Essential Tips for Hydration, Sun Protection, and Heat Illness Prevention

Summer is a season filled with outdoor fun, vacations, and plenty of sunshine. However, the soaring temperatures and increased activity levels can also bring health risks. Staying healthy during the summer involves taking proactive steps to stay hydrated, protect yourself from the sun, and prevent heat-related illnesses. Here are some essential tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy this summer.

Stay Hydrated

Water is vital for regulating body temperature and keeping you hydrated. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. Increase your intake if you're active or spending time in the sun. You may find it helpful to measure your water intake by carrying a reusable water bottle with you and take frequent sips throughout the day.

Another great way to stay hydrated is to incorporate foods with high water content into your diet. Include fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumbers, oranges, and strawberries in your daily diet. Snacking on hydrating foods during outdoor activities to boost your water intake.

Some of our favorite drinks can actually dehydrate us. Drinks like coffee, tea, and alcohol can dehydrate your body. Limit your intake of these beverages, especially during the hottest parts of the day. If you consume them, balance with extra water to stay hydrated.

Shield Yourself from Harmful Rays

Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen to often-missed spots like the ears, back of the neck, and tops of the feet.

Clothing can provide a physical barrier against the sun. Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and UV-blocking sunglasses. It’s even better to opt for clothing with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) ratings for extra protection.

Reducing direct sun exposure can lower the risk of sunburn and heat-related illnesses. Plan outdoor activities for early morning or late afternoon and take breaks in the shade during peak sun hours (10 AM to 4 PM). Use umbrellas, canopies, or find natural shade under trees when spending extended time outdoors.

Prevent Heat Related Illness

Early detection of heat exhaustion and heat stroke can prevent serious health issues. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, and headaches. Heat stroke signs include high body temperature, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Seek medical attention immediately if heat stroke is suspected.

Keeping your body temperature down is crucial during extreme heat. Use fans, air conditioning, or cool showers to stay cool. Spend time in air-conditioned places like malls, libraries, or community centers. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to help your body stay cool.

It’s also important to adjust your activity levels. Overexertion can lead to heat-related illnesses. Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day and schedule intense activities for cooler times. Listen to your body and rest if you start to feel overheated or fatigued.

By following these summer health tips, you can enjoy the season while staying safe and healthy. Remember to hydrate regularly, protect yourself from the sun, and be mindful of the heat. Enjoy your summer to the fullest by taking care of yourself and your loved ones!

It is always important to have confidence in a medical team who supports you. If you are working toward better health, our team at Healthstar Physicians Premier Medical wants to be on your team. We provide osteopathic medicine as well as family medicine, obesity medicine and podiatry. We are taking new patients at our two offices in Newport and our Sevierville office. And we accept most forms of insurance. To make an appointment in one of our Newport offices or our Sevierville office, please contact us.

Recent Articles