Early this week, we shared some great tips for summertime safety, including some natural alternatives to sunscreen and bug spray, how to manage chlorine exposure and ways to protect your back while working outside. Today we wrap up with a few more essential tips—here’s to a great, healthy summer!
Watch for dehydration. Some of the signs of dehydration are dry mouth, weakness, dizziness and confusion—and there are actually a lot of causes of dehydration; low carb diets, prescription medication, stress, pregnancy, breastfeeding, exercise, supplements, alcohol—just to name a few. Sounds overwhelming, but there are some ways you can guard against dehydration this summer.
Munch on fruits high in water content, like watermelon (surprise!), cantaloupe, pears, pineapple and grapefruit. Veggies to choose are leafy greens, celery, squash and cabbage. And even though it’s obvious, we all need the reminder: make sure you’re getting at least one eight-ounce glass of water per hour—even more if you’re outside all day.
Choose healthy grilling options. Summer just isn’t summer with a barbeque or two. Fish is always an excellent option; stick with fish that have low mercury levels, like Freshwater Coho salmon, wild-caught Alaskan salmon, mackerel and herring.
If you want to pick some beef or poultry—the labels can get quite confusing. Remember that “natural” doesn’t mean anything; always look for “organic.” Grass-fed meats are leaner and contain more nutrients than their grain-fed counterparts. Your best option for beef is organic, grass-fed; and for poultry, choose organic, free-range.
Camp with your health in mind. The great outdoors are an excellent way to spend a weekend. Keep yourself and your family safe: know the wildlife dangers in the area, be sure to bring a first aid kit and look ahead for the weather so you can bring the right equipment (raincoats, tent fly, tarps).
Also, it’s important to choose your shoes wisely, especially if you’ll be hiking to your camping spot. Supportive shoes or boots with socks is best (bring a couple pairs of socks!), or hiking sandals are a great option, too. Look into bringing a sleeping pad; this will help support your spine and ensure a better night’s rest. Talk to your chiropractor about other ways to keep your spine in great shape this summer.
Absorb some vitamin D safely. You may be aware of all the health benefits vitamin D can offer—improved bone health, increased energy, boosted mood—but do you know exactly how to get it? The absolute best way to get your vitamin D fix is through the sun. The body absorbs UVB rays and produces the vit D as a hormone.
When you’re wearing a sunscreen that blocks UVB rays—your body won’t produce vitamin D. Try short periods of sun exposure, around 15 to 20 minutes during the peak hours of the day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Since the safe amount of sunlight varies from person to person based on skin type, skin color, location and environmental factors, it’s best to consult your primary care physician to figure out what’s safe for you.