(BPT) - The long summer months are full of potential. From hitting the beach to hitting the open road, there are plenty of activities for you to get outdoors and explore the warm weather. To make the most of the sunny days and star-studded nights, you need to be prepared so you have fun, stay safe and keep your health top of mind.
To have a healthy summer full of incredible memories, experts recommend you don't leave home without these essentials:
Sunscreen: Any time you'll be outside, it's important to wear sunscreen. This is especially important when spending time around sand and water as these reflect the sun's rays, which put you at higher risk for sunburn. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone use sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), is SPF 30 or higher, and is water resistant.
Sunglasses: Did you know your eyes can get sunburned? Protect those peepers by keeping sunglasses on hand. If you wear prescription glasses, a stylish and affordable solution is Solar Shield, available in clip-ons and fits-over designs. Solar Shield sunglasses are polarized and come at an affordable price point, so you can have a pair with you for all your summer adventures. Put a pair in the car, your workout bag, purse and backpack, the cabin and anywhere else you'll need sun protection.
Water: Staying hydrated is important for keeping your body well, especially as the temperatures rise. When outdoors during summer, your body needs H2O to stay energized and keep cool. If you're doing an activity in the heat, you'll need to increase your water intake. Keep a bottle nearby and drink often. If you tend to forget, set an alarm on your phone or use an app to remind you regularly.
Insect repellent: Warm weather brings out people to enjoy nature, and whether you like it or not, that includes bugs. From mosquitoes and ticks to ants and chiggers, bugs thrive in the summer. The first step to keep yourself protected is to be aware of what insects you may encounter during the activities you have planned for the day. Next, be prepared by using appropriate insect repellent and clothing.
Shoes: The unofficial shoe of summer has to be the flip-flop. This easy-on, easy-off shoe has been keeping feet cool for generations. The problem is flip-flops offer little support and put you at higher risk of injury. From stubbing your toes to being a tripping hazard, flip-flops are a flop when it comes to your health. Support feet and be ready for summer by shopping for supportive sandals with toe and ankle straps. For example, athletic-style sandals are trendy, durable and will last more than one season, making them a worthwhile investment.
Cotton clothing: All-natural cotton can serve you well when on summer adventures. Cotton breathes, meaning it allows air to circulate against the body so you don't get too hot. It also can wick away sweat and dries quickly. Whether a classic cotton T-shirt or a trendy swimsuit cover-up, it's the ideal material for covering up and staying cool.
These six must-have summer essentials will help you feel your best so you can maximize every day to the fullest. Have fun and stay safe for the best summer yet.