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10 easy tips to stay healthy in the summer with Evidation's expert advice

May 24, 2024
10 minutes
Personal Health
Seasonal health

The warmth of the summer sun is just around the corner! From the feel of the ocean on your toes to the sound of little ones playing outside enjoying the warm weather, summer is a fantastic chance to reset and relax. At Evidation, we're here to help you feel your best, and that includes providing you with expert tips to help you stay safe and healthy this summer. Let's take a look at 10 ways you can boost your wellness in June, July, and August.

1. Sun safety: Tips for protecting your skin

Wearing sunscreen every day is a simple, effective way to protect both the health and the appearance of your skin. Even if you've already been applying SPF as a part of your normal skincare routine, be sure you're also following this expert advice to keep your skin healthy this summer.

  • Get the SPF you need. For daily skincare, you'll want to choose sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If you're going to be spending time outdoors, you'll want to shoot for an SPF of at least 60.
  • Use the correct amount. Most people don't use enough sunscreen, which can lessen your protection against the sun's rays. You'll need to use about an ounce of sunscreen to protect your arms, legs, face, and neck. An ounce of sunscreen is enough to completely cover your palm prior to application.
  • Reapplication matters. Experts recommend that you reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours, especially if you're swimming or sweating. If you're only spending time indoors, however, reapplication may not be necessary.
  • Take additional precautions. While sunscreen is a simple and effective way to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun, using additional sun protection is a smart move. Sunglasses, protective clothing, and wide-brimmed hats can all provide a physical barrier that can work to keep your skin safe.

2. Hydration: Staying cool and hydrated in the heat

Nothing beats a cold glass of water on a hot summer day, and your body will thank you every time you hydrate while you're spending time in the heat. This is especially important when you're exercising outdoors, or when you're spending time in extreme temperatures.

According to Sarah Adler, a performance dietitian with UCLA Health Sports Performance, about 60% of the body is made up of water, and it's super-important that we replenish water lost through sweat during the hot summer months. Adler says that proper hydration is necessary to support brain function, support mood, regulate body temperature, and to keep the digestive system running smoothly.

Not sure how much water you need to drink each day? We get it – there's plenty of conflicting information out there, and it can be hard to pinpoint your exact hydration needs. Adler recommends that people should drink between .5 and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day, and people who are exercising or working in the summer heat should make the 1 ounce per pound guideline their hydration minimum.

"We may need more, we may need less," says Adler. While you should certainly drink when you're thirsty, this isn't always the most reliable indicator that you need to hydrate. For some people, thirst doesn't become apparent until the body has already become dehydrated. Adler says that noting the color of your urine can be a much more accurate way to assess your body's hydration needs – a light, pale yellow color can be a sign that your body is properly hydrated.

3. Healthy eating: Incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables

In addition to drinking plenty of water, enjoying hydrating foods can help you feel your best. Produce options loaded with water include lettuce, watermelon, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, and tomatoes.

Enjoying fresh summer produce isn't just great for keeping your body hydrated, however. Many fruits and veggies are in season during the summer months, allowing you to enjoy maximum flavor and maximum nutritional benefits.

While the exact fruits and vegetables that are in season during the summer vary depending on your location, common summer season produce includes:

  • Apples
  • Artichokes
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Grapes
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Peas
  • Strawberries

If you're able, summer can be a fantastic time to load your freezer up with produce. Freezing fruits and veggies in-season can give you a delicious treat to enjoy once the weather turns chilly in a few months.

4. Exercise: Fun and fitness in the sun

It feels great to get out and enjoy exercise in the summer, but it's important that you take precautions to stay safe in the heat. It can be easy to overdo it, and you may not notice signs of struggle until your body is already in the throes of a health issue.

Follow these tips from the American Heart Association in order to prioritize your safety while exercising in the summer:

  • Consider your timing. If possible, you'll want to exercise in the morning or evening. Summer days tend to be the hottest between noon and 3 pm, so avoid exercising outdoors during these hours if you can.
  • Drink water regularly, even if you don't feel thirsty. If you're hitting the road or the trails, bring water with you, or plan for water stops along your route. If you're exercising in especially hot temperatures, or you're going to be working out for more than an hour, you'll also need to replenish electrolytes (packing a banana can be a good idea to give your body what it needs in addition to water).
  • Don't push it. We're all for encouraging you to go the extra mile, but if your body is telling you that something feels off, listen. It can take time to adapt to the heat (up to two weeks). If it's hotter than you're used to, you may not be able to work out as hard or for as long as normal. There's nothing wrong with this – take breaks, spend time in the shade, and call it quits early if necessary.

5. Allergy management: Coping with seasonal allergies

Sniffing, sneezing, watery eyes – seasonal allergies can make it tough to fully enjoy summer. When your body has an allergic response to environmental irritants, you may also feel tired and sluggish.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options to manage seasonal allergies that can help you enjoy all that the warm months have to offer. Over-the-counter options like saline rinses, eye drops, and antihistamine sprays may be all that you need to soothe occasional seasonal allergies.

If you find that your seasonal allergies are interfering with your daily life, it's a smart move to make an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss prescription options that can support your health.

