Primary Care Providers Offer Summer Health Tips

June 1, 2016

Melanie Raynor

The warmer weather has finally arrived and I hope it is here to stay! Summer time is right around the corner, which means the sun is shining, the kids are outside playing and a lot of us are going on vacation. Although the summer is a fun and exciting time, the highly anticipated season also poses many health risks. Our primary care providers at Wilson Physician Services offer these healthful tips to keep you and your families healthy and safe during the summer months.

#1 Stress less
Dr. Sopna Jacob at Wilson Primary Care suggests you stress less. “Do things like planting a few flower pots, yoga or stretching exercises,” she says. Take some time for yourself and find something you like to do; it’ll make you happy and release some anxiety.

#2 Sleep well
She also suggests you get a good night’s sleep. Try to keep the same bedtime and wake up schedule even during the summer months.

#3 Eat smart
Dr. Jacob also recommends eating smart. Check out the local farmer’s market and take advantage of the seasonal fruits and vegetables. “Include plant-based proteins like nuts, seeds, and lentil,” she says.

#4 “Unplug” from electronics
Another great tip comes from Karyl Noonan, PA-C of Wilson Primary Care – Stantonsburg. Karyl suggests you “unplug” from electronics. During the summer months when the kids are out of school, it’s easy for them to spend more time in front of the television, iPads or video games. Activities like swimming, hiking, gardening and biking are great outdoor activities that you and your family can enjoy during the warmer months.

#5 Spend time with friends and family … in person
This leads to her next tip, which is to hang out with family and friends in person, rather than through social media. This is something that we are all guilty of – I know I am. “Being active and spending quality time with people that care for us and that we care about is good for both physical and mental health,” Karyl says. So take a temporary hiatus from your smart phone – it’ll do you some good.

#6 Avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day
The temperature reaches its highest around midafternoon According to the CDC, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. is the most hazardous times due to the UV exposure. Karyl recommends you try to avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. Also, don’t forget to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated (we’ll get to that in a minute).

#7 Wear sunscreen
Dr. Nadine Skinner of Wilson New Hope Primary Care emphasizes the importance of sun protection – even on cloudy days if you’re outside. Make sure you are using sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and applying it often.

#8 Drink plenty of water
Dr. Skinner also recommends you drink plenty of water when outside in the heat. Although heat exposure can be dangerous to anyone, play close attention to the elderly, children and anyone with health problems.

#9 Learn to swim
The final tip from Dr. Skinner is to learn to swim. If you do not know how, this is a great time to learn! “Teach your kids to swim also. My kids are taking swim lessons this summer, which is a great option if you aren’t comfortable teaching them yourself,” Dr. Skinner says. According to the CDC, drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related deaths among children.

#10 Find a doctor

I will leave you with one final tip – if you do not have a primary care provider, find one. You can call Wilson Medical Center’s Physician Referral Line at 1-800-424-DOCS (3627) to learn more about our services and find a doctor.

Now you have ten great health tips to remember. Enjoy time with your family and friends, but make sure to keep these tips close to mind. We want you to have a fun and healthy summer!

Melanie Raynor is the Marketing Coordinator at Wilson Medical Center.