When summer vacation begins, kids are let out of school, the days get longer, and temperatures get hotter. The summertime is the perfect time of year for soaking up the sunshine, going to the beach, attending barbecues, and spending more time outdoors. Make the most of your time in the sun and keep yourself healthy too using these helpful tips.

Exercise Safely

The heat can make it more difficult to work out and stick to an exercise routine. As long as you are prepared and practice safety, the summer heat does not have to hold you back from your fitness practice. Summer heat can increase the risk of dehydration and heat stroke. Always listen to your body and never push yourself past your limits. Drink plenty of water before and after your exercise. Your body will also need to replenish its electrolytes after working out. Many sports drinks contain potassium and electrolytes to help combat this. Always check the ingredients to be aware of any added sugars or unhealthy additives. When you are ready to work out, avoid going outside during the hottest time of day. You can also take a cold shower before your workout to help yourself stay cool. If you can’t be flexible with the time, try moving your exercise indoors instead. Wear light clothing and colors that reflect the sunlight rather than absorb it. Wear protective gear and moisturizing lotion to support healthy looking skin.

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the summer no matter how frequently you work out. The summer heat can cause you to sweat more than you normally do. Sweating will help your body cool down and regulate its temperature, but it will also cause you to lose more fluids. Therefore it is especially important to replenish your fluids during the summer. Using a refillable water bottle can help you keep track of how much water you are drinking throughout the day. Without adequate hydration, you risk becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, and worsen cognitive functions. The signal your body sends to your brain telling itself it is thirsty can weaken with age. Because of this, it is important to practice healthy habits and strengthen them over time. You need water every day for your body to function. Learn how to recognize the signs of dehydration and check the color of your urine to be sure if you are getting enough fluids. The darker your urine is, the less hydrated you are. Always consult with your health care provider if you are concerned about the color of your urine, as this can also be affected by other health conditions and medications.

Prioritize Rest

Getting enough sleep is crucial for your health. Sleep deprivation can risk your safety and lead to many serious health concerns. When you sleep well, your body is more likely to maintain a healthy weight and can physically perform and operate at its best. You can support focus, cognition, and your mood by getting enough sleep. Sleeping well can even lower inflammation and strengthen your immune system and heart. Make sure your bedtime routine is adjusted for the summertime to help you get a good night’s sleep every night. You might need to adjust your thermostat or set up fans by an open window to help regulate the temperature of your room. You want to be comfortable while you sleep and aim to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Turn down bright lights an hour before bed and avoid using computer or phone screens that produce blue light. Blue light emitted from electronic screens can disrupt your body’s natural hormone production. You may notice you have trouble sleeping if your body cannot adequately produce melatonin. You can also help your body naturally produce melatonin by going outside for some sun at the start of every day.

Make the most of your time in the sun this summer and keep yourself healthy using these helpful tips.

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