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Health Tips for Summer

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Summer time is the best. Long days, sunshine and a carefree attitude are some of the greatest things. Open windows, popsicles and dirty feet come in a close second, but there are certain things we need to do to take care of ourselves during summer.

Cold Showers Are Not the Best

Running around in the sunshine is a lot of fun. I like playing tennis and Glen likes playing tag, and when you’re running around like a fool in warm weather, it’s easy to overheat and your first instinct is to take a cold shower, but resist, says Dr. Balu Gadhe CareMore Medical Group in California. Our bodies already have a natural temperature regulating system and if you go from very very hot to cold; your blood vessels will constrict and prevent you from cooling down. Instead of a cold shower or bath, try a cool shower or a lukewarm bath.

Careful What You Drink

Running around outside can also lead to dehydration, so it’s a good idea to drink a lot on hot summer days. This is kind of a no brainer, but you need to be careful about what you drink. Registered Dietician Amy Jamieson-Petonic from the Cleveland Clinic says that alcohol, caffeine and beverages high in sugar can dehydrate you because those drinks pull more water from your cells to metabolize them and it starts what she calls a “vicious cycle of thirst” because whatever you drank to quench your thirst left you thirstier than before. Plain old water works the best, but if you need flavor like I do, add cucumber to still or carbonated water. It’s super refreshing. Skim milk and herbal teas are also good, and if you exercise outside in summer, sports drinks can help, too.

A/C Does Not Cause Colds

It never fails. I get a cold in the summer. Who gets colds in the summer? Apparently a lot of people, but it’s not from the air conditioning, which is what I used to blame it on. As it turns out, air conditioning in summer, like heating in winter can dry out your sinuses. Dr. Gadhe says that “Colds are caused by viruses, not cold air.” Keep taking your multivitamins and practice good hand washing habits, just like you would during cold and flu season.

You Can Get Sunburned On a Cloudy Day

I usually get sunburned at least once per summer as do most people and I’ve even gotten sunburned on a cloudy day! How does that happen? I didn’t think it was possible, but, it turns out it is. Dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman says that UV rays can penetrate through the clouds. Dr. Jaliman urges you to “Wear sunscreen every day, even on a cloudy day. I have seen some of the worst sunburns on patients who failed to use sunscreen on cloudy days.” She recommends SPF 30 or higher and whatever you do; don’t put butter on your sunburn. It’s like “putting oil on a fire.” If you’re burned, Dr. Jaliman says “it’s best to use unscented aloe Vera gel or even a topical hydrocortisone cream.”

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