Don’t let the heat get to you. Grab these warm weather essentials to stay healthy:
Reusable water bottle:
Find a few favorite water bottles with a tight seal that you can carry easily in your bag. Refill them often. When we get busy, staying hydrated often does not get the attention it deserves. The best way to make sure you get the water you need is to make sure that it is easy to grab and sip throughout the day. Not sure how much water you need to get from the foods and beverages you choose? Try a hydration calculator like this one for a general guideline based on your weight and physical activity.
Choose a sunscreen that covers UVA & UVB rays with SPF 15 or higher. Apply the sunscreen about 30 minutes before you go outside and reapply often throughout the day, especially if you are sweating or swimming. You will need to apply the sunscreen thickly and thoroughly- about a handful will cover your entire body. Many people under apply sunscreen and this reduces the amount of SPF protection your skin will receive. Make sure you cover your ears, shoulders, top of your feet, nose, and the back of your neck. Use a lip balm with SPF 15 or above so that your lips will not get burned.
Your eyes can also be harmed by the suns UV rays and sunglasses offer the best protection. In addition to preventing cataracts in the long run, they help to protect the tender skin around your eyes. For maximum protection, choose sunglasses that block both the UVA and UVB rays.
Did you know that up to 80% of skin cancers occur on the head or neck? A brimmed hat will offer protection and also keep you cooler. If you opt for a baseball cap, just make sure you are applying enough sunscreen on areas that are not shaded by the hat – such as the back of your neck and ears.
Insect repellent and protective clothing:
Warm months in Florida mean an increase in the mosquito population. Viruses like Zika can be spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. To protect yourself from mosquito bites use EPA registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone. When possible, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants while outside can also help. For more information about how to protect yourself from mosquito bites, check out: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html
Your Smart Phone:
Sometimes a well-timed reminder can be just what we need. Fortunately, you don’t have to look any further than your smart phone to find some really helpful tools. Search the apps for “hydration” and you will find several free and low cost options including timers to remind you that it is time for more water and tools for tracking how well you are meeting your hydration goals. A search for “sunscreen” also brings up some great apps whether you need a timer to remind you when to reapply or help in choosing the the best protection for your skin
- Stop by GatorWell anytime during the summer to pick up sunscreen, sunglasses, a water bottle, and insect repellent!
- Sun Safety Tips: http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org/safety_tips.html
- FDA Sunscreen Regulations: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f80iPEfwE80
- Guide to Sunscreen Use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V46vfg-7dEI
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Zika Guide: https://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Extreme Heat and Your Health Guide: https://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/