The summer season often ushers in a unique shift in our activities. School breaks can lead to more family-focused activities, vacations are common, and a general uptick in things like camping, hiking, and road trips takes place. However, the warmer months also bring several health-related risks that are worth taking the time to look out for. Here are a few eco-conscious summer lifestyle tips to help you and your family manage those risks and still enjoy those lazy summer days.
Water is a common topic of discussion these days, whether you’re talking about general access to clean water, the concept of recycling and cleaning it, and so on. Even when you step back from the higher-minded conversation, water still remains a critical part of each individual human’s daily life as well — a fact that is never truer than in the summer. With increased levels of activity and hot weather often the status quo, it’s important to monitor your water intake and make sure you’re staying hydrated.
While the quantity of water each person should drink each day varies and is impacted by different factors, as a general rule, the more important thing is to “trust your thirst.” In other words, if you’re thirsty, make sure to hydrate yourself.
It’s also important to find sustainable ways to source your water. Rather than purchasing cases of water prepackaged in plastic water bottles, look for a quality reusable water bottle to use. Also, make sure to find a dependable water filtration system that will ensure you aren’t sacrificing your health by avoiding the plastic packaged solution.
Watch Out for Sunburn
Nothing can ruin a fun trip to the beach or time spent out in the sun quite so much as coming home with a terrible sunburn. A sunburn may just seem like another annoyance of summer, but it’s much more worrisome, as sunburns increase your for developing skin cancer.
That’s why it’s important to make sure to use health-conscious sunscreen whenever you’re in the sun for extended periods of time. If you do find that you’ve gotten a burn while having some summer fun, there are a few different ways you can address it in order to get back into tip-top shape as quickly as possible.
Aloe Vera Gel is a classic natural sunburn remedy that brings both quick relief and long-term healing to your burnt skin. Black tea — applied by steeping the tea leaves and then soaking it into a rag or cloth — can also be a game changer. Oatmeal or baking soda baths can also help relieve sunburn symptoms, as can applying milk or yogurt directly to the burn itself.
Fight Those Allergies
Warm weather often means open windows and doors. Flooding a home with fresh air after the stagnant, cooped up winter months can be extremely refreshing — but it can also bring a plethora of pollen and other allergens into your home. In addition, the increased airflow can also stir up many allergens like dust and dandruff that are already present.
A few natural, eco-friendly suggestions to keep those summer allergies to a minimum include:
- Properly giving your drapes, upholstery, and area rugs a good spring cleaning.
- Keeping up a regular dusting and vacuuming schedule.
- Bathing your pets on a regular basis.
- Taking natural allergy relief options like garlic or nettles.
As a side note, some also swear by the old wives tale of eating local honey to help reduce their allergic symptoms. While this isn’t scientifically proven, it’s certainly delicious enough to give it a try!
Keep Up That Healthy Eating
It’s important to treat your diet with respect. Eating real food is a critical part of health year-round, including during the summer. It’s easy to fall off the health-food wagon when all of the warm weather adventures and activities kick off in earnest. From doing things away from our home pantries and kitchens to having less time to cook, it’s tempting to find excuses to hit up a local fast food joint for a meal.
However, if you want to remain healthy and strong throughout your summer, good food is a must. If you don’t already have a good, long term dietary plan in place, do some research and make one. If you do have a diet you already follow, make a conscious effort to stick to your guns and eat as healthy as you can on a regular basis.
In addition, consider looking for locally sourced food that is “in-season” during the summer months. Finding food that has been grown in your local area is a trendy, eco-conscious way to consider the carbon footprint of your meals. However, make sure to take all factors into consideration when you do this. For instance, food shipped by boat overseas may have a smaller carbon footprint than food from the next state over if the latter had to be transported by plane. If, on the other hand, you buy corn from a corner stand that was grown a mile away, chances are measuring those food miles will pay off.
Get Adequate Sleep
Finally, it’s easy to compromise on sleep with so many things going on. However, the tiredness and exhaustion that naturally come with the summer heat and activity make it critically important to let your body get the rest it needs. This doesn’t mean you need to sleep in every day, but it’s worth trying to avoid the temptation to not prioritize your sleep as you plan out vacations and activities.
According to Mayo Clinic, adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep per day. While this isn’t a hard and fast number, it’s important that it should be generally followed so that your body and overall health don’t suffer over time.
Your Health in Your Hands
Preventing sunburn, eating healthy, avoiding allergies, sleeping well, and staying hydrated are all excellent ways to keep yourself healthy and energized throughout the summer months. One of the most important ways to truly tend to all of these needs is to practice maintaining a health-conscious mindset on a daily basis. If you’re actively trying to tune in to your body’s needs regularly, chances are you’ll have no trouble keeping up on everything on this list and reaping the numerous benefits they provide as a result.