Summer is upon us. For many of us, this is our favourite season. Longer, warmer, brighter days. Vacation time with family and friends. Outside play time. It is important when enjoying the outdoors that you take some preventative measures to ensure you are being careful in the heat. Here are a few ideas to play it safe this summer, while at the same time having fun.
- Stay Hydrated: It can be easy to get dehydrated in the summer. The more you sweat, the more water you should be replacing your body with. Try to always carry water around with you, and try to get at least 2L per day of water – even more when it is immensely hot out. If you get tired of plain water – try adding cucumber, orange or watermelon to it. It can add extra flavor and also be hydrating. If you like bubbly water, consider investing in a soda stream for at home.
- Seek Shade: Break up your time in the sun with some shade. Too much sun (especially in the middle of the day) can cause sunburn, heat stroke, and can be dehydrating. Bring a sun umbrella to the beach or sit under a big tree with lots of shade. Your body will be happier by the end of the day.
- Cover Up: Sunglasses, hats, loose-fitting cotton tops, long skirts and sun-protective clothing can all help protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. The darker the fabric colour, the better the protection.
- Frozen Treats: Make your own popsicles or ice cream ahead of time, and get them out of the freezer on hot days! Blend berries in your blender and add either water, coconut milk (or coconut water), or yogurt. Freeze and enjoy! You can also freeze ripe bananas and blend them to create a creamy frozen treat.
- Low intensity exercise: When it is really hot out, skip the high-intensity exercise outside (or choose cooler hours to go out in – early in the morning or in the evening). Another option – go to an air-conditioned gym or lower the intensity of your outside activity of choice. Exercise in the heat can increase your risk of heat exhaustion and can be an added stress on your body. A swim in a nearby lake is a great option as well!
- Cool Down: Take a cool or lukewarm shower or bath when you get out of the sun. Or go to a lake and take a plunge to cool down!
- Sunscreen: If you are going to be outside during peak sun hours (11am to 3pm), consider applying a good quality, natural sunscreen to your body to prevent sunburn. Be Clean Naturally and Green Beaver are good options. Many of the natural sunscreens are not waterproof, so remember to re-apply after getting out of the water.
Happy Summer Solstice! May the start to your summer be filled with health, happiness, and sunshine….