It’s summer time in the KC metro area. We can finally put all the winter coats and boots away. It’s time to bring out the bbq grill, find the swim wear and clean off the outdoor furniture. The water parks are open, Royals baseball is in full swing and vacation trips have been planned. What a great reward for a harsh and cold winter. Before you go out to enjoy the summer fun, remember a few things.
- Good summer footwear
I don’t know about you but I love my sandals. I grew up in SoCal. so this was all season foot wear……oh the good times. Flip flops are seen everywhere. This is comfortable footwear for summer but should only be used sparingly. Don’t let my family and friends in SoCal. know I said this, I may not be welcomed back. So what is the problem with flip flops you ask? Here is the answer…..it has no arch support. Flip flops are fine for short trips to the store, or walking around the backyard. The problem comes when you are doing prolonged walking or standing. Without the arch support on the inside of the foot, the foot will roll inward and cause more pressure and wear on the ankle and knee joint. A chiropractor can adjust theses joints but with the wrong footwear still being used, the correction will be short lived. A good sandal will cost more money, but the investment is worth it. I know $10 flip flops are a deal, but pass it up. I’ve heard my wife say “but those sandals aren’t as cute.” Well after ignoring my advice for years and having constant foot and ankle pain, she finally invested in good sandals. The only pain she has now is admitting I was right. Enjoy the summer and explore new places, but leave with the proper footwear in mind.
- Keep Hydrated
As summer comes around, the temperature and humidity increase. This causes the body to lose more water by evaporation. This also happens in the winter, but to a lesser degree. As this happens, do you increase the amount of water you consume in the summer? On average you should drink about a ½ gallon a day of water, which is about 64oz. The best way to do this is to take a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go. Most sport water bottles are 48oz , which means drinking 2 of those a day will be enough. Drinking more than that can have even more health benefits. Work, exercise and outdoor activities should all include increased water intake. Water is like a lubricant for the body, just like oil is for your car engine. If you run a car without oil it will fail. Running a body short of water will cause muscle spasms and headaches. In extreme situations it can cause organs to shut down resulting in life threatening situations.
My area is full of joggers and bikers, many without water; this is a bad idea. Muscles are made up of about 75% of water. As these joggers and bikers go further and harder the muscle become fatigued and starved for water. The joints also utilize water for joint lubrication. Low hydration is the perfect combination for an injury. Even doing an activity like gardening can increase your chance for injury by not consuming enough water. Bending down to lift something requires muscles and joints to work in the back, shoulders and legs. If the muscles and joints are low on water, then one of those bending and lifting motions will cause a back injury. The back is going to go into spasms and cramps. This will pull on the spine causing it to twist, and as a result, it will impinge on spinal nerve roots. This is not a place you want to get to. A chiropractic visit will get you back on the road to recovery, with plenty of water recommended by the doctor. Proper hydration also has other positive effects, including weight control, better skin and less grumpy days. Drinking water keeps you healthy, activity and outside enjoying summer.
- Skin Care
Sunscreen is important to protect against burn and from Melanoma cancer. The fastest growing population diagnosed with melanoma cancer is people under 30 years of age. Everyone should do a self-check yearly to check his or her skin for possible signs of melanoma cancer. Checking your skin is as easy as A,B,C,D,E.
- A for asymmetrical shape- a perfect round spot is more than likely harmless, however, a spot with an irregular shape should be a cause for concern.
- B for border- Melanoma lesions have jagged, irregular borders.
- C for color- irregular moles have many different colors within them, like black, gray and pink. Regular moles have just one solid color.
- D for diameter- Anything larger than 6 millimeters (the size of an eraser) is another red flag.
- E is for evolution- If this mole itches, burns or grows rapidly, then is should have a second look by a doctor.
Not all 5 signs need to be present to make it a melanoma lesion. Even if one sign is present then it is best to have it looked at by a dermatologist. Find a sunscreen that works for you. Some can be too greasy or smell to strong but finding a brand you will wear is most important. Take the precautions today to help prevent skin cancer in the future.
Summer is such a great season to go outside and have fun. The days are filled in bright sunshine and the nights are full of stars. Have fun with your family and enjoy your summer in comfort, with cold water, and plenty of sunscreen. Stay healthy.
-Dr. Travis Early, DC