Three summer health mistakes you’re probably making

summer mistakes you might be makingDon’t let simple (and avoidable) mistakes get in the way of your health and fun this summer. Read on to see if you’re guilty of any of these blunders, and how to change your ways.

You only wear sunscreen outside. Most people slather on SPF at the beach, but you should also do a quick application before heading into work. The reality is that the sun can affect your skin even when you’re indoors – especially if the sun streams into your office. While windows do a good job protecting against UVB rays (the type of rays that cause sunburn), they do not protect against UVA rays (the type of rays that cause wrinkles and sun spots). For maximum protection, the American Academy of Dermatology recommend using a SPF of 30 or higher for everyone over the age of 6 months old.

You wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Don’t wait until you are parched to reach for your water bottle! In fact, according to Dr. Sylvia Morris, assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine, the moment you start to think about a nice, cold glass of water, you are likely to already be dehydrated. So, how much water should you drink during the summertime? It varies by person, climate, activity level, and general health, but eight glasses a day is still a good rule of thumb.

You put ice on your sunburn. The best way to cool down your new sunburn is with ice, right? Wrong. The reality is that your body reacts to extreme cold by actually producing more heat, which could intensify your burn. So before dousing your body with ice-cold water, consider alternatives that are not as intense, such as a wet washcloth. The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends using a moisturizer that contains soy to help soothe the burn.

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Photo credit: Ho John Lee

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