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As the holidays are now fully underway we all want to make the most of the summer.  But how to stay well whilst still enjoying those long hot (sometimes!) days?

Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your summer without undoing all your hard health related work!

Time In The Sun – now is an excellent opportunity to top up your vitamin D but fears over the danger of spending too much time in the sun have led to increased use of sun block which in turn, it is believed, is actually leaving more and more of us deficient in that all important sunshine vitamin.  Obviously too much sun exposure is not good so how to get the balance right?

The body needs up to 30 minutes sun exposure per day for optimal vitamin D synthesis.  If you’re spending any more time than this in the sun then you will need some protection.  Choose a good quality, high factor sun cream, and one made from as natural ingredients as possible to avoid chemical overload.  Always reapply when you’ve been in water.  And of course remember that the sun is at its strongest between 11am and 3pm, so at this time stay out of the sun altogether, or at least make sure you cover up and wear a hat.

Stay Hydrated – as you’ve heard me say so many times before, good hydration is a key factor in better health, and one of the quickest, easiest and cheapest ways to improve your well being.  As the temperatures rise it is as important as ever to make sure you are drinking plenty of water to keep the body functioning as it should – and sorry, tea, coffee, carbonated soft drinks, frappes, slushes and other such beverages don’t count!

All Things That Bite – along with the good weather comes an increase in bugs that bite!  Whilst just a part of nature, a bite from one of these little creatures may not always be good news – just think before it bit you what else (or who else) it may have bitten!  If you’re prone to insect bites then take a few simple precautions to protect yourself:

  • Avoid going near still water (lakes and slow running rivers) towards dusk and the night as numbers of biting insects tend to be higher in these locations.
  • Cover up if you are near water, and if you’re walking through wood or moor land (tick bites are the problem here).
  • Use an insect repellent – again as natural as possible – one based on citronella is often a good choice.

Staying Active – when the weather is good you may be more motivated to take some exercise which, of course, is never a bad thing but be careful as to what you do and how.  Excessive exercise can act as a stress on the body eventually undoing any good that you may have gained, and being too active in hot weather increases that stress and the risk of dehydration.  Remember that when it comes to your health, balance is everything so ensure that the activity you are undertaking matches your level of fitness and the weather conditions, ensure you follow a period of exercise with some rest, and stay well hydrated.

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