The Diet Detective: 11 Best Summer Health Tips

1. Watch the Sun(screen)

We spend a lot more time outdoors during the summer months, which means more sun exposure. Follow these tips for the best sun protection from the experts of the  University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine (UMDNJ-SOM), :

  • Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 against both types of ultraviolet rays (UVA and UVB)
  • Avoid midday sun exposure (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.)
  • Wear protective clothing, including a hat and sunglasses
  • Reapply sunscreen every two or three hours, or more frequently when swimming or perspiring heavily
  • Take frequent breaks and drinking water or other non-alcoholic or caffeine-free liquids when working or exercising outside

To find out more about sunscreens, you should read the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep and check out their review of more than 1,800 sunscreens and SPF lip balms, moisturizers and makeups.

More: 8 Best Face Sunscreens to Beat the Elements

2. Working Out in the Heat?

Here are a few tips and warning signs from the experts at New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) and The Methodist Hospital in Houston (MH):
  • Wear sunscreen and remember to apply it to your entire body throughout the day. Having a sunburn will decrease your body's ability to cool itself off. (NYPH)
  • If you realize your pulse rate in the morning is 10 to 15 beats higher than your normal rate, you should not exercise that day. Normal pulse rate is around 70 to 90 beats per minute. (MH)
  • Make sure you are sweating properly. If you stop sweating when you are exercising, you are dehydrated. (MH)
  • Forget the "no pain, no gain" mantra. Recognize warning signs and take the appropriate action immediately. (MH)
  • Get acclimated to the heat as you begin an exercise regimen. Start off with 15 minutes, and slowly work your way up to 45 minutes or an hour. (MH)
  • Take your workout indoors. When it is too hot or humid outside, exercise in a cool, air-conditioned space. Extreme temperatures can alter your circulation, increasing the work of your heart and making breathing more difficult. (NYPH)
  • Avoid exercising between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the hottest part of the day. (MH)

More: Hydration Tips to Train in the Heat

3. Are You Hungry or Just Thirsty?

We often mistake thirst for hunger, especially during the warm summer months. Don't eat when what you really want is to drink.

More: How to Hydrate Before, During and After a Workout 

4. Stay Hydrated

According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, women should consume 91 ounces of water a day, and men need 125 ounces—a good deal more than the 64 ounces (8 cups) generally recommended.

More: The New Rules of Hydration

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