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10 Tips on how to stay healthy this summer

With summer just around the corner, many of us are eagerly anticipating warmer weather, longer days and opportunities to spend more time outdoors. While summer is a great time to relax and have BBQs, picnics or lazy days at the beach, we should also focus on taking care of our health and wellbeing. In this article, we'll share 10 tips on how to stay healthy this summer so you can enjoy the season to the fullest and ensure your health doesn’t suffer as a result.

Tips to stay healthy this summer

The following tips are designed to help you stay healthy during the summer months. From protecting your skin to getting plenty of exercise, we’ve got you covered!

1.     Plan a healthy BBQ

Summer is the season for barbecues, and while greasy hot dogs and burgers may be traditional BBQ staples, there are plenty of healthier options available. Fresh salads dressed with lemon juice and olive oil, grilled vegetable kebabs and chicken breast marinated with yogurt and herbs are all tasty alternatives. For nibbles, consider serving raw veggie crudités with dips like olives and guacamole rather than crisps or nachos which are crammed with fat and salt. These healthier options are not only very tasty but will also keep you feeling good throughout the summer. Take a look at our article Healthy Summer Treats for more inspiration!

2.     Protect your skin

To protect against the harmful effects of UV rays, it's essential to use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Apply it 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. These simple precautions will protect your skin from premature aging, sunburn and reduce the risk of skin cancer, allowing you to enjoy the summer months safely and healthily.

3.     Let’s get physical!

Getting regular exercise during the summer months is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health. With the warmer weather and longer days, there are plenty of opportunities to engage in a variety of outdoor activities that can help you stay active and improve your fitness level -and in Dorset, you’re spoilt for choice! You could go for a jog or walk in the park, swim laps in a pool or lake, take a bike ride or try your hand at outdoor sports such as tennis. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and improve your overall mood and wellbeing.

4.     Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh fruit and vegetables. Not only are they delicious and refreshing during the hotter months, but they're also packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help keep your body healthy and strong. Fruit and vegetables are often in season during the summer which means they’re readily available, making it easier to incorporate them into your meals and snacks. Eating a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help reduce your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer and also aid weight management.

5.     Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated during the summer months is crucial for maintaining good health and preventing heat-related illnesses. With higher temperatures and increased physical activity, your body loses water more quickly, and it's essential to replace those fluids regularly. Dehydration can cause a range of symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, dizziness and even fainting, so it's important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water is the best choice for staying hydrated, but you can also try other beverages such as herbal tea or homemade fruit smoothies.

6.     Wear protective clothing

In addition to sunscreen, wearing protective clothing can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays. UV radiation can cause skin damage, premature aging and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, can help shield your skin from these harmful rays. Additionally, protective clothing can also help keep you cool by blocking the sun's rays from directly hitting your skin, reducing the risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

7.     Maintain healthy sleeping patterns

The shorter, warmer nights of summer can sometimes lead to disrupted sleep patterns. Getting a good night's sleep during hot weather can be a challenge, but it's essential for your physical and mental wellbeing. Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable by using a fan or leaving your windows ajar and use lightweight bedding made from breathable materials like cotton. It's also a good idea to stay hydrated during the day to help regulate your body temperature at night. If you find it challenging to sleep in the heat, try taking a cool shower before bed to help you cool down.

8.     Take breaks from the sun

While many of us want to make the most of the warm weather, staying out of the sun during certain times of the day is essential for protecting your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. UV rays are at their strongest during midday when the sun is at its highest point in the sky and extended exposure can cause skin damage, as well as increase your risk of developing skin cancer. To minimise your exposure to harmful rays, it's best to avoid spending extended periods in direct sunlight between the hours of 11am and 3pm. If you must be outdoors during these times, it's essential to wear protective clothing, apply sunscreen regularly and stay hydrated.

9.     Avoid alcohol

A cocktail or glass of beer on a warm day can be lovely, but it’s important to remember that alcohol can cause dehydration, which is especially dangerous during hot weather. Dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue, dizziness and even fainting, so it's essential to stay well-hydrated during the summer months and consider alternating between alcohol and water, or abstaining from alcohol altogether. Take a look at our article Make Mine a Mocktail for some inspiring and delicious booze-free mocktails!

10.  Make your summer social

The long days and warm weather provide ample opportunities to engage in outdoor activities like picnics, hiking or beach days with friends and family. Socialising and spending time outdoors have been linked to reduced stress and improved mood, which can benefit your mental health. Additionally, getting out and about during the summer can help combat feelings of loneliness or isolation that can often arise during the colder months. Whether it's meeting up with friends for a BBQ or joining a local walking group, making time for socialising and outdoor activities can help you stay mentally healthy and connected during the summer months.

Live Well in Dorset this summer

If you would like to find out more about how LiveWell Dorset can help you stay healthy this summer, why not take a look at our website for further inspiration? We’ve got some fantastic resources available, including our LiveWell Finder tool, designed to help you locate local activity and support groups in your local area. Alternatively, drop us a line or register with us today. Our team of wellness coaches are here to help you lead a healthier, happier life – not just in summer, but all year round!

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