We always think of winter as being the season of colds and flus. However, summer brings its own medical risks, so don’t let your confidence in the warm, sunny season make you neglect your health. Here are three simple tips to keep your immune system strong and resistant to summer viruses:
1. Adjust the air conditioning. When it’s really hot outside, we tend to switch on air conditioning full blast to cool off our offices and homes. It’s hard on the immune system to go from very warm temperatures to chilly ones, and vice versa. If you have air conditioning, make sure all your windows and doors are closed, and the temperature is about 15-20 degrees lower than the temperature outside.
2. Eat balanced meals. Since the hot weather can affect appetite, we tend to skip meals or eat too lightly when it’s hot out. Rather than eat heavier foods that may make you feel sluggish, stick to smaller meals – fresh salads, sandwiches, and fruits and vegetables – several times throughout the day.
3. Watch out for heat stroke. Heat stroke occurs when the body is not able to regulate its own temperature, and it can be serious, especially in very young people and the elderly. Avoid being in the sun between noon and 3 pm as much as possible, as this is when the sun is hottest.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day, and limit alcohol, caffeinated or carbonated drinks, as they dehydrate you. Wear a hat and slather on the sunscreen every few hours, especially after swimming or sweating. Sunscreen not only protects you against painful sunburn, but also long term skin damage, wrinkles, and skin cancer. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen to block both UVA and UVB harmful rays. If you start to feel overheated or nauseated in the sun, head to the sink and run cool water over your wrists. Why? Major veins are located there, and running cool water over them can lower your body temperature by as much as three degrees.
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