We dream about summer all year. But we seem to forget it is not a care free time. Usually associated with good weather, long sunny days, beautiful nature… summer also comes with several health concerns you will wish you had addressed earlier.
This article will tell you what to watch out for and how to prepare and recover your body from the strenuous heat waves.
Please pay special attention if you are in the risk groups - extreme heat is particularly dangerous for people over 75 years old; toddlers and babies; sufferers from long term health conditions such as diabetes; asthma; or heart disease; people with hindered and decreased mobility.
The risk groups also include people who work outside or in places with poor ventilation and those who are not used to the weather conditions – which would be you, if you are on vacation.
The article describes serious health risks and ways of possible prevention. If any of the conditions actually occurs, please seek urgent medical attention.
If you already have issues with your heart, you might be taking medication that coincidentally intensifies the body’s response to heat, like beta blockers and diuretics. In hot weather your body is trying to cool itself by expanding the blood vessels and escalating your heart beat. This might lead to a higher risk of heart attack, which is when a blood clot travels through your blood vessels to eventually block a coronary artery and stop blood flow to the heart.
Protect your heart!
First and foremost, it is important to remember to continue taking your medication even in hot weather, regardless of the fact it makes the heat harder to tolerate. The same applies to your daily exercise - just avoid the middle hours of the day and take lots of water. Make sure you are taking enough Omega-3 fatty acids high in EPA and DHA in your diet to boost your cardio-vascular system.
There is no sweeter way to cool off in summer but a dive in the water. Swimming pools, water parks and beaches are all popular destinations for the summer. However, the water contains germs, bacteria and chemicals that are damaging to your body. It is a popular misconception that swimming, or staying inside the pool is the only contact you should be weary of. Breathing in the mist from contaminated waters can have the same effect. Be careful around fountains or pools. Most commonly reported Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI ) is diarrhea.
Protect your stomach!
Diarrhea, while considered relatively harmless, is not just a threat to your mood and your vacation schedule. It can lead to dehydration and further intensifies other risks stemming from the hot weather. When it comes to your digestive health you cannot go wrong with a good probiotic. Take as a prevention – for a detox. A healthy body can withstand mild bacteria overload. And take after - to restore the balance between the good and the bad bacteria, damaged by the illness and the medication for it.
The skin is the largest organ in our body and our first defense wall against the elements. We care a lot about the beauty of our skin but, unfortunately, serious health issues often go unnoticed and not taken care of unless they affect our appearance.
Tanning, one of the greatest hypes in our generation, is a well known health hazard. Health-conscious people already know and apply sunscreen when going to the beach. However, you need to apply and reapply protection every time you are exposed to the sun. Make sure you are safe when you take a walk, when you do sports or spend time in your garden. Use sun blockers under your clothes as well if the fabric is thin or see-through.
The sun is not the only threat. Be careful when interacting with hot surfaces. Metal in particular.
Sun burn or other burns are often underestimated, because they are a common injury. If left untreated some burns may cause complications. If you feel pain for a prolonged period of time, or notice strange behavior of the skin, immediately seek medical attention.
A heat rash is an area of red bumpy spots, that appears when the sweat glands on the skin are congested and the sweat cannot find its way out of the skin. The rash is usually temporary and disappears when you cool off.
Protect your skin!
The best medication for your skin is prevention.
• First, make sure you feed your skin with proper nutrients to strengthen it and decrease the time it needs for recovery.
• Second, regularly go to a skin specialist to check your moles and spots.
• Third, apply sunscreen every time you are exposed to the sun.
• And last but not least, choose your clothes carefully. Try to be as covered as possible, while at the same time allowing your skin to breathe to prevent rashes, sweating and dehydration.
To best protect yourself against the heat, keep it chill. Make sure you are taking enough nutrients, vitamins and water. After all, its your vacation. Be careful with your body and don’t miss a good experience. Apran will always be here for you to support you and protect you.