5 Tips for a Healthy Summer

If you’re reading this, it probably means a few things: the kids are out of school, you’ve scheduled your much-needed PTO days, and you’re working on your tan (with sunscreen, we hope). Now that we’re in the full swing of Summer 2024, the ZüpMed crew is due to remind you of all the ways you should be keeping yourself and your families healthy and safe this vacation – and it isn’t all just about heat and hydration! Here are five tips for a healthy summer (plus a couple of lessons on summer health risks). 

#1: Take Care of Your Skin

Hey, we love to lay out by the pool with a tanning mirror and a Piña Colada as much as the next guy – but if you’re not taking care of your skin while you’re doing it, you’re putting yourself at risk. UV rays not only cause sunburns (ouch!), but they can also cause premature aging and even skin cancer. 

We recommend…

…choosing the right sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and staying out of the sun during peak hours. 

  • Sunscreen: Whether you opt for the spray or lotion, you should always have sunscreen with at least SPF 30 in your beach bag. For best results, dermatologist-recommended EltaMD is available in our office.
  • Protective Clothing: Covering your skin as much as possible can also prevent UV exposure, so try out a long-sleeve swim shirt. Or, it may be time to test if you’re a hat person after all. 
  • Avoid Peak UV: The sun’s rays are usually strongest between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M., and the weather app on your phone can tell you how strong the UV is at any given time. 

#2: Eat the Right Foods

During the winter months, the natural habit is to curl into a ball on the couch and carbo-load beneath the warm glow of the TV. We’re mammals, after all. High-functioning, coffee-drinking, 9-5-working mammals, but mammals nonetheless. 

But as former hunter-gatherers, we’re also inclined to crawl back into the world during the summer to eat from nature’s menu, and in-season fruits and vegetables are the way to go to balance out the other half of the year. 

Healthy eating can help you feel better day-to-day, and if you get a little closer to your goal weight, wasn’t it worth it? 

We recommend…

…taking advantage of your local farmer’s market! We should all be eating at least 10 fruits or veggies every day, and there’s no better place to get the staples for your fresh summer diet. Seasonal produce is an excellent base for a balanced menu – just add lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, and you’ve got yourself the Mediterranean diet! Bonus points if you can get our kids to play along – tell them you’re trying to “eat the rainbow!”

#3: Stay Hydrated

As the heat rises, so do the risks of dehydration. This is mainly because of your body’s natural cooling system: sweat. You lose water more rapidly as your body tries to keep you at a balanced temperature, but that means you need to replace it just as fast to keep the whole system running. 

Otherwise, you could become more susceptible to heat stroke, fatigue, or dizziness in the short term or kidney issues in the long term. 

We recommend…

…not to state the obvious, but drinking water. Over 60% of you is water. Act like it! The average person should drink no less than eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day, but that changes depending on your exposure to heat and your level of exertion. You can also “eat your water” by supplementing your water intake with hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumbers, or strawberries. Or, you can drink flavored water to encourage more hydration. 

And if you’re ever in a pinch, ZüpMed’s IV hydration services are the fastest way to get you back on track after a long vacation in the sun. 

#4: Keep Cool

Heat can be a killer. Exposure to high temperatures can cause your body to work overtime trying to cool you down, which can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or dehydration. That’s why staying hydrated and keeping cool go hand-in-hand. 

We recommend…

…staying hydrated, wearing the right clothes, staying out of the sun, and taking advantage of that AC unit! 

  • Stay Hydrated: We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. Drinking enough water is the key to keeping yourself cool and hydrated in the summer, and this can reduce the stress that excessive heat puts on your body. 
  • Wear the Right Clothes: Try light-colored, loose-fitting clothes to allow better air circulation and heat reflection. We’re big fans of the newer “tech” fabrics, especially in long-sleeve styles, and floppy-brimmed sun hats. (You may not even own a fly rod, but you’ll at least look like a fishing guide!)
  • Avoid Peak Sun: Limiting your outdoor activities during the hottest parts of the day can protect you from the heat. The mornings and evenings are your best friends in the summer!
  • Crank the AC: The South loves its air conditioning. Sitting inside with the AC is usually the best way to avoid the stress of heat – so take advantage of what you’ve got! 

#5: Protect Against Insects

Tiki torches, fly swatters, bug zappers…humanity has a long history of pushing those pesky summer insects out of their homes. For good reason, too. There’s nothing like those Memphis mosquitos. 

Insect bites and stings hurt, but they can also cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, and even diseases. Plus, because the summer is their favorite time to appear, you’ve got a battle on your hands – and on your lawn. 

We recommend…

…using protective clothing and insect repellents. These are the classic methods of prevention, but they’re tried and true. 

  • Insect repellants: Applying insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus can effectively keep insects at bay. It’s important to follow the product instructions for safe application.
  • Protective clothing: Wearing long sleeves, long pants, and socks can reduce skin exposure to insects. Light-colored clothing is preferable as it makes it easier to spot ticks and other pests. Plus, this doubles as your sun protection! 
5 Tips for a Healthy Summer

Stay Healthy Out There, Folks!

There’s nothing like a Memphis summer, but Memphians are pretty good at handling the heat. We may not be able to do anything about finding your zen while the kids are at home all day, but taking advantage of these tips can keep the whole family cool, hydrated, and bug-bite-free! 

If you are traveling, don’t forget about our custom-made travel packs, which are prescribed uniquely for your travel needs. Whether you are on a boat and need anti-nausea medicine or climbing high and need altitude sickness prevention, we make it our task to think of the “what ifs” you may encounter. We customize over-the-counter and travel prescriptions for individuals and families.   

Plus, we’re always here to help if you need health guidance that’s specific to your needs. Just give us a call, and we’ll be right on the case.