Strategies for a Healthy Summer

Scott Lane

We feel our best in summer, how can you make that even better and stay healthy? Making the most of your summer does require a bit of preparation. Here are three main tips, and an added bonus tip!

 

Tip 1: 

Protect yourself from skin damage by applying sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin, 30 minutes prior to sun exposure. There are two types of sunscreens, blockers, and absorbers. 

 

Choosing a sunscreen or block has several considerations:

 

  • Length of sun exposure
  • Time of day
  • Where is your activity (on water, reflective surfaces, type of shade)
  • Clothing worn 
  • Sweating (activity level)
  • Water activity
  • Skin sensitivity 
  • Skin health (dry skin, broken skin)
  • Medications (some may increase sun sensitivity)
  • Age 

 

Your pharmacist can help choose the product which best fits your needs. Often, more than one sunscreen or blocker may be required to fit your summer activity. Also, don’t forget to reapply your skin care product every two hours.

 

Tip 2:

Stay hydrated. Make sure to continuously maintain proper hydration, and nothing beats just plain water. You can monitor for proper hydration of yourself and family members by just tracking how often they pee… Aim for everyone using the bathroom at least every 2 hours, and call out those that aren’t meeting that goal. Urine should be pale yellow in colour – aim for light lemonade, and not for apple juice for urine colour.

 

Always have water bottles on hand for all your summer activities. Another tip, keep a water cooler filled mostly with ice, and water to refill bottles.

 

Tip 3:

Avoid heat stroke. Know what to watch for and be prepared to seek immediate emergency treatment if you suspect heat stroke. Make sure to avoid strenuous activity in hot weather or during the hottest times of the day. Have frequent hydration and cooling breaks in summer. Have cold treatments handy, such as ice packs, ice in coolers, and water.

 

Summer activities can lead to your body overheating and if untreated, can quickly damage your brain, organs and impair body function. Minutes count, delaying treatment can lead to serious irreversible damage or even death. Call 911 to get direction for immediate treatment.

 

Watch for the signs and symptom of heat stroke:

  • Flushed skin
  • headache
  • Shallow and fast breathing
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Muscle cramps (limbs or stomach)

 

Bonus tip: 

Some medications may increase your susceptibility to sun damage, dehydration, and heat stroke. Ask your pharmacist if this might apply to you and practice gradual exposure and lengthening of your activities in the summer to ensure your enjoyment of summer.

 

Man Staying Hydrated with Help From Family Pharmacy

Scott Lane
Seaway Valley PharmaChoice
Morrisburg, ON
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