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Summer wellness tips to try this season

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Summer has officially arrived. The turn of the new season often comes with backyard barbecues and trips to the beach. Given some, er, unexpected events that 2020 has brought on (we don’t have to go into the whole worldwide pandemic thing again, do we?) your summer plans likely will look a bit different this year. But that doesn’t mean you can’t safely enjoy the outdoors and take care of yourself in the upcoming months.

Consider this week’s entry as a reminder of the basic summer wellness tips to follow to stay happy and healthy this season.

Stay hydrated

Perhaps this is the most obvious piece of advice you could receive. But when the heat and humidity rises, unfortunately the risk for developing dehydration does, too. The symptoms of dehydration are more than uncomfortable; feelings of dizziness and rapid heartbeats can become distracting when trying to get an important job done, like filing paperwork or going to court.

One of the best ways to prevent dehydration is by becoming acclimated to the changing weather. Before we hit the hotter months of July and August, consider allowing your body to acclimate to the heat by getting outside to exercise for short periods of time three times a week.

Constantly carrying a water bottle with you is a great way to remember to hydrate, and avoiding the outdoors during the hottest parts of the day will help protect your body from dehydration, too.

Screen up!

Sunscreen up, that is. Aside from the risk of cancer and prematurely aged skin, sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool off — which can also impact your hydration level. Therefore, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen before going outside.

You don’t have to be heading to the pool, lying out on the beach or meeting up with friends at the tennis court to put sunscreen on.  In fact, most health professionals say that people should be wearing sunscreen year round, as our skin is always susceptible to UV rays even on the rainiest, cloudiest days.

Use a broad-spectrum screen with UVA/UVB protection of SPF 15 or higher. Apply 30 minutes prior to sun exposure for best results. Continue to reapply as per package instructions, while considering water contact, sweating, toweling and SPF number to protect yourself from the sun.

Summer snacks

Some snacks just taste better during the summertime. That includes hotdogs, barbecue chips and other cookout staples — but there are plenty of healthy summer snacks to consider preparing during these months, as well.

You can keep it simple with popsicles (yes, healthy popsicles exist!) or a fruit salad. Cutting up a watermelon is always a good call. If you’re feeling creative, healthy summer snack recipes are just a Google search away. How else do you think I’m able to recommend you make homemade pico de gallo, mix your own dip out of peanut butter and greek yogurt or stuff avocado and feta cheese into a hollowed out strawberry? Rest assured, I will be trying all of these recipes and more in the upcoming months.

Get outside (but keep distance in mind)

Sunshine, warmer temperatures and the gradual reopening of parks, trails and restaurants are luring many of us outside after weeks of being told to stay home. It could be easy to forget about the danger of COVID-19 when flip-flop weather is upon us, but try your best to keep social distancing guidelines in mind while continuing to partake in summer activities that you enjoy.

If your favorite restaurant along the river has opened back up, treat yourself to a night out. Just remember that date night won’t be quite the same as it was last summer. Continue to wear a face mask in public when you can; wash your hands when entering and leaving a public space and again once you get home. Do your best to stay at least six feet apart from others in public, and consider avoiding high-volume areas if you can.

Enjoying the outdoors (safely) is possible, even in the age of COVID-19, so long as you take precautions and use common sense.

Keep these four tips in mind to keep yourself and others happy, healthy and safe this summer.