Ah, summer. For plenty of us, it means beautiful weather, vacations, and relaxation.
Unfortunately, it can also mean sabotaging our wellness goals. Summer quite simply gives you many ways to make health mistakes. With the season on its way, you need to prepare accordingly.
These are some of the more common mistakes people tend to make this time of year. Familiarize yourself with them (and how to avoid them) now, and you’ll be less likely to slip up later.
Wanting to get in shape for summer is a goal many people share. Thus, in the months beforehand, they adopt healthier eating habits and jump into fitness routines.
There’s nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, trying to get in shape is admirable.
The problem is, once they achieve their goals, they quit. It’s easy to give yourself a break and indulge if you’re finally happy with your beach body.
Don’t let this happen to you. Remind yourself that fitness and healthy eating are always important. To stick with your health-conscious habits, give yourself another motivating experience to look forward to. Sure, you may no longer be working out with the goal of looking good in swimwear, but maybe there’s a fitness event in autumn you’d like to participate in.
Your health goals will likely change during the summer. Knowing this now is key to finding new goals to work toward.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Warm summer temperatures can make you sweat. This, in turn, results in dehydration, a common health issue among many people this time of year.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to avoid it. One is to carry a refillable water bottle with you at all times. You’ll be more inclined to drink enough water throughout the day if doing so is relatively easy.
It’s also important to keep in mind that food accounts for approximately 20% of your daily fluid intake. Keep yourself hydrated by eating foods such as strawberries and tomatoes often. If you’re working out, make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your session.
Not sure whether you’re dehydrated? Pay attention to your urine.
Yes, it may sound a little strange, but it’s also an easy tip to apply. Quite simply, the darker your urine is, the less hydrated you are. Remember this when using the bathroom during summer!
Drinking Your Calories
For some, drinking enough during summer doesn’t seem all that difficult. Many people frequently feel (and give into) the urge to enjoy beverages this time of year.
The problem is, if those beverages aren’t water, they almost definitely contain empty calories. Sure, it’s okay to have a beer at a backyard barbecue every now and then, but in general, you should check the nutrition label of any beverages you consume during the season. You’re almost always better off drinking water.
Additionally, if you’re planning on heading to any summer parties, make a point of drinking a decent amount of water beforehand. This will make you too full to overindulge in both food and drink.
Skipping the Sunblock
You probably already know you need to wear sunblock when spending long periods of time in the summer sun.
What you might not know, however, is that sunblock is also important on cloudy days. Sorry, but the sun’s UV rays can penetrate cloud cover.
There will also be instances when sunblock is important even though you’re technically indoors. If you’re sitting by a window or in a car, the sun’s rays will hit you. Keep sunscreen with you at all times this summer to protect yourself.
Skipping the Bug Spray
Bug spray is also important when spending time in the great outdoors this time of year. While some people assume bug spray merely serves to prevent annoying pests from irritating them on hikes, the truth is, bugs can actually spread dangerous illnesses. Applying bug spray is a basic safety step.
Again, the simple fix is to keep bug spray with you whenever you’re outside. If carrying a full bottle is inconvenient, transfer some to a smaller, travel-sized bottle instead.
You also need to check for ticks after spending time outdoors. It’s possible to guard against ticks by wearing light colored-clothing that covers your entire body, but even if you have taken these steps, don’t forget to check yourself just in case. When doing so, remember that you need to cover every single part of your body, including easy-to-overlook spots (such as between your joints). Check your clothing as well, and run garments through the dryer after spending time outdoors to kill any ticks you might have missed.
Not Drying Your Ears
Ear infections are another common issue during summer. After all, there’s a good chance you’ll be taking a few dips in the pool or ocean this season. When you get out, you might not think to dry your ears.
Don’t make this mistake. You’ll be much more prone to ear infections if the inner canal is wet. Although this is always important to keep in mind, it’s particularly important on humid days.
Avoid an uncomfortable health condition by wearing earplugs whenever you’re going to be spending time in water. If your inner ear gets wet, dry it out with a hair dryer (kept at a safe distance, of course).
Not Being Careful with Food
Again, during summer, parties and barbecues are a big deal. That means food is, too.
Make sure you’re handling it carefully. Bacteria is more likely to thrive in warm temperatures. If you’re not properly storing and handling food, you’re at risk of infection.
Avoiding this is simple. Always check the expiration date of any food you eat, wash your hands before and after eating, and refrigerate (or freeze) perishable foods.
It’s also important to avoid cross-contamination. If you’re packing food in a cooler, for instance, make sure everything is carefully wrapped, and raw meat is kept away from other items.
Summer should be one of the most enjoyable times of year. You’re much more likely to have a great season if you know to avoid common health mistakes—so use our list as a helpful guideline for yourself!
Want more content like this? Sign up here with your email for $20 off any appointment, special deals, and health-related content sent to you on a regular basis.
About Slingshot Health
Slingshot Health is a health tech startup that brings top healthcare providers and patients together. Patients bid on the cost of services and healthcare providers accept bids based on availability. Slingshot Health is unique in that it is a mutual marketplace putting both patients and providers back in control. Visit us at slingshothealth.com.