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Summer Fun Begins With Being Healthy

Summer Fun Begins With Being Healthy

The summer months bring sunshine, warm temperatures and the perfect conditions for outdoor activities like walking, hiking, swimming and cycling. Sunlight and the calming sensation of nature experienced when exercising outdoors can improve your mood, reduce stress, and can help to increase your body’s vitamin D levels. Nicer weather conditions and longer days, however, tend to cause people to work for longer periods of time and exert more energy than when performing indoor activities.

While it can be pleasurable to enjoy outdoor activities, increased time and energy spent in hot outdoor conditions can have adverse effects on the body. Dehydration, cramping, and sunburn are all heat related conditions that can become more dangerous or have lasting impacts on the body if not addressed properly. Unaddressed symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke can lead to severe sickness which may result in the need to seek medical attention.

Before going outside this summer, use these tips and tricks to beat the heat when you’re outside:

  • Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen (minimal 30 SPF) 15 minutes before going outside. Reapply every couple of hours and after swimming or excessive sweating. Don’t forget your ears and toes!
  • Hydration: Drink 8 glasses of 8 oz. of water per day. Drink an additional 2 oz. of water for every 15-20 minutes outside in the heat.
  • Clothing: Loose fitting clothes that allow airflow and sweat to be evaporated (moisture-wicking or quick-drying) are best for outdoor activities. White shirts help reflect the sun’s UV rays that cause increase of body temperature or sunburn. A ball cap or hat can be worn for additional shade for the head and face that you may be unaware are exposed to the sun.
  • Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses protect your eyes and keep you from being depleted by the sun’s rays by blocking the magnification of light into your eyes.
  • Time: Outdoor chores or yard work and physical activity should be completed before the sun rises to prevent heat related illnesses. If you long to be outdoors, be sure to take frequent breaks. At least 10 minutes of rest per every 30 minutes of activity. When hosting a BBQ, it is best to grill after the sun sets!