Summer has “un”officially started! I’m not sure about any of you but the weather this past Memorial Day weekend seemed like it came out of nowhere. I know it’s the weather we’ve all been waiting for, but honestly caught me off guard. I didn’t expect it to be that nice and I didn’t plan on spending so much time outside in the sun, playing games, swimming, relaxing and literally soaking it all in! Although I enjoyed every minute of it, at times it had me scrambling to find my summertime essentials. So like we try to teach our kids; Summer comes each year (Even if the Chicago springs are unpredictable) so we should plan for it so we can enjoy the small window Chicago gives us! the tips health advice that the doctors are discussing with all the patients to help them stay healthy and active all summer while still enjoying everything you love to do!
- Stay Hydrated: You always hear us doctors asking about your water intake. It’s natural to increase your water intake during the summer months. One simple way to ensure you are getting enough to stay hydrated even during the hottest days of summer is to start your day with water. Before you consume any other beverages drink at least 12 oz of water. This will help you start the day off right. If you want to take your hydration to the next level, add a pinch of Coarse sea salt to your morning water. Not only does it help with your electrolyte balance, it can assist your digestion, help detox your body, and improve your sleep quality. Also, if you were one of the lucky winners of our water bottle, pack those in your summer bag!
- Use proper Sun protection: Appropriate sun exposure is one of the best health habits you can have in your life. Proper Vitamin D levels have been associated with longevity and health for years. Getting the right amount is key. If you are going to be spending long hours on the beach, or on a boat using a non-chemical sunscreen is important. Most of the popular brands of sunscreen work great at keeping the sun rays from damaging your skin from the sun, however, they are filled with chemicals that have been linked to other health concerns. So our advice is to get a few hours of healthy sun and then wear clothing that protects your skin from the sun. However, we know that it’s always possible with being on a boat or the beach so if you are going to use sunscreen, use one that uses mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Other healthy ingredients include, green tea, coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter. With these types, reapplication is crucial.
- Have the proper footwear: It’s become flip-flop weather and like you, we enjoy ours when we are relaxing on the beach or on a boat as much as anyone. However, that’s where flip-flops should stay. If you are going to be active on a nice summer day, wear shoes or sandals (or go barefoot/grounding) that have a strap or enclosed heel. When we move long distances in flip-flops our gait turns to a shuffle which is inefficient. This can cause problems in your foot, knees, hips or back. So remember that flip-flops are great for the boat or the beach, not for a full day adventure.
- Keep the bugs away: They haven’t moved in for the summer quit yet, however, they will arrive soon enough. Bug spray is similar to sunscreen, often necessary, but some can have unwanted effects. DEET is the most common ingredient found in bug sprays and not many people are aware that it can interact with sunscreen or medications. Therefore,a healthier option can really make your summer a lot more enjoyable. When looking for an effective bug spray, these ingredients are great! Lemongrass, Citronella, peppermint oil, and vanillin.
These are just a few of our summertime essential tips to ensure you stay healthy and can enjoy the best of what summer brings whether you are taking in a baseball game, at a concert, or spending the day on a boat or at the beach. Keeping these things in mind, will allow you to sit back and relax!