Summer is the season for outdoor activities, gatherings, events, travel and enjoying longer days. According to a recent survey, 85% of respondents are planning to travel this summer, up 5% from last year. Another trend among Americans is adopting a “slow living” lifestyle, characterized by living in the moment and taking time to savor and appreciate your surroundings. It’s a lifestyle that prioritizes health and well-being, making time for leisure and minimizing external stressors.

Whether you plan to venture out of town or head to your local pool or beach to enjoy slow living, stay safe and healthy with these three summer wellness tips:

1. Enjoy the sun responsibly

UVB rays can cause damage to unprotected skin, possibly leading to skin cancer. Ultraviolet radiation and your skin type play a role in your individual tolerance to sun exposure. In general, limit direct sun exposure to 30 minutes daily, and apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 before venturing outdoors. SPF 30 filters out 92%-98% of UVB rays. For more protection, wear hats, sunglasses and appropriate clothing.

However, you don’t need to avoid the sun completely. Sunlight triggers vitamin D production in the body. Low serum vitamin D levels are thought to contribute to other health problems. Studies show that vitamin D deficiency is not caused by using sunscreen, so wearing sunscreen will help you safely enjoy the sun while still absorbing vitamin D.

2. Stay hydrated

Staying well hydrated is important throughout the year but particularly in summertime, especially if you are active outdoors. Water and unsweetened iced tea (flavored with fruit slices or herbs) are fantastic for hydrating in hot weather. If you are outdoors for extended periods, consider a sports drink for electrolyte replenishment. Enjoy in-season fruits and veggies with high water content, such as watermelons, cucumbers, tomatoes, peaches, plums, zucchinis and nectarines.

3. Keep your food safe

During summer months, there is an increase in the incidence of food-borne illnesses. Never leave perishable food in the sun or in hot spaces for more than two hours. Instead, pack foods in an insulated cooler and make use of ice packs. Wash hands, cutlery and cutting boards often, especially if prepping raw meat and veggies. Clean your grill before using it, and cook meats to the proper internal temperature: 165°F for poultry; 160°F for eggs and ground meats; and 145°F for roasts, chops and fresh meats.

Greater well-being through workplace health coaching

An easy and effective way of prioritizing your wellness this summer is with Labcorp’s health coaching programs, which can bring a transformative journey to greater well-being right at your workplace. Our team of healthcare professionals will support you in making positive, sustainable lifestyle changes to help you lead your best life.

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