Summer in Florida is a time for fun in the sun, but it’s also a time to be mindful of your health and wellness. With temperatures soaring and humidity levels high, it’s important to take steps to protect yourself from the heat and stay healthy throughout the season. It’s a great time to explore the various aspects of summer wellness in Florida, from staying hydrated and cool to protecting your skin and managing allergies.
Benefits of Sunshine and Vitamin D
Sunshine is essential for our overall health, as it provides us with vitamin D, which is crucial for strong bones and a healthy immune system. However, it’s important to soak up the sun safely, as overexposure can lead to skin damage and even skin cancer. To get the benefits of sunshine without the risks, aim for 10-15 minutes of sun exposure per day, preferably in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense. You can also get vitamin D from foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and fortified dairy products.
Hydration and Staying Cool
Staying hydrated is crucial in the hot summer months, as dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, and avoid sugary drinks that can dehydrate you further. To stay cool and comfortable, wear loose-fitting clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen. You can also use fans or air conditioning to keep your home or office cool.
Sun Protection and Skin Care
Sun exposure can cause skin damage and increase your risk of skin cancer, so it’s important to protect your skin when you’re outside. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. You should also wear protective clothing like hats and sunglasses to shield your face from the sun. If you do get sunburned, apply aloe vera or a cool compress to soothe the skin.
Outdoor Exercise and Activity
Outdoor exercise and activity are great ways to stay active and healthy in the summer, but it’s important to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. Try to exercise in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense, and take frequent breaks to rest and hydrate. You can also try indoor activities like yoga or swimming to stay active without exposing yourself to the heat.
Eating for Summer Wellness
A healthy diet is important year-round, but it’s especially crucial in the summer when our bodies need extra hydration and nutrients. Aim for a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Avoid heavy, greasy foods that can make you feel sluggish in the heat, and opt for lighter meals like salads or smoothies.
Mental Health and Stress Management
Summer can be a stressful time for some people, whether it’s due to work demands or family obligations. To manage stress and stay mentally healthy, try practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation. You can also try outdoor activities like hiking or swimming to boost your mood and reduce stress.
Avoiding Heat-Related Illnesses
Heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be dangerous if left untreated. To prevent these conditions, stay hydrated, avoid strenuous activity during the hottest parts of the day, and take frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas. If you experience symptoms like dizziness or nausea, seek medical attention immediately.
Managing Allergies and Pollen
Summer is a prime time for allergies and pollen, which can cause symptoms like sneezing, itching, and congestion. To manage allergies, try taking over-the-counter antihistamines or using nasal sprays. You can also reduce your exposure to pollen by keeping windows and doors closed, using air conditioning, and showering after spending time outside.
Florida is home to a variety of insects that can transmit diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease. To protect yourself from mosquito and tick bites, wear long sleeves and pants when you’re outside, use insect repellent, and avoid areas with standing water where mosquitoes breed. If you do get bitten, remove the tick or mosquito promptly and monitor for any signs of illness.
Travel Safety and Preparedness
If you’re traveling in Florida during the summer, it’s important to be prepared for emergencies and unexpected situations. Make sure you have a first aid kit, plenty of water and snacks, and a plan for staying cool in case of a heat wave. You should also be aware of any weather alerts or safety warnings in the area where you’re traveling.
Take Care of Yourself
The nursing volunteers at St. Vincent de Paul Joe Latina Center encourage you to take steps to protect yourself from the sun, stay hydrated, manage stress, and avoid insect-borne illnesses, you can enjoy some summer fun without putting your health at risk.
St. Vincent de Paul Joe Latina Center is proud to serve as a Nuevo en US Strategic Partner www.nuevoenus.org, offering assistance to those in need in the Temple Terrace area. Steve Cuculich, owner of Car Credit www.carcredittampa.com commends the organization’s work and supports their mission of helping our neighbors – old and new.