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Stay Healthy This Summer with GatherWell’s Health Tips

Woman hiking in Minnesota and feeling healthy

Stay Healthy This Summer with GatherWell’s Health Tips

Because of our long, cold winters, summer is a welcome time of year in Minnesota. From trips to the lakes to forest camping and family reunions, there are many ways to enjoy the Minnesota summer. Staying healthy enables us to get the most out of the summer months. Nobody wants to spend a few miserable days indoors with a bad sunburn or stuck in bed with strep throat

Now’s the time to prioritize your summer health and well-being so you can fully enjoy everything this time of the year has to offer. GatherWell, a trusted testing clinic in Minneapolis, is here to share valuable summer health tips to help you stay safe and make the most of your summer adventures.


Protect Your Skin From the Sun

The Minnesota summer sun can be harsh on your skin, and this increases the risk of sunburns and long-term damage. To protect yourself, it is essential to take the following steps:

Apply sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 liberally on all exposed areas of skin, including your face, neck, and arms. Reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating. In addition to sunscreen, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers your arms and legs. Don’t forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield your face and eyes from the sun’s rays. Seek shade during the peak hours of 10 am to 4 pm when the sun is at its strongest.


Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is a common summer health concern, especially when you’re engaging in outdoor activities. To stay hydrated and refreshed, remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Carry a reusable water bottle with you to ensure easy access to hydration. It’s important to limit your intake of sugary and caffeinated beverages since they can contribute to dehydration. Instead, focus on consuming high water content and hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables. Watermelon, cucumbers, and citrus fruits are excellent choices.


Avoid Heat and Humidity Exhaustion

When the temperature rises and humidity increases, it’s essential to be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion and take appropriate measures to prevent it.

To avoid heat-related summer health problems, stay indoors or seek shade during the hottest part of the day. If you need to be outside, wear lightweight and breathable clothing. Keep yourself cool by using fans, air conditioning, or cold towels. Stay vigilant and look out for symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, rapid heartbeat, or profuse sweating. If you experience any of these signs, move to a cooler place, hydrate, and seek medical attention if necessary.


Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes and West Nile

If you live in Minnesota, then you know that mosquitos, gnats, and biting flies can make life miserable during the summer.

Minnesota is infamous for its mosquito population. It’s important to protect yourself from mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus. Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus can keep you relatively safe when spending time outdoors. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks to minimize exposed skin. Keep windows and doors closed or properly screened to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. Remove any standing water around your property, as it serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Check out this blog for more Minnesota camping tips.

Prevent Tick-Borne Diseases

In Minnesota, the only thing worse than mosquitos is ticks.

Ticks are a big summer health concern in Minnesota, as they can transmit diseases such as Lyme disease. When spending time in wooded or grassy areas, wear long sleeves and pants. If you are in an area especially prone to ticks, tuck your pants into your socks and wear closed-toe shoes. Use tick repellents containing DEET on exposed skin. After being outdoors, thoroughly check your body, clothing, and pets for ticks. If you find a tick attached to your skin, carefully remove it with tweezers and clean the area with antiseptic.

Don’t Let Cuts Get Infected

Outdoor activities often lead to cuts or scrapes. To avoid infection, cuts should be cleaned and dressed as soon as possible. To prevent infections and promote healing, follow these wound care guidelines:

  • Clean the wound with mild soap and water to remove any dirt or debris. 
  • Gently pat the area dry with a clean towel. 
  • Apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection and cover the wound with a sterile bandage or dressing. 
  • Change the bandage regularly and keep an eye out for signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or pus. 

If you notice any concerning symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.

Summer Allergies

While summer brings beautiful blooms and vibrant landscapes, it also brings the pesky problem of seasonal allergies. GatherWell understands the impact that allergies can have on your enjoyment of the season, and we’re here to provide comprehensive allergy testing. Find out what you’re allergic to so that you can limit exposure.


Eat Healthy

Summer is a great time to enjoy fresh and nutritious foods. But sometimes, we get tempted by the hamburgers, hotdogs, and deep-fried foods served at county fairs and other outdoor summer events. Instead, include a healthy selection of fruits and vegetables in your meals and snacks. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support your overall health. Opt for lighter, refreshing meals like salads, grilled vegetables, and lean proteins. Stay mindful of portion sizes and avoid excessive consumption of sugary and high-calorie foods and beverages.


Get Tested for Common Illnesses at GatherWell

If you happen to come down with an infection or illness this summer, GatherWell is here to support you. As a trusted testing clinic in Minneapolis, we offer comprehensive testing for a wide range of common infections and conditions. Our experienced healthcare professionals can provide accurate diagnoses and guide you toward appropriate treatment options. Whether it’s a respiratory infection, gastrointestinal issue, or any other health concern, you can rely on GatherWell for timely and reliable testing services. Your health and well-being are our top priorities, and we are dedicated to helping you get back on your feet as quickly as possible.


Follow Our Blog for More Summer Health Tips

As you embrace the joys of summer, remember to prioritize your health and well-being. By following GatherWell’s essential tips, you can protect yourself from the harmful effects of sun exposure, stay hydrated, prevent heat exhaustion, guard against mosquito and tick bites, promote proper wound care, and nourish your body with healthy eating choices. Have a safe, enjoyable, and health-conscious summer season in Minnesota!