6 Ways to Have a Fun and Healthy Summer

June 13, 2017

Summer is finally here, and at the Genesee Health Plan, we want to make sure you and your family have a safe, fun and healthy summer. Here are 6 tips for staying healthy during the hot summer months:

1. Get outside to exercise: Nice weather offers many fun and active outdoor activities to stay healthy for the whole family. Take a bike ride, go for a swim or go fishing, play softball, walk your dog or take a nice walk to a park with your kids. You can also join us for a fun evening outside on Aug. 26 for a showing of Beauty and the Beast at Movies in the Park. These are just a few fun ways to have fun with your family while engaging in outdoor activities.

2. Drink water: Stay hydrated in the heat of summer by drinking plenty of water. The Institute of Medicine recommends adults drink eight to 11 cups of water per day. Healthy Kids recommends children ages 5 to 8 years old drink five glasses of water per day, children ages 9 to 12 years old drink seven glasses of water per day and teenagers over the age of 13 drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water per day.

Make sure you’re staying hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go. If you have kids, make drinking water fun by adding citrus fruit slices or berries to their water. Fresh fruit is a great way to add flavor and make drinking water more enjoyable without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners.

3. Wear sunscreen: Because the warm weather and sunshine are so inviting, many forget how important it is to always apply sunscreen – even if you’re only outside for an hour or so. Always reapply and be cautious of sun exposure during peak hours from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. It’s also important to wear sunscreen on cloudy days. While it might not feel like you’ve been in the sun too long, it is still possible to get a sunburn on a cloudy day – the Skin Cancer Foundation reports 80 percent of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds.

4. Swim safely: Swimming is a great activity for people of all ages. Heading to the beach or community pool? Pack a beach bag filled with essentials such as a towel, sunscreen, sunglasses, first aid kit, hand sanitizer and water. Conventional wisdom says you should wait 30 minutes before you swim after you eat. However, health experts say swimming on a full stomach does not impact your ability to swim. As you head to the beach or pool, remember to only swim in areas designated by lifeguards and never swim alone. The Red Cross has more tips on swimming safety here.    

5. Beware of germs: Summer is a time for afternoons at the neighborhood pool, family vacations to campsites and beaches. However, these new adventures also bring plenty of germs. Remember to frequently wash your hands and stay clean to protect against new germs. We also recommend carrying hand sanitizer with you wherever you go and making sure you wear shoes or sandals in public places, especially public bathrooms and restrooms at beaches, community pools and parks. If you’re camping and using their showers, always wear flip-flops to protect your feet from bacteria.

6. Go offline: The average adults spends 10 hours and 39 minutes per day consuming media and the average child ages 8 to 12 consume nine hours of media per day. Use the warm summer weather has an opportunity to unplug and explore the outdoors. Instead of turning on the T.V. or playing video games, go outside and take a walk or play a game of tag with your kids. Set a period of “technology free” time for you and your family and enjoy the outdoors!

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