Who’s ready for summer? Whether you’re a parent, essential worker or both, I’m sure everyone is looking forward to warm weather and less time in front of Zoom calls. The past 12 months have been difficult for most everyone, but now that more than 33 million people (and counting!) have been fully vaccinated for the coronavirus, there is finally a light at the end of this very long tunnel.
So whether summer takes you to beautiful campsites, mountaintops, your backyard garden or a local gym, it’s a great time to get outdoors. The experienced medical professionals at Emerald Coast Urgent Care want you to enjoy all that summer has to offer and stay safe while you’re doing it.
Five summer health tips
Here are five summer health tips to keep your summer days healthy and safe so you can avoid any seasonal mishaps:
- Wear sunscreen
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so play it safe and make sure your entire family’s protected with SPF 15 or higher every day. Also be sure to wear sunglasses, a hat and protective clothing like long sleeves and pants to further prevent sunburn.
- Eat the rainbow
Summer is a great time for fresh fruits and vegetables, so whether you shop at the farmer’s market or your local grocer, take advantage of all the delicious selections you may not be able to find once you roll your clocks back in the fall. Not only are these options fresh, tasty and healthy, but with their high water content, they can also help you stay hydrated.
- Move your body
It’s time to dust off your bikes, roller skates, hiking shoes and paddleboards and enjoy some outdoor fun. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity every week. If you’re new to daily exercise, start slow and work your way up to 150 minutes. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.
- Keep Cool
Heat and humidity can be dangerous for everyone, but it can be extremely dangerous for those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, poor blood circulation and obesity. Here are some fast tips for staying cool even when the mercury rises: drink plenty of water or other fluids to stay hydrated, stay out of direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., wear loose, breathable (e.g., cotton) clothing, enjoy a popsicle and don’t be afraid to reach for an ice pack to cool down your hot zones (e.g., ankles, behind the knees, wrists, elbow bends, neck and temples).
- Stay hydrated
Hydration is always important, but it’s especially important in hot and humid weather. If you’re doing moderate to high-intensity exercise or are outside for a prolonged time, it’s important to drink water as well as other beverages that contain electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Electrolytes are essential for a properly functioning body. They are the minerals responsible for directing water to the areas of your body that need it most. They also help maintain optimal fluid balance within the cells of your body. The best way to tell how hydrated you are is to look at the color of your urine. The more pale and clear colored it is, the less fluid you need to replenish. If the urine is a darker shade of yellow, increase your fluid intake.
Approximately 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated, which can lead to symptoms like nausea, headaches, dizziness and muscle cramping. The more you move your body, void and sweat, the more important it is to stay hydrated.
Dehydration, if left untreated, can lead to worsening symptoms. Replenishing your body with water or other healthy fluids is usually enough to reverse mild dehydration. In more severe cases, however, intravenous (IV) fluid hydration is necessary to rehydrate the body and avoid potentially serious health consequences, like decreased kidney function.
Signs of mild to moderate dehydration
- Dry mouth
- Muscle weakness
Signs of severe dehydration
- Low blood pressure
- Sunken eyes
- Reduced perspiration
- Dry, shriveled skin
- Increased heart rate
Stay hydrated this summer with the help of IV Fluid Hydration from Emerald Coast Urgent Care. One of our experienced medical professionals will determine the right fluid to treat your condition and help you feel better, fast. We’re open for walk-in appointments 7 days a week from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.