Tips for cancer survivors to keep cool in the summer heat

Jul 11, 2019 | Wendy Hanson | @wendyhanson | Comments (1)

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Summer is in full swing. With the higher temperatures and intense summer sun it's important to stay safe and healthy.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Protect your skin from sun exposure by wearing protective clothing and hats.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF of 30 or more if you must be exposed to direct sunlight. Be sure to reapply after swimming or sweating. Don’t forget your lips!
  • Don't forget your sunglasses — important for your eye health.
  • Choose early morning and evening hours to walk or exercise.
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
  • Wear loose fitting, cotton-based clothing.
  • Seek shade – such as a screen porch or under an umbrella.
  • Use a light moisturizer to keep skin hydrated and protected.

 

As a cancer survivor, you may be at an increased risk for dehydration and sunburn as a result of treatment or medication side effects. It is important to consult with your provider regarding any specific sun-related effects of your therapy. Heat can also worsen cancer-related fatigue. Be sure to listen to your body and rest if you feel tired. If you have symptoms such as muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, seizures or trouble breathing, seek medical care immediately.

Be sure to build in frequent water breaks, especially if you are outside being active. Taking a tepid shower also helps cool one down. Try to keep your meals fresh and light. Choose summer fruits and vegetables such as melons, peaches, strawberries, cucumbers and tomatoes. Enjoy popsicles, fruit sorbet or smoothies for extra cool treats. Visit this site for some Mayo Clinic healthy recipes.

There are health benefits to sun exposure – improved mood being one. With a little bit of planning and proper precautions, the outdoors can be enjoyed even on warm, sunny days.

How are you staying cool and enjoying summer?

My doctor also suggested using Pedialyte. Though I normally think of Pedialyte being used by children, it can also help adults. I carry a few individual packages with me, and if I get overheated or dizzy, I add to a bottle of water. It helps increase level of fluids and electrolytes.

There are generic version of Pedialyte that are less expensive. I have used the Walmart version.

Laurie M

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