Protect Your Health This Summer


Asher Boorstein

Summer is the time of year when we like to spend most of our time outdoors in the warm weather. As much as we like to be in the blazing heat, it is important to prioritize our health. Heat waves have become increasingly common recently; according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), “The frequency of heat waves has increased steadily, with an average of two heat waves per year in the 1960s to six per year during the 2010s and 2020s.” Just as we cover up with coats to stay warm in the winter, we need to protect ourselves from the potentially harmful heat in the summer.

1. Hydration

Making sure we are getting enough water every day is critical for our health. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Drinking enough water every day:  Regulates body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, and prevents infection […] 11 cups a day for the average woman, and 16 cups for Men”. When we exercise, we sweat. Sweating is our body’s way of cooling down our core temperature, but during the process, we also lose body fluid, so it is important to drink water to replenish what we lose in sweat. It is not just water that we can drink to replenish our bodily fluids, but also fruits with high amounts of water content such as watermelon or cucumbers. Juices are also a good option when it comes to hydration, but be wary of the sugar content.

2. Sunscreen

Ultraviolet light (UV) rays emitted from the sun provides a natural synthesis of vitamin D into our skin. which is a building block for strong bones by helping absorb calcium. However, UV radiation is not beneficial across the board. Without proper protection, it can cause Damage to skin cells and their DNA, which can result in skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen is also an important protective measure to keep exposed skin protected in the sun.

3. Sunglasses

UV light is also harmful to your eyes. “Prolonged exposure to UV light can lead to cataract formation,” says The National Eye Institute, “which over time can make your vision more blurry, hazy or less colorful.”  When choosing eye protection, make sure you find specific UV light-blocking sunglasses that say “100 percent UV protection.” Many sunglasses have a tint but do not act as proper sunglasses for protection.

As you enjoy your time in the pleasant summer sun, make sure to remember how to protect yourself from the weather, which includes staying hydrated, applying sunscreen, and using sunglasses. Our health should always be our first priority, and it is possible to take the right precautions but still have a blast this summer.