Here are 9 tips to stay healthy and safe this summer:
1. Hydrate with food. Fruits and veggies are filled with water and can contribute to your total water intake. This is why salads are more appealing during the summer. Enjoy fresh fruit whole, as fruit kebabs, green smoothies, and green juices. Vamp up veggies as crudite with hummus, artichoke or other dip, huge shock n’ awe salads, in green smoothies and juices, cold soups and gazpachos, and even on the grill (over a bed of cool, fresh greens, especially). Frozen whole fruit and veggies sorbets and popsicles can be a refreshing treat in the middle of a hot day.
2. Drink up. Drink approximately half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, drink at least 65 ounces of water daily. Add more for exercise and even more for time spent outdoors or in hot areas. If you exercise for over 90 minutes, use an electrolyte beverage. My top choice is coconut water or this delicious, refreshing DIY sports beverage recipe: http://bit.ly/1aC0aCb
3. Avoid dehydrators. Not the equipment, but compounds that act as diuretics, leaving you with less liquid than you take in. Caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications act as diuretics and push out more water from your body. Compensate with extra water or even coconut water to replenish those losses.
4. Mind the sun. We need some sun for vitamin D production, but excessive exposure, of course, can promote certain skin cancers and dehydration. Try to schedule outdoor activities early in the morning or late afternoon (before 10am and after 3pm) if you will be out for prolonged periods. Wear a hat to protect your scalp and sunglasses to keep your eyes safe. Clothes can protect your skin as can a safe sunscreen. Seek out shade and avoid getting burned. See this Environmental Working Group’s 2015 list of safe sunscreens: http://bit.ly/1Lfsv63
5. Stay cool with water. Baths, showers, and swimming bring down body temperatures. Of course, monitor kids to make sure they are always safe. Drownings are the leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 4, and 3 children die every day as a result of drowning.
6. Wear light, breathable, cozy clothing that cover the skin without being too tight or restraining.
7. Emphasize cook-free meals instead of turning on ovens and stoves, which escalate the temps in your home (see recipe ideas below).
8. Do not leave kids or pets in the car. Even with the windows rolled down. Even for a few minutes. Heat rises quickly and dramatically and can be extremely dangerous and fatal after even just a brief stint.
9. Traveling? Here are 3 healthy travel tips and foods that travel well.
Resources and Recipes
U.S. National Weather Service (NWS)’s Summer Weather Safety and Survival
CDC’s Make Summer Safe for Kids
Nava Atlas’s VegKitchen.com’s No-Cook Meals for Hot Summer Days
4 More Reasons to Love Veggies and 8 Ways to Bring Them On!
U.S. News Health’s The 10 Best Ways to Hydrate That Don’t Involve Water
Oh My Veggies’ 20 No-Cook Vegetarian Meals for Hot Summer Days
Oh She Glows’ No Bake Recipes