Tips For Staying Healthy This Summer
The days are getting longer, the sun is out earlier and temperatures outside are beginning to skyrocket. Here in the desert, when summertime hits it can cause a huge change in our routine and what we need to do to take care of ourselves. Whether it is planning a family vacation to some place cooler, staying inside and out of the heat or treating ourselves to local farm fresh produce at the weekly outdoor markets, there are plenty of things you and your family can do this summer to stay healthy and beat the heat.
Here are a few tips for staying healthy this summer:
Eat Seasonally and Locally
Foods that are “in season” in the summertime are packed full of the nutrients that our bodies need to get us through this season. It just so happened that nature planned it that way! When you eat “seasonally”, you are selecting foods that are picked at their peak of freshness and are therefore likely to have a higher nutrient content and be full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more that our bodies need. Foods to be on the lookout for this time of year are: cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, arugula, radishes and strawberries.
Even better than just eating seasonally, is also selecting seasonal foods that are grown locally. Here in the Phoenix metropolitan area, we are lucky enough to have farmer’s markets popping up weekly around the city. One of the benefits of shopping your local farmer’s market is having the option to purchase produce that is picked when it is ripe and fresh, increasing the nutrient content. Also, when produce is purchased locally, you are avoiding produce that has the need to be packed for transport. This means that your produce is less likely to have wax or maybe even other chemicals, like pesticides that isn’t natural for our food or good for our bodies.
Going to a farmer’s market also means that you have a chance to talk to the growers. Ask them how the produce was grown, when it was picked and how it was processed. They love to talk about the care they take when growing your food. Know everything about it and feel good for what you eat and who you support.
Reduce Your Risk For Heat Exhaustion
Living in the desert in the summertime greatly increases your chances for heat exhaustion or heat stroke, especially if any part of your job requires you to be outside for any length of time. In order to avoid heat exhaustion, which can lead to heat stroke, it is important to place a priority on staying cool, staying hydrated and keeping your electrolytes balanced.
If you do have to be outside for work, make sure your employer has proper safety protocols in place to protect yourself from the dangers of heat exhaustion. This should include taking breaks out of the sun and where it is cool. Make sure to carry cold ice water with you and have enough for the day. Bring a small cooler filled with ice or ice water and wet down cooling towels and wring them out to place around your neck or forehead to help you stay cool.
The same thing goes for being outside for play and fun and not just work. Make sure to have all these things handy whether you are outside for work or play. Of course, prevention is best and do everything you can to avoid overexerting yourself or being outside at the hottest times of the day.
If you are outside when it’s hot, it’s important to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion quickly and before things take a turn for the worse. Here are some signs:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle cramps
- Profuse sweating
Recognizing the signs of heat exhaustion quickly can help you prevent it from getting worse or progressing to heat stroke. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Take A Vacation
We all have plenty of excuses for not a taking a vacation: no money, no time or mounting workload upon our return. But what is the true cost to us of not taking our much deserved time off and enjoying some rest and relaxation with our families? Projecttimeoff.com reports that numbers from 2015 show that Americans left 658 million vacation days unused, resulting in $61.4 billion in forfeited benefits.
Was any of that unused and lost vacation time yours? Taking a vacation can provide the much needed rest and relaxation that we need to recharge, step back and gain a new perspective and return to work refreshed and ready for what the rest of the year has in store for us. Plus, vacation time with our families promotes a stronger bond and also helps us to avoid burnout.
If you are looking for more ways to improve your health habits this summer, contact us at Fusion Rehab today. Our physical therapy and chiropractic care team can help you develop a plan that will help you stay happy and healthy all summer long.