Summer is the favorite season for many of us. Getting outside for workouts: hiking, biking, and lots of water sports. It’s even the season for many competitive sports like races, and obstacle runs. But with all the sun and higher temperatures, we have to make sure we are taking care of our body with increased hydration and more diligent skin care.
Make hydration a habit, especially when temperatures rise.
You lose more water in heat and you can lose up to 6 liters of water in sweat during intense exercise. Combine the two of these and you could be putting yourself in danger. We often associate dehydration with muscle cramps, fatigue or extreme thirst, but dehydration also affects the brain, which is made up of mostly water. By the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. So let’s amp up the water intake by practicing these 5 tips:
- Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Keep one at your desk, one in your car, and definitely bring an extra one or two on any outdoor adventures you take on.
- Increase your intake of “water-rich” foods. Fruits and vegetables naturally have a higher water content, so swap out salty or processed water-deprived foods for healthy hydration options such as cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, watermelon, spinach or grapefruit (each of these contains over 90% water).
- Weight it out. Tired of trying to figure out how much water to drink each day? Simply take your weight, and divide it in half. Aim for this number in ounces of water each day. Be sure to increase this when exercising or when outside in extreme heat.
- Get a water bottle that has the number of ounces or liters marked. Like any goal, when it’s sitting in front of you each day, you are more likely to hit it.
- Drink a glass of water before you eat. Many times our brains confuse hunger with thirst. Instead of reaching for that afternoon snack, fill up a big glass of ice-water, sparkling water or lemon water. Most of the time they will more than satisfy.
Protect that skin.
When it comes to summer skincare, we also need to form a few new habits. UVA/UVB rays are harmful all year long but are especially damaging during the summer months when our exposure levels are higher. So aside from applying sunscreen regularly, practice some of these healthy summer skincare tips as well:
- Make sure your lip balm includes sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and reapply often.
- Don’t forget your scalp. Sure your hair offers some protection, but not enough. You can burn between the part line and along the hairline. Try a spray on sunscreen with SPF 30. Creams and lotions are harder to apply evenly in these places.
- Wear that hat. Wide brim hats are best since they cover your face, neck, and ears. Baseball hats leave ears and necks exposed to sunburn.
- Coat those hands. We often neglect our hands when applying sunscreen. Select a hand cream that has SPF 30 and apply it throughout the day.
- If you do get sunburned, try some yogurt! The lactic acid found in plain yogurt has a soothing effect on sunburn. Apply it to the affected areas and leave it on for 20-30 minutes before rinsing it off in a cool shower. Follow that with some aloe or other moisturizing lotion.
So take that workout into the great outdoors. Get out and enjoy all that summer has to offer, but be sure to practice healthy hydration and skincare along the way.