Most people want their summer to look like Rhianna’s music video for “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want” (Here’s a link. You’re welcome.) When it’s filled with music festivals, BBQs with friends, lazy days, and warm nights—there’s no doubt that summer is good for the soul. But let’s be real, it can be kinda hard on the body. It’s easy to ditch good health habits when you’re soakin’ in the rays and tossing aside your usual routines. So before you morph into your summer, care-free self, make a plan to take care of your body from now until September. This summer health checklist can help:
1. Say Sayonara to Sun Damage
You can never have too much sun protection during the summer, when workouts, parties, and everything else is more likely to happen outside. Stock your bag, office desk, and car with face sunblock, SPF lip balm, waterproof sunblock . . ALL THE SUNBLOCKS.
2. Have a Birth Control Plan
If you’ll be on the go a lot this summer, consider getting a three-month supply of birth control so you don’t need to stress about finding a pharmacy wherever you find yourself. If you’re not on the pill or another reliable form of birth control, it’s smart to have emergency contraception, like Plan B or Ella, on hand just in case. With Nurx you can request a birth control prescription or emergency contraception online, and have it delivered to your door within days (we can also call in EC to a local pharmacy if that’s more convenient for you). Don’t feel like remembering to take a pill every day? The birth control ring only needs to be changed once a month, and the birth control shot lasts for three months (almost from Memorial Day to Labor Day).
3. Don’t Be Thirsty, My Friends
The heat gets intense during those dog days, and if you’re active outdoors then guzzling water might not be enough to keep you hydrated. Instead of regular H2O, reach for water containing electrolytes, minerals that help your body absorb hydration. You can carry electrolyte drops or fizzy tabs to turn any water into a healthy sports drink.
4. Plan to Protect Yourself
You never know just where summer adventure will take you, but if you may be at risk of contracting HIV, you should consider a prescription for PrEP. When taken correctly, this daily pill is 99% effective at helping HIV-negative people stay HIV-negative. It’s like the birth control, but for HIV prevention. With Nurx you can request PrEP online (and 99% of our patients pay $0 for the medication)
5. Keep an Eye on Your Eye Health
But don’t just grab any cool-looking pair of sunglasses at the mall or surf shop and assume your eyes are protected. Only wear shades that come with a label specifying that they offer 100% protection against both UVA and UVB or 100% protection against UV 400, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Tip: Some light-colored glasses do offer good protection and some dark ones don’t — the tint isn’t necessarily an indicator of UV protection.
6. Avoid Bug Bites
Tiny insects can cause BIG health problems. Just a few mosquito bites can mean major suffering, and tick bites can be even more serious — there’s a long list of frightening tick-borne illnesses that are on the rise in the US. Use insect repellent when you’re outdoors around sundown, and follow these CDC tips to prevent tick bites.
7. Get Tested for STIs
Whether your summer goals include meeting somebody new, or you already have your summer love locked down, it might be smart to get tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Many STIs have no symptoms (or minor symptoms you can miss) and can be passed to and from partners without you even knowing. Most STIs are curable or treatable, but it’s important to identify and treat them before they do any permanent damage.
Enter to Win a Trip to Hawaii
Is your summer calendar not as fun-packed as you want it to be? Nurx might be able to help! Along with partners including Buzzfeed we’re sponsoring a chance for you to win a trip to Hawaii. Enter here!
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.