In addition to medication, there are lifestyle modifications you can make to lessen the effect of seasonal allergies, including:

  • Invest in an air purifier. No matter how clean you keep your home, it's impossible to keep it free of all allergens, especially those that you track in on your shoes and clothes. Running an air filter can help remove allergens from the air in your home, providing symptom relief.
  • Shower after spending time outdoors. While it may not be practical to shower every time you leave the house, taking a shower when you notice your allergy symptoms are acting up can be helpful, as it physically removes pollen and other allergens from your hair and body.
  • Check the pollen count. Taking a look at the pollen count in your area can help you decide whether it makes sense to spend more time indoors or outdoors. When you notice that the pollen count is especially high, you may want to take over-the-counter allergy medication proactively (if you're not already using a daily medication prescribed by your doctor).

6. Sleep hygiene: Tips for quality sleep during hot nights

It can be tough to get high-quality sleep when your area is in the midst of a heat wave. Thankfully, there are some tricks you can try to get the rest you need when the temperatures outside are sweltering.

  • Hydrate early. Keeping your body hydrated can make it easier to sleep on a hot night, but it's important that you stop drinking water early enough that you won't be running to the bathroom all night. For most people, finishing up water an hour or two before bed works well.
  • Skip the cocktails. The damage of booze in hot weather is twofold: alcohol dehydrates your body, and makes it more likely that you'll experience night sweats. On super-hot days and evenings, it's a good idea to forgo the booze in favor of a more hydrating beverage.
  • Exercise early. Getting plenty of physical activity can make it easier for you to fall asleep. During a heat wave, however, it's a good idea to get your workout in early. Exercising too close to bedtime can make it difficult for your body to cool down. Getting your workout in as soon as you wake up – during the cooler hours of the morning – can be a good idea.

7. Mental health: Stress management and relaxation techniques

Summer is associated with kicking back and relaxing, but this doesn't mean that your self-care practices can take a backseat. For many, summer brings new and different schedules, increased family gatherings, and social obligations that can bring stress.

Setting boundaries can be key to protecting your mental health during the summer. Between kids' sports schedules, vacations, filling in for others at work, and social obligations, it can be tough to find time for yourself. Keep a calendar just like you do during other times of the year, and don't be afraid to say no when things begin to look too busy.

Immersing yourself in nature can also be helpful for relieving summer stress. According to Harvard Health, spending as little as 20 minutes in nature can lower stress levels. Enjoying a hike, swim, or yoga class outdoors can help your mind relax and reset, no matter how busy your schedule gets.

As always, don't be afraid to reach out for professional help if you're struggling. Talking with a counselor, therapist, or other licensed mental health professional can provide you with the support you need to feel your best.

8. Safety precautions: Preventing heat-related illnesses

While children, seniors, people who live with obesity, and people who are physically ill are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses, anyone can fall victim to heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and more. Taking precautions to keep yourself healthy in hot weather can help you rest assured that you and those you care about are enjoying the sun safely.

Important heat-related illness prevention tips include:

  • Stay in air-conditioned areas when possible. Spending time in air conditioning can help your body get relief from the heat. If you don't have air conditioning in your home, spending time in a mall, community center, or public library can help.
  • Slow down. When temperatures spike, move your workouts indoors, or schedule them for early in the morning or during the evening hours.
  • Avoid hot foods: While burgers and corn are delicious straight off of the grill, eating hot foods and drinks can make it tough for your body to cool down. On especially hot days, opt for salads, smoothies, cold sandwiches, and other heat-free options.

9. Travel health: Staying healthy on summer vacations

There's not much that feels worse than getting sick on vacation, and taking some precautions to help you stay healthy when you're enjoying a getaway can be well worth the extra effort.

  • Talking with your doctor before going on a long trip – especially if you're traveling overseas – is a smart move. Your physician will talk with you about any vaccines or medications you'll need to stay safe, and can discuss whether you should make an appointment to check in upon your return.
  • Get rest. Traveling is taxing, and traveling to a different time zone can do a number on your well-being. Rest when you're feeling tired, and give yourself time to adjust to a different pace.
  • Stay hydrated. We said it earlier, and we'll say it again – water matters. When you're traveling, drink plenty of water (and be sure to check whether you need to opt for bottled water if you're in a new location).

10. Use Evidation to track your health during summer

Tracking your health data can provide you with valuable insights into what your body needs, and at Evidation, we're here to help. With your permission, the Evidation app safely and privately uses the health data you're already gathering to provide you with the information you need to support your health. Bonus: with your OK, we're also able to use your health data to inform medical studies, allowing you to effortlessly contribute to a healthier world.

Evidation is built upon a foundation of privacy, and we adhere to an opt-in model. That means:

You control who sees your data—or doesn’t

You give consent every time there’s a request for your data

Get started with Evidation today

At Evidation, we're excited to partner with you to help you get the most out of your health data by providing personalized articles and insights that can help you feel your best. No matter where you're at on your health and fitness journey, we'll be by your side, every step of the way. Learn more about how Evidation works and download the app today.

Seasonal health
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