Summer is a season that many people associate with being outdoors. Lying out by the pool or on the beach, taking long walks, going for a run, gardening, and grilling outdoors are just some leisurely activities that people do in the summer. However, it is important to remember that there are health risks associated with these activities and amid all of the fun, it is important to take precautions to help you and your family stay safe.
Here are some tips to help you stay healthy this summer:
- For many, an even tan is a must have summer accessory. As you lie outside remember to stay in the shade as much as possible and protect your skin by using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 or by wearing protective clothing such as hats. The UV rays of the sun can cause sunburn and damage your skin, which can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. If you have recently undergone cancer treatment you should be particularly careful to limit direct sun exposure. Talk with your doctor about ways to protect your skin from the summer rays.
- Swimming, gardening, walking and running outdoors are great ways to stay active during the warm summer months. However it is recommended that all people avoid physical activity between the hours of 12pm-4pm, which is usually the hottest part of the day and when the sun has the highest concentration of UV rays. If you are currently in treatment, it is important to talk with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. For more information on exercise visit our In Treatment page.
- When getting ready for your summer cookout, food preparation is especially important if you are in active treatment. Some cancer treatments often cause a temporarily compromised immune system, which makes people more prone to infection and food-borne illnesses. The following are some tips to help prevent you from getting sick:
- Avoid eating or touching undercooked meat, chicken, eggs and seafood
- Wash fruits and vegetables well before eating
- Wash your hands before cooking and eating
- If you cut yourself, clean the cut well and apply antiseptic
- The heat of the summer increases the risk for dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day
- For more tips to help manage the most common side effects of cancer treatment, check out our Frankly Speaking About Cancer (FSAC): Treatments & Side Effects book
The summer can be an enjoyable season. Just be sure to be mindful of your health and to take precautions to ensure safety. Let us know how you will stay healthy this summer by posting a comment below.