During the school year, it’s easy to keep motivated to stay healthy. You don’t want to be sick during your tests, have to miss a lot of class, or skip out on big parties. In the summer, however, if you can just stay home and relax when you’re sick, you may not have the same motivation. It’s still important to keep tabs on your health, though, especially with a few added risks in the summer.
One of the health risks specific to summer is sun exposure. Yeah, it’s great to spend all day outside in the sun, working on your tan, but you need to keep in mind that you can get too much sun. If you get sunburned more than a couple times throughout the summer, you’re not taking enough precautions to protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation. Make sure to wear sunscreen when you’re outside (especially if you’re going to be out for several hours), re-apply it after you get out of the water at the beach (or when you’re done running, cycling, or playing frisbee), and make sure to spend some time in the shade every once in a while. Getting burned is no fun—so do what you can to avoid it!
Some students do a lot of partying during the semester, and some wait until summer vacation. If you’re planning on hitting the party circuit pretty hard this summer, take a few precautions and save yourself a whole lot of trouble. Drink water before, during, and after you start drinking alcohol, don’t drink more than you can handle, and make sure not to drive or do anything else dangerous. If you’re drinking during the day (like when you’re hanging out at the beach, playing disc golf at a park, or just relaxing in your backyard), be extra careful to stay properly hydrated. Alcohol can dehydrate you, and the increased intensity of the sun can become dangerous. Just be smart, and you’ll be fine.
Another thing that you may have been aware of during the semester, but forget about during the summer, is getting enough sleep. It’s easy to stay out late with your friends one night, see a late movie with your girl/boyfriend the next, go to a party the next, and then start over. You’ll find that you probably have a major crash and get sick after a few cycles. Take a couple nights off each week and make sure that you get at least eight hours of sleep (if not more). If you wake up tired, go through the day tired, and fall asleep as soon as you get into bed, you’re not getting enough sleep! Pay attention to how you’re feeling and you’ll be fine.
Staying healthy in the summer isn’t much different than staying healthy during the school year. But don’t think that you don’t have to worry about it—just keep your health in mind and you’ll be fine.
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