Can the Summer be Bad for your Health & Well-being?

Summertime blues

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Do you think the summer season is good for you? Well, okay it is. In some ways, summer is awesome for your health.

  • You get more vitamin D from the sun.
  • You get the mental and emotional benefits of the bright days and fresh air.
  • You are drinking a lot more H20
  • You are agiler on a day-to-day basis
  • You spend more time with friends and family (good for your emotional health)

Yes, summer is great for your health. Maybe. On the flipside, the season can also be detrimental to you, in any number of ways. I’ve have picked out a few here, with some helpful tips to help you should they affect you.

Lack of Exercise

Okay, so we have already alluded that summer is good for exercise…for some of us. However, there is also the tendency to spend too much time having lazy days on the beach or in the garden.

Sunset Beach

If the sun is too hot, we are more liable to stay indoors than actually enjoy the usual sunny benefits. And the overwhelming heat can make us tired, causing us to spend too much time sleeping.

It’s important to counter all of these things to improve our health. So, rather than spend all summer long in r&r mode, actively get up and do something occasionally. Go for walks, play games with the kids, try out a new sport… anything other than lounging around all summer long.

If the sun bothers you, put on some sunscreen, and buy yourself a hat. And provided you do stay active (and hydrated), you are less likely to fall asleep during the day.

High Pollen Count 

Some would say the summer is the most beautiful time of the year. The sky is blue, the trees are green, and the flowers are blooming. What’s not to like? Well, nearly everything if you’re sniffling and sneezing all day because of the high pollen count in the air.

If you set foot outdoors or dare to open a window, you are asking for trouble! Not only does the high pollen count cause seasonal allergies, but it also exacerbates existing ones as well; asthma for example.

Still, medication is available. The Salbutamol Inhaler relieves asthma symptoms, and nasal steroids and antihistamines are proven ways to treat pollen allergies. Your doctor might prescribe an allergy shot too, provided you aren’t afraid of needles.

The other thing you can do is check online for the daily pollen count, and on high-count days, stay inside when possible.

The Summertime Blues 

Also referred to as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), many people fall prey to depression over the summer months. Surprising? Surely the warm and bright days lift our mood; that’s the recognised opinion anyway.

True, but people can feel sad for any number of reasons. For example, when expectations aren’t met (such as a badly planned holiday), or having less me-time (too much family time can be a bad thing), feelings of depression can set in.

Then there can be issues with body image (not all of us flaunt beach bodies), and envy when our mates are going away abroad and we are stuck at home. When the summertime blues hit, we can be prone to manic thoughts and negative behaviours.

Summertime blues

If this is you, see your doctor, and then consider why you feel low during the season. You may be able to counter the effects by taking action against the things that affect your mood.

Exercise, healthy eating, and practising gratitude should also reduce your depressive tendencies during this period.

The Damaging Effects of the Sun 

On the one hand, the sun is good for you. The sunlight is good for your mood state, and the vitamin D is great for your bone strength.

SummertimeBeing out in the sun should also promote exercise, and the sun’s warmth can alleviate feelings of stiffness. All well and good!

On the other hand, the sun can be bad for you. Heat exhaustion is common, especially when you are not hydrated. Sunburn is an obvious consequence, so you do need to protect your skin.

And long-term exposure to the sun can result in skin cancer. Common sense needs to rule, so while some time in the sun is to be welcomed, practice moderation, and spend time in sheltered areas when possible.

Unhealthy Eating 

When summertime rolls around, many of us say goodbye to our healthy eating patterns. With fizzy drinks at hand, barbecues around every corner, and the temptation to eat more ice cream than we should, we are putting our health at risk with bad eating habits.

ice cream

Being outdoors more also means we spend less time inside cooking, so fast food is another hindrance to our diet and overall health. Assuming you do take your health seriously (and you really should), you need to practice moderation again.

The occasional treat is fine, but mix them up with healthier options.

Drink water and low-sugar juices to hydrate you, opt for healthy barbecue foods, and take a picnic with you when you are out, with nutritious foods to replace the temptation to grab yet another burger or hot dog from the fast food stand.

 

Related Post: How The Low Fodmap Diet is Helping to Heal my Body 

Lack of Sleep 

The heat can make you feel drowsy and sleep more than normal, but it can also have the opposite effect. The heat can also make it difficult to sleep, as you probably know if you have had nights tossing and turning under your covers.

Then there are the various night-time bugs that take up residence in your bedroom, buzzing around your weary head as soon as it hits the pillow.

For the bug problem, you could leave your windows closed, but that might exacerbate the heat issue. Therefore, put up netting or install an insect window screen to keep them out.

Then, when it comes to those hot summer nights, follow this survival guide for an extensive look at how to alleviate the sleep problems you are possibly sweating over.

Summer be Bad for your Health

Related Post: Looking after your Mind & Body: Tips on Getting a Good Nights Sleep 

Accidents & Injuries 

We can be prone to these at any time of the year, but some are increased over the summer. There are more cars on the road for starters, and statistically, reports have shown that more accidents are caused on the road during the summer months.

Summertime fun Many people start work on home renovations during the season, which can cause any number of accidents when their property becomes a building site.

And then there are bee stings, falls while walking, slippage in areas of water, boating accidents… and the list could go on.

So, what we are saying is this. Take care, wherever you are during the season, and take precautions to reduce the chance of an accident happening to you or your family members.

After all, you don’t want to ruin your vacation with an extended stay in a hospital ward.

High Levels of Stress 

Stress can rise during the summer, causing all kinds of health issues. Those hot days trapped in the car on the road to seemingly nowhere; screaming kids running around your house (be they yours or somebody else’s); holiday plans not working out as expected; issues with summer ailments… it’s no wonder some people proclaim summer to be the most stressful time of the year.

The hot weather doesn’t help matters, so find ways to stay cool, literally and metaphorically when stress gets on top of you. You might also find these stress-reducing tips helpful over the season.

The summer is great…until it isn’t! Your health care is paramount, so follow these tips, take care of your personal needs, and then (and I’m not trying to be ironic), enjoy the summer!

So what do you think? Can the Summer be Bad for your Health & Well-being?

Gina Caro

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