Tis the holiday season and many of us are getting ready to travel, or just spend time lazing around and spend time with our loved ones. If you are in or are holidaying in the northern hemisphere, you are having a summer holiday which means sun, sand and maybe sea. Yaaaay to tank tops, shorts, bikinis, braais and bottomless drinks. It’s all fun and games till the effects of the sun and heat kick in though. Worry not, we have tips and tricks to help keep you cool, avoid heat-related illnesses and stay hydrated.
First thing to take note is that the sun is at its most dangerous between 11am and 3pm. You should find shade -under umbrellas, trees or canopies or indoors. If staying indoors is not an option:
USE SUNSCREEN AND COVER UP
ALWAYS apply sunscreen before stepping out in the sun (factor 15+) and wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses. No matter how short the period. Be especially mindful about kids. They can get caught up in the moment plying they do not get to feel the sun, but are most prone to sun burn related images.
Be sure to apply your sunscreen to all exposed skin 30 minutes before heading out into the sun, and if you are planning on being out for a long time, apply it again just before you go out. Remember to reapply sunscreen often throughout the day, after you’ve been in water – even if it’s ‘water resistant’, and after sweating or activities where it may have rubbed off.
Wear light weight clothing and sun hats.
TAKE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS
Our nutritional needs change during the summer. The heat, humidity and sun rays can rob our body of important nutrients. That’s why it’s important to adapt your nutritional needs as the seasons change.
- Vitamin C
Load up on vitamin C when you’re going to be in the sun a lot. The ascorbic acid in vitamin C helps keep your sweat glands in good working condition. Vitamin C is also a preventive step toward protecting your body from heat strokes and heat rashes during the summer months.
If allergies make you miserable, a daily dose of vitamin C will help curb your symptoms. A natural histamine and immune system booster, vitamin C is a must-have supplement for the summer.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E protects your skin from damage during the hot months of summer. It can also be used for increasing physical endurance and muscle strength. If you’re participating in outdoor activities during the summer, vitamin E will boost your energy.
The sun dehydrates hair and damages its protein structure, which means it can break much more easily than usual. The perfect supplements to take to keep your hair hydrated and looking its best should contain the essential mineral, zinc, which keeps hair follicles strong. Zinc also has antioxidant properties which help to eliminate the harmful effects of the sun on your body.
The health benefits of ginseng are plenty. It is known to strengthen immunity, increase blood circulation and even improve concentration (the heat makes us lethargic).
MIND YOUR DIET
Summer is no time for stomach woes, especially if you’re traveling. Support healthy digestion by promoting your body’s balance of friendly bacteria with probiotic.
NB: If you’re traveling you may want to look for a probiotic product that doesn’t require refrigeration
- Chia Seeds
Not only are chia seeds packed with fiber, protein and essential fatty acids, they are a great way to support healthy hydration in the hot summer months. Chia seeds absorb and retain moisture, which is why many athletes use them to promote endurance and hydration. Just add chia seeds to your favorite food, beverage or smoothie.
INCREASE YOUR FLUID INTAKE
The normal recommended daily intake of fluid is 2 litres or 8 glasses per day. In extreme heat experts recommend that you drink more and include a range of different fluids. Not a water person? “it’s tasteless”, add a flavored hydrant. Adding flavor to water also encourages the little ones to drink their water.
BE ALCOHOL SENSIBLE
hot weather speeds up the effects of alcohol so take extra care when enjoying that alcoholic beverage this holiday. Alcohol will lead to dehydration so make sure that you alternate alcoholic drinks with water or fruit juice occasionally.
Multivitamins are the perfect supplement because they are usually all in one.
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- Take a cold shower before you do your workout and leave your hair wet. It’ll help to keep you cool. Carrying a water bottle with you and pouring a little over you every now and again will also help to keep you cooler.
- Stick to exercising early in the morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler.