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8 Summer Dos and Don'ts

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Summer is synonymous with warm weather and backyard barbeques, but there are also some downsides, like, well, oppressively hot weather and fattening backyard barbeques. We've rounded up important dos and don’ts for a safe and healthy summer.

1. Don’t wear flip-flops (all the time).

This summer fashion staple is fine for beaches, but if you’re hitting the street, ditch the flops. You wouldn't do your workout in flip-flops, right? Then don't walk long distances in them. The angle of your foot hitting the ground changes compared to when you wear regular shoes, and an abnormal gait pattern can lead to leg pain. Read Ditch Your Flip-Flops for the full story.

2. Do hydrate.

Hot weather makes you even more susceptible to dehydration. Start by drinking two glasses of water in the morning and keep drinking at each meal, as well as before and after your workout, to stay hydrated. To calculate how much fluid your body needs, check out this primer on hydration.

3. Don’t pee in the pool.

FYI: One in five of your friends will pee in your pool this summer. Ick! Not only is this surprisingly common, but it’s also extremely unhealthy. Swimming in unclean water can lead to recreational water illnesses like diarrhea, respiratory illness, and ear and skin infections. Safeguard your pool: Ask friends to rinse off before diving in and be sure they know where there's a nearby bathroom.

4. Do take precautions in the heat.

It’s easy to ignore the heat when you’re trying to push through a workout or win a big game, but don’t let your adrenaline fool you. It’s hot! To keep yourself from being the victim of heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke, stay hydrated, take frequent water breaks and avoid midday workouts. For more tips on handling the conditions, check out Heat-Related Illnesses.

5. Don’t load up on junk at the beach.

Ice cream stands and high-calorie barbecues are bound to put a damper on your diet, so stay clear of these temptations by being prepared. Pack a cooler with tons of ice, bottled water, sandwiches on whole grain breads, pita chips, hummus, yogurt and lots of fruit. You’ll feel healthier and happier after your beach day. Get more tips from Eat Great at the Beach.

6. Do snack on immune-boosting foods.

It's no fun getting sick in the summer. Keep yourself healthy by incorporating foods into your diet that help boost your immune system. We'll spot you 21 immune boosters here.

7. Don’t forget the burgers!

Grilling out is a traditional summer activity, and it’s a flavorful way to cook your veggies. Just don’t cook your meat too well because research shows doing so may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Remember: Choose lean meats, avoid charring food, and add lots of fruits and veggies to your plate.

8. Do pre-plan your meals.

You plan your weekend getaways and activities for summer. Why not your meals? Make it easy by preparing all of your food on Sunday so that you have enough meals for the week. The best part: You'll save money. Try these 10 Meals for $50.

Tags: Outdoor Recreation, Family, Health, Leisure Time, Weekend