How to Stay Healthy During the Summer

As summer starts and a lot of people are taking time away from work or school to enjoy the outdoors, it is easy to have the “school’s out!” attitude.  We all know what that attitude is like.  It’s telling us to go have fun and not care.  Having fun by eating a lot, drinking, staying up late, traveling, and who knows what else.  These behaviors can lead us feeling tired, sick, and drained down.  It’s important to still maintain a healthy lifestyle while on summer vacation.  Here are some ways you can do that and still have fun.

Make Sure you Know your Limit

This goes with everything in life, mainly sun exposure, drinking, eating, and so on.  Know when you have been out in the sun too long and head indoors to cool off because heat stroke and heat exhaustion (while playing sports or doing activities out in the sun) can be detrimental and even deadly to people.  Make sure to heed any heat or humidex advisories as well.  Don’t let the heat ruin your day; wear sun protection and take breaks to drink and cool down.  Don’t drink too much ether.  Make sure if you’re going to drink alcohol, that you do it safely and know your limit.  Don’t drink and drive, ever.  Make sure you have a way to get home that doesn’t involve you driving.

Eat Healthy Foods

You can try out new fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market.  Families and friends might also enjoy a BBQ, so why not try some different grilling option such as fish or chicken instead of burgers once in a while.  Try some roasted vegetables too.  If you plan on going for a picnic, prepare your food the same morning so as to keep it fresh and avoid bacteria growth.  Also, use a cooler bag with an insulator to store your food.  Throw out leftovers that have been sitting out for more than two hours.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking at least 8 cups of water a day is needed to prevent dehydration and replenish your electrolytes lost in the sun.  They say that for every one hour in the sun, you need to drink one to two glasses of water.  This will prevent heat stroke, and other dangerous effects of the sun.

Exercise Wisely

In the summer, you may want to exercise when it’s not too hot, especially if you’re going to go outside or without air conditioning.  Exercise would be better in the morning or evening, when it is cooler outside.  You can exercise in the shade as well, if you are doing it outside.  Wear light, cool clothing and, again, don’t forget to hydrate before and after exercising.

Protect Your Eyes

Wearing proper sunglasses can protect your eyes from sun damage.  They should be able to block 99% of ultraviolet light if you get the right ones.  They also protect from cataracts and wrinkles later in life.

Take a Vacation

Schedule something that you would enjoy and reduce your stress.  Pack light for the ride and remember the previous warnings to stay hydrated.  Vacations may have multiple benefits: They may reduce stress hormones (cortisol) and lower blood pressure according to some.

Sleep well

Finally, don’t forget to sleep.  Resist that desire to stay up super late.  It’s good to keep the same bedtime and wake-up schedule.  We all need sleep and if you don’t get enough, you will be drained by the end of summer and that won’t help your transition back to work or school at all.

There are likely more ways to have a good summer, these are just some ideas.  Have fun!

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