Summertime and the livin’ is easy. Or maybe not. While many of us are thrilled that we’ve reached the end of the cold weather and are looking forward to the chance to spend more time outdoors, there are certain pitfalls that can definitely put a damper on our summer enjoyment.
We want to help you make the most of your warm weather months and stay as problem-free as possible. With a little planning and forward thinking, you can avoid many of the health hazards of summer. Here are five great tips to get your summer underway safely and healthfully.
1. Recreational Water Illnesses
You’d like to go for a nice swim, but there can be danger lurking in the water. Lakes and rivers may be home to parasites such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia intestinalis that can cause diarrhea, skin infections, and more. Unfortunately, choosing a public pool instead might not be any better, despite the vast amounts of chlorine often added to the water to kill germs. In fact, a 2018 study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia found that hotel pools were the worst offender of all recreational water germ-related outbreaks. To protect yourself, don’t swallow any water in any swimming spot, natural or manmade. And take immune boosters regularly to strengthen your immune system against any bacteria to which you are exposed.
2. Food Poisoning
It’s wonderful to be able to enjoy those backyard barbecues, picnics in the park, and daylong outdoor adventures, but the higher temperatures create an environment in which bacteria can thrive in food. And getting food poisoning is no fun, as you’re dealing with vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. To avoid this, keep foods stored on ice in a cooler that is full, as that maintains cold temperatures better than a half-filled one. Use a thermometer to make sure any chicken or meat you are cooking reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 or 145 degrees, respectively. And err on the side of caution with any foods that have been sitting outside a while. A good rule of thumb is to toss anything that’s been out for more than two hours in general, or more than one hour in 90 degree heat. And keep a supply of a natural antipathogenic formula on hand, just in case something slips through.
Spending a long period of time outside in very hot weather, especially if you’re exercising or otherwise exerting yourself, can bring on heat stroke. This occurs when your body overheats and your core temperature rises to 104 degrees or above. It often begins with symptoms including a headache, dizziness, or weakness, so if you’re feeling any of that, it’s important to get inside into a cooler area to prevent yourself from passing out. Heatstroke is a medical emergency that requires treatment or can result in serious complications such as organ failure. And to prevent heat stroke, stay well hydrated, wear lightweight clothing, and limit your time outside on very hot days—or, at the very least, periodically come indoors to fully cool down before going outside again.
4. Eczema Flare-ups
If you’ve got a skin issue like eczema, you probably know that heat and humidity can make it worse and bring on flare-ups. Be extra careful with your sensitive skin this time of year and avoid scented detergents, perfumes, and dyes. Opt for mineral-based sunscreens, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and stay out of the sun as much as possible during the peak hours of 10 am to 2 pm. Immunomodulators such as L-carnosine, CMO, and colostrum can help control your overactive immune system, and proteolytic enzymes can help reduce systemic inflammation.
5. Summer Colds
While you might not think of summer as cold season, there are bugs that go around this time of year too, and it stinks to be all stuffy and congested when there are so many better things to do than stay home feeling sick. Summer colds are often caused by the enterovirus, which is often characterized by coughing, fever, sneezing, and body aches. Keep enterovirus at bay by taking the same kinds of precautions you need in the winter, including washing your hands with soap frequently, cleaning shared surfaces at work if anyone is sick, and here’s yet another reason to keep a supply of a natural antipathogenic formula on hand, just in case you find yourself fighting off one of these viruses.