As we enter into the summer season, ideas of swimming at the beach or pool, sunbathing, enjoying the warm weather, and engaging in family picnics/outings excitedly enter our minds. Summer is by far my favorite time of year. Nothing is more soothing or relaxing than sitting on the beach feeling the warmth of the sun radiate on my face and hearing the waves crash loudly in the background.
As much as we enjoy this time of year, it’s important to keep our health in mind as we go from one summer activity to the next.
After we leave the refreshing pool or ocean, our feet are constantly exposed to moisture. This warm moist environment is the perfect environment for fungus. Pedal fungal infection, better known as athlete’s foot can cause scaling and sagging of the skin of the foot, itching, and redness. To avoid this infection it is important to dry feet thoroughly and wear cotton socks to allow feet to “breath.” Once an infection is established, anti-fungal oils like tea tree, garlic, and oregano are helpful in eradicating the infection.
Avoiding sun exposure is ideal to prevent sun burn, skin irritation, and potential skin cancers. Stay in the shade whenever possible. When spending time in the sun make sure to generously lather up with sun screen. Avoid products containing oxybenzone, octisalate, octinoxate, avobenzone, or added vitamin A retinyl palmitate. Focus on sunscreens containing the sun blocking agent “zinc oxide.” Reapplication is recommended often for continuous protection.
When dining out or outdoors be conscious of what you are eating. Avoid nutrient-poor food choices like white buns, white potatoes, white pasta, white rice, conventional (beef and pork) hamburgers and hot dogs. Focus instead on complex carbohydrates like whole wheat buns, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, lean/minimally process turkey or chicken hot dogs and turkey burgers, fresh fruit and vegetables, and guacamole and salsa.
Avoiding tick exposure is ideal to prevent a tick bite. Check with your local park or health department about information on tick infestations. Steer clear of these heavily infested areas. Protect yourself and your pets with natural based pesticides. Avoid using chemicals like DEET, pyrethrins, pyrethroids, or permethrin. These products can be harmful to both you and your pets. Keep your yard well maintained to reduce the number of ticks present at your own home. Wear long sleeves and pants when hiking or spending time outdoors. Cover your arms and legs; tuck your pants into your socks.