Summer wellness: Maintaining fitness and health in the summer months

The Health and Safety Executive “saw a surge in people seeking advice during summer 2022 – with visits to its online hot weather working guidance increasing by nearly 1,000%”, demonstrating the challenge for employers to ensure the health and safety of staff during summer months. What’s more, Korn Ferry found that “almost half (46%) of workers admit that their personal productivity slumps during the Summer months.”

Combating this work slump and health challenge is no easy feat, but ensuring your team feels supported and protected during these intensive months of the year is an important step in the right direction. Your staff could benefit from working from home, if possible, instead of commuting into an office, for example, on particularly warm days but for those that must come into their workplace, supporting their physical and mental wellbeing is imperative. Here are some suggestions to help keep your team safe:

  • Offer a relaxed dress code
  • Provide cold drinking water throughout the day
  • Ensure the workplace is well ventilated as well as cool with fans or air conditioning
  • Be mindful of vulnerable employees whose health may be impacted by the heat and make reasonable adjustments

It is also important to encourage a healthy lifestyle throughout the year. While increased temperatures can make it harder to exercise in the summer, it can also be even more enjoyable with the right approach. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and maintain fitness during the summer months:

  1. Stay active safely - Engage in physical activities during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to avoid excessive heat exposure. Choose appropriate attire for exercise and opt for shaded or indoor workout spaces when possible.
  2. Stay hydrated - Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially when it's hot. Stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you and sipping on it regularly. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary or alcoholic beverages as they can contribute to dehydration.
  3. Protect yourself from the sun - Apply sunscreen with a high SPF before going outdoors to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Wear sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing to shield yourself from the sun. Seek shade during the hottest parts of the day.
  4. Maintain balanced diet - Enjoy the seasonal fruits and vegetables available during the summer, as they provide essential nutrients. Include a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats in your diet. Avoid heavy, greasy, and overly processed foods.
  5. Take care of your mental wellbeing - Summer can be a great time to relax and recharge. Prioritise self-care activities such as spending time in nature, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and engaging in hobbies or activities that bring you joy.
  6. Maintain a healthy sleep routine - Adequate sleep is crucial for overall health. Establish and maintain a consistent sleep routine, even during summer months. Create a cool, dark, and quiet sleep environment to ensure quality rest.

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Remember, everyone's health needs are unique. If you have specific health conditions or concerns, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance on staying healthy during the summer. Our Doctors Clinic Group GPs or Occupational Health specialist are always happy to talk and answer any further question you have about maintaining health and fitness in the summer.