Five Healthy Tips for Summer and All Year Round!

August 06, 2013 / Kristy Huffman,RN

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Photo credit: health.ninemsn.com.au

Here are some easy tips to keep you healthy and safe this summer and all year round!

Stay hydrated.  Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, when you are outdoors and enjoying summer activities.  The CDC recommends drinking six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluid every day.  Here are some easy tips to add more water in your day:

- Before you drink your morning cup of coffee or tea, start with a glass of water.

- Keep a bottle of water with you at work. Take several sips each hour.

- Try a slice of lemon or cucumber in your water to add flavor.

**If you have any health problems or fluid restrictions always talk to your doctor first before increasing the amount of fluids you drink.**

Wear Sunscreen. Protect your skin from ultraviolet rays. Use sunscreen or sunblock that has an SPF of 15 or higher. Also, don’t forget about your lips! Use a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends applying sunscreen generously every day to all skin that is exposed to the sun.  Infants under 6 months should avoid sunlight exposure whenever possible. Consult your doctor for more information.

Shield your eyes. Protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays by wearing sunglasses that wrap around and a wide brim hat that shades your face.  Summer sun increases the risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) which is the leading cause of adult blindness. Be choosey with your glasses! Buy quality sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.

Use insect repellant. To decrease the changes of getting bit by insects, use appropriate insect repellants and protective clothing. Insects can spread infection so it’s important to avoid being bitten. Plus insect bites can cause itching and skin irritations. Before using insect repellants, talk to your doctor and make sure it is safe for you to use, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Summer is the perfect time to incorporate healthy foods into meal planning.  Add more fresh summer fruits like peaches, watermelon, and strawberries and/or fresh salads with orange and yellow vegetables.  Always wash your produce thoroughly before eating. Try making fruit popsicles or grilling vegetables like corn on the cob; be creative with the family, have fun in the kitchen and enjoy!