Beat the Heat and Stay Healthy
Summer has drawn nigh, I’m sure most cannot wait to show off their summer bodies, like they say, summer bodies are made in winter, some of us are saying bye-bye to winter anticipating the warm summer temperatures some are enjoying the last glimpse of summer as winter draws nearer for them basing on geographical location.
Summer season, comes with a lot of health benefits, some feel it is the best there is, as there is plenty of sunshine, trips to the beach, exercise, picnics, ice-cream, traveling, playing football in the park and in some parts of the world it means schools will be closed, thus plenty time to chill.
Kiowa County Press (2021) a rural Colorado independent newspaper, concurs that summer bears with it a fair share of health benefits, like improved mental health. Studies show that spending time outside can improve one’s mental health and is a healthy way to deal with anxiety and stress. It also can improve your immune system; researchers prove that exposing yourself to the outside environment helps you keep a strong immune system keeping you safe and healthy. More reasons to plan a walk or dinner on the pouch or garden on a summer night and get some fresh air.
Well, it doesn’t end there, did you know that there are essential nutrients we get from the sun? Well yes, we get vitamin D. The winter weather had us keeping ourselves indoors and now it’s time to get some natural vitamins. According to Harvard Health Publishing (2019) Vitamin D was discovered in 1920 in a surge to cure rickets and has since been seen as having a role in other aspects of human health like helping our bodies fight many diseases from cancers to osteoporosis and more.
As much as we anticipate the fun and activities that comes with summer, we also have to be vigilant as we also have certain health matters that are common during this period. We will talk about a few below. The most common health hazard that comes with high temperatures, that is dehydration. This is when the body loses more water that it is gaining, and usually comes with symptoms such as wooziness, irritability and dry mouth. Dehydration can happen anytime throughout the year but is most common in the summer season. Thus, the U.S National, Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommends 3.7ltrs of fluids for men and 2.7ltrs for women in a day. It is also advisable to take drinks with electrolytes when exercising or doing strenuous activities in the summer heat, eat foods with high water content like fruits and vegetables, according to Makati Medical Centre. All this helps in the cooling process of the body.
Food poisoning is also common, due to high and extreme temperatures, food stored improperly or left out in the open may spoil easily, leading to food poisoning when consumed, it often manifests with symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. That is why it is recommended to keep your food clean and healthy, avoid processed and salty foods, store perishables properly to prevent them from spoiling. Also balance your diet to keep the body’s immune system in peak condition.
We also have to deal with heat stroke in this warmer season, as it is another health hazard caused by a rise in temperatures, it can happen due to the long exposure in high temperatures the body then fails to cool down sufficiently, and severe cases can result in nausea, high body temperature and loss of consciousness. Some might suffer from migrants, these are a type of headaches characterized by extreme pain, usually in the form of severe throbbing or pulsing sensations, this may lead to nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light and sounds. We also can encounter sunburn, which is caused by direct and prolonged exposure to sunlight, the damage to the skin can lead to the early onset of wrinkles, fine lines and sunspots, as well as an increased risk of developing skin cancer. Therefore, protect yourself against Ultra violet rays, which are defined by the National Cancer Institute, as invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun and can be harmful on the body.
This summer protect your body, get active, exercise regularly, walk often, and schedule workouts during cooler hours of the day to avoid sunburn and dehydration. Wear light, loose fitting and well-ventilated clothes, opt for breathable materials like cotton over synthetics fabrics. Preserve good hygiene take a cold shower often especially after coming from outside, this does not only help cool the body but reduces the risk of contamination from bacteria
Beat the heat and stay healthy, make sure you and yours give soapies, seasons and video games a break this summer and spent time outdoors more often as it is good for your health. Also take some time, to exercise there are many outdoor activities that you can do with your family, helping you bond and create better relationships, as well as achieve personal health goals. Enjoy a free tan, but avoid unnecessary exposure in the sun as much as possible, use sunscreens of at least SPF 30 when going out, wear wide brimmed hats and sunglasses to protect the head and the eyes, stay indoors when the temperatures are too high, make necessary trips and drink lots of water and other fluids as suggested above.
Harvard Health Publishing (2019). Vitamin D and your health: Breaking Old Rules, Raising New Hopes. www.hsph.havard.edu>vitamin-d. Accessed on 06 August 2021.
14 reasons why Summer is the best ever season. www.lifestyle.Young. scot>get informed>national: Accessed on 05 August 2021.
Kiowa County Press 2019, Great health Benefits of Going Outside this Summer (Rural Colorado independent News Paper) www. kiowacountypress.net: Accessed on 06 August 2021.
Makati Medical Centre (2020)8 tips on how to stay healthy at home during summer. www.makatimed.net.ph>news> : Accessed on 6 August 2021.
Mayo Clinic, Nutrition and healthy eating. Water: How much should you drink every day.
www. mayoclinic.org>art-200044256: Accessed on 05 August 2021.
National Cancer Institute Dictionary, Definition of ultraviolet radiation. www.cancer.gov/publication/publication/dictioneries/cancer-terms/def/ultraviolet-radiation. Accessed on 04 August 2021