil.
- Use appropriate clothing: Dress wisely by avoiding dark colors as they will attract more mosquitos. Try to cover your ankles with socks and pants tucked in, if possible, as ankles are one of the mosquitos’ favorite spots to target.
- Look out for standing water: Dump out any water left in buckets or containers outside your home, as it attracts mosquitos.
3. Stay Hydrated
Considering our body is made up of approximately 60% water, it is important to replenish the fluids we lose during the summer when excess sweating is occurring. Dehydration is most common during the summer when temperatures are high. Symptoms of dehydration include lightheadedness, fatigue, dizziness, dry mouth, and lack of frequent urination. If you are out in the sun for long periods of time or are doing vigorous physical activity in the sun, it is vital to drink plenty of fluids. Water is the best solution for hydration but here are a few more options to stay hydrated this summer:
- Foods with high water content such as watermelon, melon, and cucumber
- Coconut water
- Sparkling water
- Oatmeal for breakfast
- Frozen fruit
4. Move More: Rock Your Summer Fitness
School’s out, days get longer, and it’s the perfect time to incorporate physical activities into your daily routine. Engaging in outdoor exercise not only promotes physical health but it can also give you a boost of serotonin. Exercise can improve brain health, manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and much more. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day and explore summer-friendly activities, such as:
Swimming: Swimming is a great cardiovascular activity and it can help you stay cool in the summer.
Going for a hike/walk: Try beating the sun and do a morning hike or wait to do an evening stroll in the park. This is a great way to get steps in and keep the ticker ticking while enjoying the outdoors.
Playing games: If you have kids, next time they're outside playing catch or shooting some hoops, join them. This a great opportunity to exercise and spend some quality time with your kids.
Incorporating movement in daily activities: If you don’t have time to go to the gym or spend 30 minutes doing exercise every day try doing it throughout your day. Take the stairs, do some random squats, or jog in place every so often.
Summer is a great time to get your body moving and start incorporating more physical activities for better health. If you are starting a fitness or weight loss routine this summer, start small and give yourself realistic goals and expectations.
5. Embrace Vitamin D: Enjoy Sun-Kissed Health
Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is a vital nutrient for good health. Foods are often fortified with vitamin D since it is not naturally found in many. Our bodies also produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to UV rays from the sun, triggering vitamin D synthesis. Some of the benefits of Vitamin D include but are not limited to:
- Promotes a strong immune response
- Supports reduced risk of depression
- Supports mental health
- Promotes bone and teeth health
- Promotes healthy skin
- Has been linked to support weight loss
Insufficient vitamin D levels are extremely common but summer is a great opportunity to up your vitamin D levels by simply going outside. Spending about 10 minutes outdoors daily can help your body synthesize enough vitamin D. However, be mindful of too much sun exposure and use supplements to replenish vitamin D levels if necessary.
6. UTI-Proof Your Summer: Tips for a Trouble-Free Season
Urinary tract infections are infections that occur when bacteria enter the urethra and infect the urinary tract. They are very common, especially among women. Symptoms of a UTI include frequent urination, pain or discomfort, pain in the lower part of the stomach, itchiness, and sudden urges to urinate. The risk of getting a UTI during summer significantly increases due to heat and humidity creating a perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, as well as lifestyle choices. Some factors that may increase UTI risk include dehydration, swimming, increased travel, and sexual activity. To prevent UTIs:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
- Change out of damp swimsuits and avoid extended exposure to moisture.
- Urinate before and after engaging in any sexual activity.
- Practice good hygiene and opt for gentle cleansing products. You can try Vagiderma™ Soap formulated for natural feminine care.
- Always wipe from back to front after using the restroom.
- If you suffer from recurring UTIs, a supplement might help. Ingredients such as cranberry are well known to promote urinary health.
7. Catch Your ZZs: Sleep Like a Baby in the Summer Heat
If you catch yourself tossing and turning at night in the summer you're not alone. Many people have a hard time getting enough sleep during summer due to hot and humid temperatures. On the other hand, the summer heat can also lead to oversleeping since our bodies work in overdrive to regulate our temperature, which can leave us feeling a little extra drained. It is important to get appropriate amounts of sleep to reap all the health benefits that rest provides. Here are some tips to help you snooze through the summer nights:
- Keep your blinds closed during the day to block out heat
- Shower before bed to relax and regulate body temperature
- Try a sleep supplement
- If you have access to an air conditioner, keep the temperature set between 60° F and 67° F in the evenings
- Plug in a fan
- Keep your bedroom dark and quiet
- Invest in cooling bedding
To learn more sleep hacks for summertime, check out these 10 tips to beat the heat at night.
All in all, summer is a time of fun, relaxation, and good vibes. By following these tips, you can make the most of the season while keeping yourself healthy and happy. Enjoy your sunny days!
Your Hispanic American Health Store
Health Hispanica® is a Hispanic-American health store specializing in supplements from Hispanic-American-owned brands such as Natura-Genics® and Yerba Farma®. We strive to provide quality and innovative supplements at fair prices and educate our clients and community on healthy living.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.