School is about to be out and SUMMER is right around the corner! I don’t know about you, but I absolutely LOVE the summer. I love traveling to the beach, relaxing by the pool, grilling out, and soaking up vitamin D from the sun. However, if you are from the South you know how HOT it can get. In Atlanta this week, it has already reached the high 80’s and 90’s.
So here are some quick and simple tips to help you BEAT the Summer HEAT:
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
You are going to naturally be sweating more in the Summer months; therefore increasing daily water and electrolyte intake is essential. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, dizziness, headaches, nausea, dark urine, and dry mouth, lips, and skin. An easy rule of thumb is to cut your weight in half and drink that much in ounces. For example, if you way 140 lbs you should be drinking a minimum of 70 oz per day.
Tips to increase hydration:
- Start infusing water. I love having trying new flavors and it makes drinking water FUN. This is a great glass water pitcher infuser you can keep in the fridge or this water bottle is great for on the go (both are glass… of course!). Some of my favorite flavors so far are:
- Jalapeño and cilantro
- Strawberry, basil and lime
- Blueberry mint
- Cucumber and lime
- Add electrolytes and trace minerals to one water per day to help with fluid balance. My favorite is ultima replenisher.
- Drink ice cold water when you start overheating, it will help cool down your body quicker then you think!
Although many of us struggle with low vitamin D, unprotected sun exposure is one of the leading causes for skin cancer. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime with basal cell carcinoma being the most common form. Therefore, it is important to wear sunscreen everyday (especially in the summer months). You can naturally get vitamin D from fatty fish, dairy (or fortified dairy alternatives such as almond milk, coconut milk), egg yolks, and beef liver or if your levels are still low you can supplement with a vitamin D supplement.
Tips for picking out the best sunscreen:
- Avoid spray sunscreens. Not only are these sunscreens more toxic, but you are also inhaling the potentially dangerous chemicals.
- Avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone. This ingredient has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor and can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.
- Aim for an SPF around 30 to 45 and reapply often.
- Some of my favorites include: Think Sport, MyChelle, and Beautycounter sunscreen.
MAKE YOUR OWN POPSICLES
I don’t know about you but when I am super hot, frozen popsicles sound so refreshing. Typically, store bought frozen popsicles are full of artificial dyes and processed sugar. Therefore, I try to make my own (unless I can’t resist King of Pops, so good!). I like this stainless steel popsicle mold and here are some of my favorite flavors:
- Full fat coconut milk with pineapple slices
- Banana pudding
- Greek yogurt and mango
For some other delicious recipes, check out this blog post by Buzzfeed. Such good recipes!
WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHES
My husband cannot get enough dry fit t-shirts, golf shirts, and light weight button downs. He swears wearing the right shirt makes all the difference on whether he will sweat or not. I recommend wearing looser and light weight clothes to keep you cool. If you know you are going to be in the sun, wear a hat or bring an umbrella to keep you shaded. And finally, avoid all dark colors. The lighter the better when in the sun!
I hope you all enjoy the last few weeks of Spring. As always, reach out if you need anything!
In good health,
Kristin Oja, DNP, FNP-C, PT-C