The summer months are a great time to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise can all help you feel young and stay healthy, but summer also comes with health and safety concerns. If you’re like most busy professionals, you tend to go from one extreme to the other, so be careful as you venture out into the world of vacation and staycation.
Protect Your Skin
Understanding why you need sunscreen will help keep it front of mind. Most people think of sunscreen as a way to prevent a painful sunburn. While this is certainly important, it also reduces risk of skin cancer, and helps prevent early signs of skin aging. There are so many sunscreen products and much debate over which SPF number is best. That’s why it’s important to turn to the authority on sunscreen, instead of choosing based on the commercials, or most clever packaging. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone use broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 30 or greater. Water resistant products are best.
The face, ears, and shoulders are often the first to get burned and have the highest risk of danger from exposure. SPF clothing and hats, in addition to sunscreen, will offer additional protection. When applying products to the face, be sure to look for those that are specially formulated not to clog pores or cause eye irritation.
It’s easy to get busy and not think about water intake, but dehydration can be a major concern in the summer months. This leads to headaches, fatigue, moodiness, and even more serious side effects. A good rule of thumb is to take half your body weight in pounds, divide that number in half, and drink that number of ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs., you need 100 oz. of water per day as a baseline. You will need to add an additional 8 oz. of water for each 30 minutes in the heat or for each 30 minutes of exercise.
Avoid Being a Weekend Warrior
Visits to the emergency room for random accidents and injuries are highest in the summer months. Professional business people are often seen with everything from back injuries from lifting, to serious injuries from power tools. It’s a real issue. Don’t try to be a weekend warrior. Know your limits and stick to them. Professional landscapers, builders, and repairmen are not only fit for such projects, they are well versed in the safety aspects. So, pick projects that are safe and doable and leave the rest to the other professionals.
Take Time to Relax
Whether it’s a vacation or staycation, don’t schedule every hour. Relaxation does not come with an itinerary. When planning days off, be sure not to include travel days as relaxation days. There is nothing relaxing about shuffling from the car to the airport and then to the hotel or vice versa. It’s not a crime to sit back, nap, read a good book, or daydream. As a matter of fact, it’s important to do so. True relaxation gives the body, mind, and spirit time to reset, a necessity for anyone living a busy, overscheduled life.
Make this the best summer yet by playing it safe and focusing on staying healthy. Each of us only come with one body, so be sure to take care of yours.