Beat the heat! Make the most out of summer with these 6 health tips

Keep in mind that high temperatures call for certain precautions.

Temperatures have been steadily rising these past few days, with weather reports saying that amihan is on the wane. 

Though we’d be tempted to say, “Summer na!” technically, we don’t have the summer season in the Philippines. As clarified by PAGASA, there are only wet and dry seasons in the good ol’ archipelago.

But because we’ve gotten so used to the word “summer” then we might as well use it—plus “dry season” doesn’t sound as exciting.

And because summer is almost here, with PAGASA releasing no official announcement yet, I’m sure many of you are already listing down your plans under the sun. While there’s nothing wrong with that, do keep in mind that high temperatures call for certain precautions.

Common health concerns during summer

Among the most common health concerns experienced during the dry season—or what we commonly call summer—are dehydration, heatstroke, and heat rash. Banner photo and photo above from Unsplash

According to the Makati Medical Center, among the most common health concerns experienced during the dry season are dehydration, heatstroke, and heat rash. 

Allergies are also common as heat, dust, pollen, and heavy smog—which is more common in summer—could lead to respiratory problems. 

Insect bites and sunburn are also prevalent during summer as we tend to spend more time outdoors when we’re on vacation and wear clothes that expose our limbs.

This can increase one’s risk of getting bitten by mosquitoes and other insects and can expose our skin to prolonged sunlight.

Another health concern that becomes more common when temperatures run high is food poisoning. Due to extreme heat, food stored improperly or left out in the open may spoil more easily, which can lead to food poisoning when eaten. 

Symptoms of food poisoning include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

Now that you know what to look out for during summer, we’ve rounded up a few tips to help you stay healthy while making the most out of the season.

1. Stay hydrated.

Drink your water! Photo from Unsplash

This is perhaps the number one tip any expert will dish out on how to keep yourself healthy during very hot days. 

Staying hydrated is essential in helping the body cool down amid high temperatures. Aside from drinking more water, you can opt for drinks with electrolytes when exercising or doing strenuous activities in the heat. 

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Drink water as often as you can, especially if outdoors or engaging in physical activities.

The Makati Medical Center also advises eating food with high water content such as fruits and vegetables can also help with hydration.

2. Wear light clothing.

Keep your summer city OOTD light.

This is crucial to keep the body cool and well-ventilated by preventing heat from building up. Avoid dark-colored and tight clothes and go for light-colored, loose-fitting ones that help air circulate better and reflect heat rather than absorb it. 

Choose clothes made of breathable materials like cotton over synthetic fabrics, which can weigh the body down and make you feel warmer.

3. Eat healthy and practice proper food hygiene.

Eat a well-balanced diet.

It goes without saying that eating a well-balanced diet is important to keep the body’s immune system in peak condition even amid extreme temperatures. 

Make sure that wet or moist ingredients and perishable goods are stored properly to avoid spoilage. Throw out leftovers that have been sitting in the open for more than two hours to steer clear of possible food poisoning.

The USDA has some quick and easy-to-remember tips to make sure you handle food properly. Keep in mind: clean (wash hands and surfaces often), separate (don’t cross-contaminate), cook (cook to proper temperatures), and chill (refrigerate promptly).

4. Practice good hygiene.

Take a cold shower, especially if coming from outside. 

Well, this is something you should be doing year-round anyway, but one of the best ways to manage body temperature is by taking a cold shower. This is especially important after coming from outside. 

Not only is the body cooled, but the risk of possible exposure to bacteria and other contaminants is also reduced. 

5. Protect yourself against UV rays.

Remember! The sun’s UV rays can be harmful to the body.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause harmful effects on the body. Stay out of the sun as much as you can. 

If you have to go out, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Consider using a light, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect the head and eyes from exposure to the sun.

6. Pace yourself

When engaging in physical activities amid high temperatures, start slowly and gradually pick the pace up. Photo from Unsplash

If you really have to perform physical activities despite high temperatures, pace yourself, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.

If you play a sport that practices during hot weather, protect not only yourself but also look out for your teammates. Monitor a teammate’s condition and have someone do the same for you.

If possible, schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.

Seek medical care right away if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.

There you go! Six easy and quick tips to make sure you’re in tip-top shape this dry season. Just keep these seven tips in mind for a summer to remember!

Associate Editor

The new lifestyle.