Boost your well-being this summer with practical tips you can implement today.
The meteorological summer has started, meaning it’s a good time to look at staying healthy as you take time away from work and enjoy a well-earned holiday!
Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions and the advice for people not to travel abroad unless necessary, most people, will be opting to holiday in the UK this summer. Wherever you go or whatever you do, it’s important to stay healthy and look after yourself. We’re going to focus on how you can stay healthy in the sun whilst enjoying your free time.
If you’re thirsty…drink!
When it’s hot you’re at greater risk of dehydration. Whether you’re off to the beach or a zoo, or anything else in between, make sure you drink plenty of fluid; it’s vital for good health.
We all need different amounts of fluid. Other than the feeling of thirst, the easiest way to see how hydrated you are is to check your pee. The lighter colour of your pee the more hydrated you are, the darker it is you’re airing more towards dehydration. Ideally, your pee should be a pale straw colour or clear. If your pee is dark yellow or orange, you need to drink more. If your pee is dark orange or brown, you are severely dehydrated and drinking plenty of fluid is essential to restore your dehydration.
Drinking water is the easiest way to keep hydrated and you can add sugar-free squash or slices of fruit to add flavour. Sugar-free fizzy drinks count towards your fluid, but they can affect your teeth if you consume large quantities. Cold or warm milk counts as fluid, as do tea and coffee. However, if you drink a lot of tea and coffee you should be aware of the amount of caffeine you’re consuming and any sugar or cream you add.
Unfortunately, alcohol does not count towards your fluid needs. You can still enjoy alcohol on holiday by spreading your intake out across the days and weeks, rather than drinking too much in one go or bingeing.
Protect your skin
Wear sunscreen and make sure your skin isn’t exposed to the sun for long periods.
Sunscreens in the UK are labelled with an ‘SPF’, which stands for Sun Protection Factor. They are rated on a scale of 6-50+ based on the level of protection they offer. Rating of 50+ offer the strongest forms of UV protection. You should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin.
When applying sunscreen make sure:
You apply it all over your body 15-30 minutes before going out into the sun to allow it to dry.
Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours and immediately after swimming, sweating, towel drying, or if it has rubbed off
For lotions, at least 6 full teaspoons are recommended to cover the average adult body
People tend to miss apply sunscreen to their back, sides of their neck, temples, and ears so make sure you apply sunscreen to these areas
Also apply it to any bald or thinning patches on your head or any uncovered part of your body
Remember, more is better
Protect your eyes
UV rays can cause damage to your eyes, even on a cool, cloudy day, so wear sunglasses that have a CE mark or a statement that they provide 100% UV (ultraviolet A and B) protection.
The sun’s rays can pass through clouds and 80% or more of the sun’s rays reflect off water, snow, and sand so take extra care when near these.
If you wear glasses, speak to your optician about prescription sunglasses or special shades that clip onto your ordinary prescription glasses.
Take it easy
On a nice day, it is tempting to spend as long as possible in the sun, whether that’s top up the tan or to enjoy a day out.
As well as avoiding too much activity on warm days, especially at the hottest time of the day (11 am – 3 pm), take cool baths or showers and keep After Sun/moisturisers in the fridge to keep your skin chilled.
Keep where you are staying cool
After spending a day in the sun, you want to be returning to a cool home or accommodation.
Close windows, curtains, and blinds to keep the heat out and keep windows shut while it’s cooler inside than outside. Fans can help sweat evaporate but they don’t cool the air itself, so don’t rely on the to keep you well in the heat.
Whilst you’re out and about, turn off non-essential items that aren’t in use i.e., lights and electronic items that can generate heat when plugged in.
This should be obvious, but make sure you check the central heating is switched off.
Dress for the weather
This is another way of protecting your skin and keeping cool.
Of course, comfort is key. If it’s hot:
Wear light-coloured, lightweight, loose fitting clothing
Avoid wearing dark colours as they absorb light and can make you feel warmer
Wear a hat to protect your head, scalp, face, ears, and eyes
Whatever you are up to this summer, follow the above guidelines to ensure you stay safe and healthy.