Have Fun Outside This Summer — and Stay Healthy!

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The temperatures are rising, the days are getting longer, and it’s too beautiful to stay indoors! Here’s how to make the most of your summer while staying healthy. 

Take your exercise outside

Physical exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle no matter the season, but the warm weather makes a great excuse to get both you and your family outside! Take your family to a park near you for a game of catch, toss a Frisbee disc, or start a little friendly competition to see who can log the most steps in a day! If you’re vigorously exercising, try to do it in the morning or evening while it’s cooler. 

Make hydration a priority

Staying properly hydrated should always be front of mind, but it’s even more important when it’s hot and humid outside. When it’s hot, our bodies produce more sweat to try to cool us down which can quickly lead to dehydration. If you’ll be in the sun for prolonged periods of time, it’s important to consume water and replace electrolytes with beverages like Gatorade. 

Coconut water is also a great beverage that can help to replace the sodium and potassium that’s lost in sweat. Avoid sugary, caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and soda — these drinks actually put you at greater risk for dehydration because they pull fluid from your body.

If you’re consuming alcohol, do so responsibly and make sure you’re drinking plenty of water in between drinks. Certain foods like watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, and cantaloupe are great to snack on and help with hydration as well! 

This summer, be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of dehydration. The most common signs include extreme thirst, less frequent urination, dark colored urine, dizziness, fatigue, and confusion. If you notice any of these signs in your or a family member, visit a StarMed Healthcare for assessment and treatment, especially if you cannot keep fluids down or have diarrhea for 24 hours or more. 

Practice food safety 

Everyone loves a barbeque on a warm summer night! It’s a great family activity and an easy way to enjoy good weather. Warm weather can cause food to spoil more quickly, so extra caution needs to be taken to ensure everyone continues having a great time. Cook your food on the same day you’re going to eat it to give bacteria less time to grow, properly wash your fruits and vegetables before eating them, and keep cold foods and dairy-based products in a cooler with plenty of ice. At the end of the evening, throw out any leftovers that have been sitting out for 2 hours, or 1 hour if the temperature is over 90 degrees. 

Food poisoning symptoms can range from mild to serious, and can differ based on the bacteria you’ve encountered. The most common signs of food poisoning are upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. Visit a StarMed Healthcare if you have a high fever, experience frequent vomiting that prevents liquids from being kept down, diarrhea that lasts for 3 or more days, and signs of dehydration. 

Protect yourself from the sun

Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Before you head outdoors, make sure that both you and your friends and family have applied sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours, and after sweating or swimming. You should also protect your eyes with sunglasses! Wearing long sleeves or a wide brimmed hat can protect your skin against the sun, as can seeking out shaded areas when UV rays are strongest — typically between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Regardless of the season, avoid tanning salons! Tanning beds are not a safe alternative to the sun and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. If you can’t enjoy your summer without a tan, try the many sunless tanning options available in stores and online. 

If you have a severe sunburn, be on the lookout for the signs of sun poisoning — pain and tingling, swelling, headache, fever and chills, nausea, dizziness, blistering, and dehydration. Seek immediate care at a StarMed Healthcare near you if you have a sunburn that forms painful blisters, is very painful, or covers a large area. 

This summer, enjoy your time outside and know that if you run into any bumps along the way, StarMed is here for you! StarMed is open 365 days per year and can see you for anything from dehydration to bug bites to summer allergies. No appointment is ever needed, walk-ins are welcomed! To find a StarMed near you, click here. Enjoy your summer!