Jul 2, 2024 A Guide to Help Maintain Your Health and Wellness

Aditi Shirvastava MDThe summer season is a good time to reflect on health and wellness. “Summer is a great time to focus on preventive measures, embracing lifestyle changes that can have lasting benefits,” says Aditi Shrivastava, MD, Internal Medicine, an RWJBarnabas Health Medical Group provider affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (RWJUH Hamilton).

With the heat comes the importance of maintaining adequate hydration. The increased temperatures and outdoor activities lead to higher rates of perspiration, making it vital to replenish lost fluids. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily, and consider incorporating hydrating and vitamin-rich foods like watermelon, fruit and cucumbers into your diet.

Nutrition also plays a role in overall health, especially in the summer when fresh produce is abundant. Take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Berries, tomatoes, zucchini, and leafy greens are at their peak in July and offer a wealth of nutrients that support immune function, skin health and energy levels. A balanced diet rich in these foods can help mitigate the risks associated with summer heat and exertion.

While sunshine has its benefits, such as boosting vitamin D levels and improving mood, overexposure can be harmful. Skin cancer remains a significant concern, and proper sun protection is essential. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, reapply every two hours, and wear protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses. Additionally, try to avoid outdoor activities during peak sun intensity hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Exercise is integral to maintaining health and wellness. Try to engage in outdoor exercises like walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming to enhance heart and vascular health, improve mood through the release of endorphins, and help with weight management. Be mindful of the heat and try to exercise during the cooler parts of the day, stay hydrated, and take breaks as needed to prevent heat exhaustion.

Summer is often a time of relaxation and socialization, both of which are important for mental health. Engaging with family and friends can strengthen social bonds and reduce stress. These interactions can significantly boost your emotional well-being.

However, if you find yourself struggling with your mental health, it’s important to have an honest discussion with your primary care provider. Your primary care provider will be able to provide you with the best treatment options for your condition. RWJBarnabas Health is proud to be a leader in providing you with expert mental health services for all ages and seasons of life. Learn more at rwjbh.org/behavioralhealth.

July is a good time for a mid-year health check. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider for a routine check-up. Regular screenings and examinations can detect potential health issues early, making treatment more effective. Discuss any new health concerns, review your current medications and consider getting vaccinations if needed, especially if you’re planning to travel.

Remember, take the time to prioritize yourself and your health and wellness! “It’s important to incorporate health and wellness practices not just during the summer but all year round,” adds Dr. Shrivastava.

Dr. Shrivastava sees patients at 3100 Quakerbridge Road, Hamilton, NJ 08619. For more information about Dr. Shrivastava, please call 609-245-7389. Or to find a RWJBarnabas Health primary care provider in your area.

Let’s be healthy together.