Summer Wellness Tips for Cancer Survivors: Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

3 min read

Summer Wellness Tips for Cancer Survivors: Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

As the sun shines brightly and the temperatures rise, it's important for cancer survivors to prioritize their well-being during the summer months. By following a few simple guidelines, cancer survivors can enjoy the season while focusing on their health. This blog post will provide valuable advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including sun protection, hydration, nutrition, and outdoor activities suitable for individuals undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment.

Protecting Your Skin

  • Wear Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 before heading outdoors. Reapply every two hours, especially if you're swimming or sweating.
  • Wear Breathable Clothes that Cover Your Skin: Try to wear a shirt or swimsuit coverup as much a possible when not in the water to keep your skin from extra sun exposure. 
  • Seek Shade: Limit sun exposure during peak hours, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade under trees or umbrellas or wear protective clothing like wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves.
  • Stay Hydrated: Hydrate your skin from within by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. This helps maintain skin health and counteracts the drying effects of the sun.

These tips can be especially helpful for patients who have undergone radiation therapy treatments in the recent past. Your skin may already be somewhat irritated from the radiation exposure. Taking these steps to protect your skin will go a long way in helping you to feel better.

Prioritizing Hydration

  • Increase Fluid Intake: Cancer survivors should stay adequately hydrated, particularly during the summer when the risk of dehydration is higher. Drink plenty of water, and if approved by your healthcare provider, include hydrating fruits and vegetables in your diet.
  • Avoid Sugary Beverages: Opt for water, herbal teas, and natural fruit-infused water instead of sugary drinks. These choices can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing other health conditions.
  • Avoid Caffeine: If you know you’ll be spending time outdoors it’s best to avoid caffeine in your beverages. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it works to flush fluid from your body. 

Nourishing Your Body

  • Eat a Balanced Diet: Focus on a well-balanced diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to obtain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Mindful Eating: Pay attention to portion sizes and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Mindful eating can help maintain a healthy weight and support overall well-being.
  • Consult a Dietitian: If you have specific dietary concerns or questions about your cancer treatment, consult a registered dietitian who can provide personalized guidance tailored to your needs.

Suitable Outdoor Activities

  • Walking or Hiking: Engage in moderate physical activities like walking or hiking, which offer numerous health benefits. Start gradually and increase intensity as tolerated. Enjoy nature, fresh air, and the beauty of your surroundings.
  • Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can be beneficial for cancer survivors. It helps improve cardiovascular fitness, builds strength, and provides a refreshing break from the summer heat.
  • Gentle Yoga or Tai Chi: Consider gentle forms of exercise like yoga or Tai Chi, which promote relaxation, flexibility, and balance. These activities can be modified to suit individual abilities and fitness levels.

Summer is a wonderful time to embrace a healthy lifestyle while enjoying the great outdoors. For cancer survivors, prioritizing well-being is crucial, and following these summer wellness tips can help support their physical and emotional health. Remember to protect your skin, stay hydrated, maintain a balanced diet, and engage in suitable outdoor activities. Always consult with your provider before making any significant changes to your routine. By nurturing your body and mind, you can make the most of the summer months while promoting your overall well-being as a cancer survivor.

If you or a loved one is a patient at New York Oncology Hematology feel free to reach out to your oncologist if you have more questions about do’s and don’ts for outdoor activities while going through cancer treatments.

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