Now that summer is here, we can expect to be a lot more active than before. Kids are off school, parents take vacations and the “Snowbirds” are gone till November.
So what does that mean for us Physical Therapists? It means we also take more vacations and spend time with our families, especially our kids. During the season, we take less vacation so we can serve the public, like many here in Florida.
Another thing we see is a change in the demographics and types of cases. The injuries are more acute in nature and related to movement disorders or strains/injuries due to improper stabilization and postures. We see less chronic issues. There is also an increase of on the job injuries, as more people are working outside during the summers.
For this reason, we have put together some tips and advice to help you and your loved ones stay healthy and happy during the summer time.
We also created a website (link below) to help you have access to this information in one place. Think of it as a traveling companion for all things posture and movement to help our community stay active without racking up injuries along the way.
Tips for Staying Healthy and Active in the Summer
Diet and Nutrition
· Drink lots of water: Dehydration results in hunger, which can cause you to eat more. In the summers, you are more likely to be dehydrated. Drink more water to avoid extra calories
· Avoid the sodas and sugary juice drinks; stick with water with lemon, mint or even cold teas
· Eat fruits and veggies for hydration, minerals and other essential nutrients lost while sweating
· Eat high-quality proteins like lean meats, yogurt, cheese, eggs, whey protein to feed your muscles
· Cooler foods like salads can keep your body temperature down, while hot/greasy foods can cause indigestion, increased body temperature, and fatigue
Health and Fitness
· If you can’t tolerate heat and sunlight, avoid outside activities during the day and stick with early morning or evening activities
· Use sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun when out during the day
· If possible, walk/bike more instead of using the car
· Stay hydrated at all times, bring a full water bottle everywhere
· Pack healthy snacks like bars, nuts and fruits so you’ll never go hungry
· Try some outdoor activities over indoor activities. Try hiking, canoeing, kayaking, rock-climbing, caving, wildlife observation…remember to always stay safe and work with an expert if you’re inexperienced
· Choose vacations that are designed around activities like hiking in national parks, bicycling through mountains, horseback riding along the countryside, surfing at a tropical island
· Pick something new. Summers are the best time to try new activities and events. Most cities are more vibrant during summers and filled with all kinds of activities
· Do things around town when not traveling. Take full advantage of what your own town to offer