Summer is upon us! For many people, that means spending as much time outside as possible. The summer season can’t come fast enough each year for some, especially those who struggle with feelings of sadness or depression through the winter. Summer brings plenty of Vitamin D and allows you to spend more time in nature, which can serve as a natural mood booster.
Whether you plan on taking a summer trip, enjoying time in your backyard, or just want to stay productive through the summer and enjoy the weather as much as you can, keeping your body protected should always be at the forefront of your mind.
That goes well beyond putting on some sunscreen.
So, how can you truly protect your body this summer while you’re out there having fun? Let’s cover a few tips that will help to keep you safe.
Staying Safe Outdoors
With days that seem to stretch on forever, it’s not uncommon to spend hours outside on warm summer days. But, depending on where you live, some summer days can get extremely hot (and sunny!). While that’s not a bad thing if you’re working or playing outdoors, it can quickly become a dangerous thing if you’re not protecting yourself the way you should.
Yes, wearing sunscreen is important. Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 while you’re outside. Protecting your skin, however, is only half the battle. It’s just as important to protect your eyes from those same harmful UV rays. You can easily accomplish that with UV-blocking sunglasses or contact lenses that will let you see clearly while keeping your eyes safe.
Staying cool and safe from the heat is also crucial for your health. No matter your age, heatstroke and dehydration are serious risks. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stay cool even on the hottest of days, including:
- Go inside air-conditioned locations as often as possible
- Drink plenty of water
- Never stay in a hot car for long
- Take cool showers or baths
- Wear a hat or scarf for scalp protection
By keeping your body temperature as cool as possible, you can spend longer periods outside safely. Make sure you’re encouraging others to do the same and taking extra care with children to ensure they don’t overheat if they’re especially active outside.
Practicing Healthy Habits
Summer is a great time to establish healthy routines and incorporate beneficial habits into your life. Committing to your bodily health will give your immune system a boost and will improve your overall well being – not just for the summer, but all year long.
Because this is a season that allows for more time outside, take advantage of the weather by getting physical. Go for a morning jog when it’s still a bit cooler, or stay active while having fun by playing a sport with friends, going for a hike, or heading out on the water for a quick trip in your kayak. Just make sure you’re staying fully hydrated whenever you’re doing an outdoor workout!
In addition to staying active, summer is a fantastic time to make better eating choices. Across the country, fresh produce is in full bloom. Summer is widely known for producing beautiful tomatoes, juicy strawberries, and nutrient-rich asparagus. Enjoy a Saturday stroll around your local farmers’ market and pick up as many fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables as possible.
Finally, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. The hours of daylight might be longer in the summer, but getting plenty of sleep gives your body time to repair itself and will keep your immunity strong. After spending all day in the sun, you shouldn’t have a problem getting a good night’s rest. So, make it a priority to create a nightly routine that works for you, and one that ensures your body is getting the quality sleep it needs.
Protecting Yourself While Traveling
Summer is a notorious time for travel. Whether you want to take a family vacation or just go somewhere to relax for a while, there’s no better time to “get away” and unwind – especially after dealing with the effects of COVID for over a year.
It’s important to note that the pandemic isn’t completely “over.” So, keeping your health and safety in mind while you’re traveling should still be a priority. Make sure you’re:
- Following the most recent CDC guidelines
- Keeping your immune system strong before you leave
- Getting enough rest
- Washing your hands frequently
Though it’s a personal choice, you may also want to wait to travel until you’re fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus.
In addition to COVID, taking extra care of your body while you’re traveling – especially internationally – is crucial. One easy way to give yourself and your traveling companions peace of mind is to have a first aid kit. You can make one on your own, customizing it to fit your individual needs.
Most first aid kits contain everything from bandages to burn remedies. If you have specific medical needs or a health condition that needs attention, pack your kit accordingly.
Whether you’re enjoying the summer at home this year, spending a weekend at the beach, or traveling abroad, take a few extra steps to protect your body. It makes a big difference, and you’ll feel better about having fun in the sun.