Primary Care

Beat the heat: Stay hydrated, happy and healthy this summer

Adorable little girl playing with her loving daddy while eating watermelon, family having a picnic in the green park on a summer day.


Theres no cruel summer in our future with these helpful tips! Learn how to feel your best all summer long. 


By Shantala Sonnad, MD, Family Medicine, Nuvance Health Medical Practice


Ah, summer— a season of sunshine and outdoor adventures. However, as temperatures climb, let’s not forget to give our health a little extra love. Live your summer to the fullest by keeping yourself hydrated, staying positive and embracing healthy habits. Ready to make the most of it? Here’s how to make this summer your healthiest yet!


How hydration supports your vitality and wellness


Let’s face it, we all need a reminder now and then to drink more water. Hydration is key, especially during hot summer months. Keep your water bottle handy, especially while you’re outdoors soaking up the sun.


Staying hydrated is essential for your body’s vital functions


Hydration isn’t just about quenching your thirst — it’s vital for your overall health. Our bodies are made up of 50 to 60% water and it’s involved in almost every bodily function, from protecting our organs to regulating body temperature. Proper hydration cushions our joints, supports skin health and even helps prevent illness by strengthening our mucous membranes!


Why staying hydrated throughout the day matters


Whenever you’re planning outdoor activities such as a hike or bike ride, don’t forget to pack water. It’s your best hydration buddy! Stay hydrated throughout the day to reduce your risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke.



Aim to drink fluids throughout the day, not just when you’re thirsty. Water should be your go-to choice, but don’t overlook hydrating foods such as watermelon, cucumber, celery and leafy greens. Sports drinks with electrolytes are also a good alternative.


How much water do you need to drink each day?


To determine how much water you should drink, divide your weight by two and drink that many ounces daily. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for 75 ounces of water daily.


But remember, everyone’s hydration needs are different, depending on factors like age, weight, fluid retention and chronic diseases. Talk to your primary care doctor about your recommended fluid intake at your next annual wellness visit.



Spruce up your hydration routine


Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring! Add a burst of flavor by infusing your water with slices of lemon, cucumber or berries. If you’re drinking from a reusable water bottle, just remember to wash it after each use!


Related content: How often you should wash your reusable water bottle


Exercise and outdoor activities can help boost your mood


Take advantage of the warm weather by engaging in outdoor activities that promote happiness and well-being. Whether you’re swimming, playing volleyball with friends or harvesting fresh veggies from your garden, staying active outdoors can lift your spirits and help you feel your best! Here are some reminders:


Stay active; stay healthy. Exercise is proven to increase endorphins and happiness hormones, maintain your weight, reduce stress and send oxygen to your cells and tissues to decrease pain. 



Get your steps in. Research shows 10,000 steps per day can lead to improved mood, better sleep quality and can even increase your lifespan by over five years.


Track your progress. You don’t need fancy gadgets to track your steps — invest in a simple pedometer for as little as $10 to monitor your activity levels.


By staying active and embracing the joys of summer, you can enhance both your physical health and overall happiness.


How to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the summertime


With longer days and warmer temperatures, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial during the summertime. From savoring the abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables to protecting your skin against harmful UV rays and staying active outdoors, summer offers a unique opportunity to prioritize your health. Here are tips to nourish your body, protect your skin and stay active all season long:


Take advantage of fresh fruit and veggies. Enjoy the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables available during summer, like cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes and zucchini. Incorporate these nutrient-rich foods into your diet to nourish your body and stay hydrated.



Protect yourself from the sun. Shield your skin from harmful UV rays by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher). Cover exposed areas with loose protective clothing, hats and sunglasses to prevent sun damage. Spending time outdoors offers benefits beyond physical health, including improved focus, memory, and decreased risk of chronic diseases.



Move your feet. Take advantage of longer days and warmer weather with summer outdoor exercises like swimming, hiking, biking or playing sports. These activities not only keep you fit but also improve your mood.


Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week. Remember to warm up and cool down to prevent injuries. Most importantly, don’t forget to stretch!


Talk to your primary care doctor about your health and wellness goals. They can help suggest exercises and activities that could help you reach your goals.




The bottom line: As we enjoy the warmth of summer, lets remember to prioritize our health. By staying hydrated, engaging in outdoor activities and nourishing ourselves with seasonal fruits and veggies, we can ensure a season of vitality and well-being.