A health emergency or setback will take the fun out of your summer plans so now is the time to ponder risk factors and positive choices. After all, the more prepared you are at work or on vacation, the more likely you’ll be to survive the summer months happy and healthy.
Some things to consider:
- Hydration: The benefits of hydration are plentiful, especially if you live in the desert. Drinking the recommended eight to ten glasses of water a day can help prevent illness, keep your bones and muscles healthy, help you maintain your weight, improve brain function and best of all, fuel your activities throughout the day! This summer, make water an essential part of your day. Never leave home without it.
- Fresh is Best: With an abundance of summer fruits and vegetables, now is the best time to get our daily recommended intake, and don’t forget to give them a good washing to get rid of dangerous bacteria. Berries and broccoli are among the best choices for brain health.
- Skin Protection: A sunburn can trigger trouble, both long-term and short-term. Make sure you wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses when you head outdoors. Long sleeves can also protect you from the harmful, ultraviolet rays. Remember, certain medications (prescription and over-the-counter) can increase your sensitivity to the sun. The Mayo Clinic has a list of some here.
- Insects & Critters: Local or abroad, be sure to protect yourself from bug and animal bites. Wear the proper clothing and keep repellents handy.
- Move Your Body: We tend to be most active outside during the summer months so, by all means, take that leisurely walk or heart-pumping hike. Just listen to your body, and stop when you are tired.
- Outdoor Safety: Any time you’re in the outdoors, you’ll want to consider the hazards. Hiking and cycling are great for your body! Just make sure you tell someone where you’re going, have proper gear, and carry your cell phone. Wild animals should always be a consideration, so plan for them.
- Water Safety: When it’s hot outside there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the swimming pool, or a lake, or even ocean water. Just make sure that you take the proper precautions and know CPR. In a water emergency, rescue breaths are preferred (over compression-only CPR.) The standard is 30 chest compressions for every two rescue breaths, and repeat.) Of course, there should always be a designated water watcher, especially around children!
- The Weather: Summer months can also bring monsoon storms, flash flooding, and a miserable heat index (i.e. discomfort from a combination of heat and humidity.) Keep cool and stay alert. It’s best to do things with a buddy.
- Sleep: Summer heat can make it harder to sleep and sleep deprivation can hurt productivity and trigger dangerous workplace accidents. Health experts recommend a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night for adults.