Summer tends to be associated more with good health than winter, with the warmer weather increasing feelings of wellbeing and encouraging outdoor activities. However, there are certain health problems that are more prevalent in the warmer months. For example, food poisoning from poorly cooked barbecues or food that has been inadequately refrigerated, skin damage from over-exposure to sun, heatstroke, and accidents incurred from the rise in sporting and related activities. Enjoying the long days and feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin are great ways to raise your mood, and being more active is essential for good health; just bear a few things in mind to keep you well over the summer.
Adequate refrigeration is very important to prevent foodstuff from spoiling, so you should be in the habit of regularly checking that your freezer and refrigerator are operating at the correct temperature. When bacteria are chilled or frozen, their reproduction slows down, but they aren’t necessarily killed. That means that as soon as food returns to room temperature, the bacteria will start breeding again. Therefore, if you plan to take perishable food on a picnic or have a barbecue in the backyard, you need to keep it chilled until the moment you want to eat it or cook it. Coolers are ideal for these purposes, ensuring that food from the refrigerator stays chilled; for many hours in some cases. Always invest in a good quality cooler so you can be sure it will work effectively, and have a look at all the options available, as there are many types on the market. Look at reviews from trustworthy websites such as this RTIC vs YETI comparison, that will give you more information than the manufacturer site as well as independent assessments.
The other essential food safety rule is to make sure everything is properly cooked before eating it. This is a particular problem when barbecuing, so follow the guidelines for cooking times and temperatures closely, and always check that meat juices are running clear and there is no pinkness present. Using a meat thermometer will also help you to be sure that the food has reached a sufficiently high temperature to kill any bacteria present.
Staying safe when engaging in sports and activities
First of all, make sure you’re fit enough to take part in the activity you’re planning. You could be in need of a little more exercise after a winter spent in front of the fire watching the television, so check you are physically able to participate before you plan anything strenuous. You also need to make sure you have the necessary safety equipment, such as a helmet and body protection, or whatever is currently recommended for your pursuit. If you’re planning to go cycling but haven’t had your bike out all winter, give it a once-over to make sure everything is working properly, or even better get it checked out by an expert. Obviously, you should enjoy your activity, but don’t get too carried away – don’t swim beyond the buoys or lifeguard posts at the beach, and don’t take on more than you can handle if you want to avoid sore muscles or accidents.
Summer doesn’t last nearly long enough, so make the most of the opportunities it brings; be sure to stay safe and healthy while you’re doing so.