7 Tips for a Healthy Summer

Today is the first day of summer! Don’t let health problems spoil your fun. Here are seven tips to help you have a healthy season.

  1. Go outside and play. Spending time outside has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Plus, it may help restore the ability to pay attention when you’re feeling mentally drained.
  2. Hike, bike, swim. Or grab your running shoes, a tennis racket, or even a push lawn mower. There are lots of ways to get your 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. If it’s too hot outside, hit the gym, walk at the mall, or visit an indoor basketball court.
  3. Apply sunscreen. Protect your skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply liberally, even on cloudy or cooler days.
  4. Stay cool in the heat. To avoid getting overheated, wear light-colored, lightweight, loose fitting clothes. Stay inside during the hottest part of the day—usually about noon to 3 p.m.
  5. Drink more water. Your body needs extra fluids in hot weather, especially if you’re exercising or working in the heat. Water is a great choice. Avoid drinks containing alcohol or lots of sugar, which actually can be dehydrating.
  6. Visit a farmers market. Or grow your own food garden and get some bonus physical activity. Summer is prime time for a host of delicious, nutritious fruits and veggies, including blueberries, green beans, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini. Find a farmers market near you.
  7. Shoo away the bugs. At best, bug bites are irritating. At worst, ticks and mosquitoes can carry diseases. To reduce the risk, apply insect repellent to exposed skin and clothing, following product directions. Wash it off when  you come inside, and check your skin, clothing, and gear for ticks.