The summer lasts much longer than three months in the South. Warm temperatures show up early in the year and stick around for six months or longer. Even though officially, summer is halfway through, there’s still plenty of time to get outside and make the most of what Mother Nature has to offer.
But, summer brings its own set of health and safety hazards. Since you probably don’t want to stay cooped up inside, here are some tips for a happy and healthy summer courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
1. Get Active
Sitting on a beach or floating down a river are relaxing summertime activities. Certainly, add these to your list, but try to stay active as well. The CDC recommends that people get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity weekly. Consider adding cycling, walking, and swimming to your activities list.
2. Avoid the Sun
The sunshine can be intense in this part of the country, so it’s vital that you exercise appropriate sun safety. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen often with at least SPF 15. And wear layered clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to give you additional protection.
3. Wear Insect Repellent
Some insects are annoying, and others, like mosquitoes and ticks, can carry dangerous conditions like the Zika virus, Lyme disease, and dengue fever. To prevent insect bites and more, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you are planning to be in the woods. Also, apply insect repellent and check your body and clothing for ticks after any activities.
4. Stay Hydrated
Extreme heat can be dangerous for anyone, but particularly so for those with chronic medical conditions. Always check the weather before you head out for the day so you know what to expect. Beyond this, stay cool and hydrated by taking frequent breaks from the heat and drinking plenty of water. Avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks that won’t give you the hydration your body needs.
5. Eat Healthy
There’s nothing wrong with a summer treat, but balance what you eat with healthy meals and snacks. Before or after that ice cream cone, consider some fresh fruits or a vegetable snack to give you more energy.
6. Avoid Tobacco Use
If you haven’t stopped smoking, maybe this summer is the perfect time to ditch the habit. The CDC recommends that anyone who wants to quit access their free tools and tips to get started.
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