How to be cool for the summer

You’re lazing in the sun on the beach, going for daily ice-cream runs and party day is every day. Still, for all the highs of the summer holidays, there can be just as many lows if you don’t play it safe. Make the most of summer; the healthy and safe way.

Safe, my mate
The summer season is usually one social gathering after another. Which entails driving. This means you need to find safe parking. When you get to your gathering, park as close to your destination as possible. The last thing you want is to stumble a long distance, alone, at night. Park in areas that are well lit, and when you are driving, close all the windows and lock your doors as well. Keep all your valuables like your bag, either under a seat in your car or lock them in the boot. Yes, this includes your precious phone.

Cool off
The sun helps us produce Vitamin D, it affords us great weather for swimming and it coats you with a golden tan. But too much can be risky. An excess of sun could cause sunburn, heat stroke and serious complications like cancer. Stay in the shade as much as possible, especially during the middle of the day (where the UV rays are most harmful). Remember that the sun is just as powerful with or without a breeze.

Sunscreen yourself
Yes, we know you want to head into the next season all bronze and tanned, but avoiding sunscreen for this reason is never a good idea. Buy a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15, and make sure that it protects you against UVA and UVB rays – check that it says this on the bottle. There are many kinds to choose from, like sprays, creams and gels, so take your pick and apply it at least 30 minutes before going into the sun. Make sure you reapply after swimming.

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Sleep like a champ
You shouldn’t have to “sleep it off” – you should just sleep! Party season does not mean throwing the clock out the window. Your body still needs rest. Avoid staying up too late and try to keep the same sleeping schedule throughout summer. Try to avoid taking naps, unless you know the naps will be consistent. If you keep your sleep routine semi-consistent during the holidays, you won’t have a huge problem acclimatising when it’s time to get back into your routine schedule.

Slow down
It’s tempting to get carried away because you’re on break, you’re spending time with friends and family, and generally having a bumper holiday. But try to take it easy on the booze this summer. If you know you are going to be drinking, eat a proper meal. For example, snack on cereal or porridge with sliced banana, for a slow-release breakfast. Drink at least two litres of water per day and try to avoid heavy alcohol. Opt for drinks which are light in alcohol like wine spritzers or drinks diluted with juice, loads of ice or soft drinks. Mocktails are still trendy!

Splash safely
Nothing beats a swim on a hot summer’s day, but swimming can be dangerous. Only swim at beaches that are supervised by lifeguards and pay attention to warnings for things like shark alerts or high tide. Always wear a life vest if you go out on a boat. If you’ve been drinking alcohol, stay out of the water completely. Avoid swimming alone in case of emergencies.

Last, but not least – don’t forget to download the Hello Doctor app. This way, you’ll have a doctor in your pocket anytime, anywhere, to help you with any questions you may have!