With the vacations, warm weather, and long sunny hours, summer should be a time of relaxation. However, that isn’t always the case. Some of the most popular summer activities can actually increase your stress.
Popular Summer Activities
In 2013, AARP conducted a survey of favorite American summertime activities with 1,000 participants over the age of 18 years old. According to the summer survey, 79 percent of Americans travel to visit loved ones, 71 percent host or visit barbecues, 56 percent go swimming, and 47 percent spend time in their gardening. Unfortunately, some of these popular summer activities can contribute to summer stress.
Beware of Summer Stress
Listed below are a few summer stress triggers to be mindful of.
- Dehydration. Research shows that 75 percent of Americans do not drink enough water on a daily basis. This can be especially troubling in the summer. With all the summer activities and the heat, it makes the chances of becoming dehydrated higher. Dehydration can contribute to headaches, high blood pressure, and joint pain. It can also lead to stress. Fortunately, you reduce your stress and dehydration. Reduce your chances of becoming dehydrated and stressed by drinking as much water as possible. Cleveland Clinic researchers suggest drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water one to two hours before outdoor activity.
- Sun exposure. Sunny weather is a great change from the dark winter and rainy spring. But too much sun can be bad for your health. It can age the skin, cause sunburn, contribute to eye damage, and lead to heat stress. Reduce your exposure to the sun by taking frequent breaks in the shade when you’re outside. Also be sure to have plenty of sunscreen on hand as well as your sunglasses.
- Grilling. Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs are summer staples. Unfortunately, studies show that there are some health hazards to consider before your next barbecue. Studies show that cooking meat in high temperatures causes serious chemical reactions in the meat that ends up in our bodies. Meat cooked in high heat creates toxins known as advanced glycation end (AGEs). This toxin contributes to stress and inflammation and has been linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prevent these toxins by cooking with a thermometer. For more tips check these Mindful suggestions.
- Chlorine. Long days by the pool can be relaxing, but the chlorine from the pool can be stressful for your health. Chlorine is an irritant. Watery eyes, respiratory problems, and irritated skin are just some of the common symptoms of frequent chlorine exposure. Chlorine in swimming pools can also lead to coronary heart disease, bladder cancer, and rectal cancer. To prevent this summer health hazard be sure to wash your entire body after swims as well as washing your swimwear.
- Gardening. Lots of people invest in their gardens over the summer, but there are a lot of health hazards that can occur. Gardening leaves you open to many heat-related illnesses like stress, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. You may also be vulnerable to bug bites and stings. Mosquitoes, ticks, and bees can be pesky and some of these insects carry diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Protect yourself with long sleeved clothes, hats, and sunscreen. Also be sure to use insect repellent.