Springtime and higher temperatures are fast approaching, especially here in Arizona where our cancer center is located. While you prepare to head outside before the temperatures hit the hundreds, it’s important to remember some of our preventive health tips. Without these precautions, you can put yourself at a higher risk for dehydration, injury, and even skin cancer.
In this post, we’ll share 4 important ways to help prevent cancer and other illness in the springtime so you can maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle.
1. Drink lots of water.
While you are probably used to drinking water each day, you should increase the amount you consume before, during, and after outdoor activity this season. External elements such as sunshine, wind, heat, and humidity can dry out your skin, eyes, mouth, and muscles, leaving you feeling fatigued. Pack an extra bottle of water when you leave the house and remind yourself to sip on it throughout the day, whether you plan to spend time outside or not.
2. Eat a nutrient-rich diet.
Your diet plays a key role in your body’s ability to maintain a strong immune system, so consuming a nutrient-rich diet is critical. With the mass production of food, the amount and quality of nutrients in our food has begun to decrease. Additionally, processed foods are more popular than ever, leaving us with snack foods packed with empty calories and lacking in nutrients. By making a conscientious effort to consume high-quality foods, you’ll be able to supply your body with the energy and elements it needs to prevent and fight illness more efficiently. This diet should include lots of vegetables, whole grains, and foods with little to no added sugar. Come spring, farmers markets are blossoming with a huge selection of fresh fare, from arugula to zucchini, making it that much easier to eat well.
3. Exercise outside in the early morning or late afternoon.
When you spend time in the sunshine, you’re inadvertently exposing yourself to cancer-causing UVA and UVB rays from the sun. When left unprotected, your skin can become damaged, whether you see a sunburn or not. It’s important to try to spend the bulk of your time outside just after dawn or near dusk for 2 reasons: The UV rays are less intense at this time, and the temperature is cooler. The intensity of UV rays peaks between about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., giving you a few hours in the morning and late afternoon to exercise outside and enjoy the outdoors. The lower temperatures will help keep your body temperature in check and enable you to increase the intensity of your activity with less risk of dehydration or heat stroke. Plus, you may even get to watch a beautiful sunrise or sunset that you didn’t expect to see!
4. Wear sunscreen.
Sunscreen should be a part of your daily routine. Whether it’s December in New York or July in Arizona, layering on sunscreen will help protect you from those UV rays as well as other environmental toxins. Apply sunscreen as part of your morning routine and reapply it every few hours throughout your day to any exposed skin. When you’re outside, sweating, or swimming, this frequency should be increased. Not sure what to look for in a sunscreen? Look for a product that protects against both UVA and UVB rays with a high SPF rating, and be sure to cover yourself with a thick layer. Better yet, purchase some hats and sun-blocking clothing, and avoid thin cotton or linen that does not provide a strong shield against the sun’s rays.
For more tips on maintaining a healthy, preventive lifestyle, download the free e-book from our website. You’ll also find information on alternative cancer treatments, our holistic programs, and the numerous other therapies offered at our Arizona cancer center.