Summer Tips for Staying Well: Hydration and Sun Safety

Stay Hydrated

How much water should you be drinking?

To keep your body hydrated, aim for a daily fluid intake based on your body size and activity level.

Here is a simple formula. Take your body weight in pounds, divide by 2 and drink a minimum of that number in ounces. If you weigh 180 lbs, we encourage you to drink at least 90 ounces of water per day.

When you are more active, and the weather is hotter, you will need to increase your intake.

How to know if you are drinking enough?

Check your thirst.

If you are thirsty or have a dry mouth, it is likely that you are not drinking enough. Start your day with a large glass of water and drink water often throughout the day. Remember that once you are thirsty, you are already somewhat dehydrated.

Check your urine.

If your urine is a dark yellow color and has a strong smell, you may not be getting enough fluids. Urine that is light yellow or clear in color usually means that you are drinking enough fluids. The amount of urine you make can also be a sign of your hydration status. If you do not make much urine throughout the day and it is dark in color, you likely need more fluids.

Check your mood.

If you feel light headed and tired, are not able to focus or have many headaches, these could be signs that you are dehydrated.

Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Wear protective clothing.

If possible, wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and hats. Hats with wide brims not only cover your face, but they also protect other easy-to-forget spots like your ears and your scalp.

Wear sunglasses.

Sunglasses shield your eyes from UV rays that can cause eye problems. YOUR EYES CAN SUNBURN. Pricey sunglasses don’t guarantee better protection. Look for a pair that says it blocks 99% or 100% of UVB and UVA rays.

Use sunscreen and use it right.

UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. To protect your skin, put sunscreen on every part of your body that will be exposed to the sun at least 15 minutes before going outside, even if it’s cloudy out. When choosing sunscreen, pick one with at least SPF 15 and that offers broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. One coat of sunscreen doesn’t last all day. You need to reapply sunscreen every two hours, and don’t forget to put it on your hands and feet and to reapply after swimming or sweating.

Limit your sun time.

Limit your time in the sun especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. That’s when the sun’s rays are at their strongest. Plan your outdoor activities early in the morning or later in the afternoon. You can also find or create shade during those hours. Plan indoor lunch breaks.

Say no to tanning.

There’s no such thing as a safe tan, whether you’re inside or outside. It’s a myth that indoor tanning is a safer alternative to sun tanning. Tanning beds, tanning booths, and sunlamps expose you to intense UV radiation, which increases your risk of skin cancer and skin damage.

Stay hydrated and apply moisturizing lotion after showering.

 

Written by Tricia, Empowered Wellness Camp Nurse