best ways to stay healthy during summer

The Best Ways To Stay Healthy During Summer

Summer is certainly an enjoyable season, but the hot weather and bright sunshine pose some serious health challenges. Here are some tips to help you stay healthy this summer. 

Keep Your Cool

Heat-related deaths are a major concern during the summer. Plan ahead to stay cool before the dog day’s of summer begin. If you like to exercise outdoors, try working out in the early morning or early evening, when the sun’s rays are less intense. You might also consider finding a climate controlled environment for your walk. Some walking groups meet at shopping malls. At the mall, you can stay active while window shopping. During a heat wave, you should take extra precautions. If you do not have an air conditioning unit, you could check to see if your community offers a cooling center. Some local organizations will also provide fans to help beat the heat. During periods of excessive heat, make sure you check on relatives and friends to make sure they fine. You should also learn the warning signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. These include:

  • Headache
  • High Fever 
  • Unusual mood or behavior 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Panting 
  • Flushed skin 

If you or a loved one shows sign of heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately.

Wear Sunscreen

This tip is important. Sunscreen, applied correctly and regularly, helps protect you from the sun’s bright rays. Even one blistering sunburn can increase your risks for certain kinds of skin cancers, so make sure you apply sunscreen every day. A person can get a sunburn even on a cloudy day, so it is crucial that you make sunscreen use a daily habit.

Take The Plunge

If it is just too hot for most outdoor exercises, why not visit your local pool? Swimming is an activity that can be enjoyed at any age and any fitness level. Many community pools also offer fitness classes, or you can choose to swim laps on your own. Swimming and water aerobics are enjoyable activities that can also be very beneficial to your overall health. Many people find that regular swimming helps with joint soreness and can even help increase their mobility.

Try A Sweet Treat

Although it can be tempting to stay cool by eating delicious ice cream, there are healthier choices if you are concerned about calories. A bowl of fruit is a guilt-free indulgence. Frozen juice bars are another acceptable option, as long as you select a kind that is made with real fruit juice and no additional sugar. If you just cannot ignore your ice cream craving, however, try frozen yogurt.

Stay Hydrated

During the hot summer months, hydration is crucial. However, you should avoid sugary sodas or other calorie-dense drinks. You can avoid consuming extra empty calories by making easy substitutions. For example, instead of soda, you might try calorie-free seltzer water. Some brands do contain sodium, so make sure you read the labels carefully if you need to avoid consuming much salt. Sweet iced tea is certainly tasty, but it often contains high amounts of sugar. You can better control how much sugar you are ingesting by ordering unsweetened tea and adding your own sweetener. Over time, you might even come to prefer the taste of the unsweetened version.

Enjoy Seasonal Produce

In the summer, fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables are abundant and packed with vitamins and minerals. Enjoy them while they are at the peak of ripeness. A walk around the farmer’s market can be a wonderful way to ensure that you are getting enough activity and eating well.

VNA & Hospice is dedicated to providing the highest quality healthcare to residents of the Central Coast and Monterey County. Registered nurses and skilled staff members provide many services, including senior home care, hospice health care, palliative care, orthopedic rehabilitation, and more.

vaccinations before traveling abroad

The Importance of Getting Vaccinated Before Traveling Abroad

Get vaccinated before heading overseas.

If you’re planning a summer vacation abroad, you probably have a long checklist of items to take care of before you leave. But amidst shopping, packing, and creating an itinerary, it’s also important to get vaccinated before heading overseasRead on to learn more about why getting your shots before traveling to a foreign country is critical for your health.

Don't forget your Booster Shots

Diseases that are eradicated in the United States may be common in other parts of the world. While polio and measles don’t affect Americans, these vaccine-preventable diseases are still common in other parts of the world. Having any necessary booster shots before you go can help ensure that you have the antibodies to ward off any illnesses you may be exposed to in another country.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since measles was officially declared eradicated in the U.S. in 2000, there have been 668 people diagnosed with the disease. Most of these cases were traced to unvaccinated travelers. The CDC recommends that all teens and adults who do not demonstrate immunity receive the MMR vaccine before going abroad.

Getting the recommended vaccines is the only way to protect yourself from contracting a serious and potential fatal illness while overseas. The CDC has an online tool that tells you what vaccines you need depending on where you’re traveling and certain other criteria, including age, health status, type of travel, purpose for travel, and additional factors. The site also has travel health notices that indicate destinations for which additional disease precaution is currently recommended. You can access these resources at travel.

Most commonly, international travelers must get an MMR booster, shots protecting against tetanus/diphtheria and yellow fever if you haven’t had these vaccine within 10 years, and a polio vaccine if you are not immune. While these are the required immunizations, your doctor may also recommend that you be vaccinated against hepatitis B, rabies, hepatitis A, and typhoid. And while there’s no vaccine for malaria, the CDC recommends that travelers to Central or South America, Africa, parts of Asia, or the South Pacific take a preventive drug regimen.

To make sure you can get all your shots, it’s important to plan ahead. Gathering your vaccine records and making the necessary appointments can take time. In addition, if the vaccines you need for the country to which you’re traveling aren’t available in your local area, you may need to visit a special travel clinic. Some shots, including the vaccination for yellow fever, can be given only by a certified provider and documentation of this vaccine is necessary to enter your destination. Allow at least 4 to 6 weeks before your travel date to make sure your immunizations are up to date.

While you may not be keen to add another item to your travel to-do list, getting the recommended vaccines can save you from an unpleasant illness and the impact of the resulting treatment – not to mention ensure that you have a happy, healthy, and safe vacation.

VNA & Hospice is dedicated to providing the highest quality healthcare to residents of the Central Coast and Monterey County. Registered nurses and skilled staff members provide many services, including senior home care, hospice health care, palliative care, orthopedic rehabilitation, and more.