17 Ways to Have a Safe and Healthy Spring Break
Spring break is fast approaching, with the promise of trips to sunny destinations and the lure of serious partying. Instead of throwing caution to the wind and putting New Year's resolutions on the back burner, keep these 17 tips in mind as you head off on an exciting vacation.
If you've been pretty sedentary over the past semester and don't exercise regularly, it might not be the best idea to jump into hardcore physical activity the second you hit the beach. Pace yourself, and turn down that offer to go on a massive hike if you're not up to it.
This can be a hard one, as spring break seems synonymous with alcohol consumption. However, drinking and swimming (or driving a boat) can be very hazardous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that alcohol use is involved in up to 70 percent of deaths associated with water recreation among adolescents and adults.
Spring break often means lots of time out in the sun. Keep water on hand, as dehydration is a risk -- even during a dip in the ocean or pool. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking about 17 ounces of water two hours before heading out to be physically active. Then keep it up the rest of the day.
While loafing around may sound ideal on vacay, make time every day for some physical activity. Whether it's a brisk walk, a visit to a hotel gym, or a round of volleyball, your heart and health will thank you.
Keep a smartphone nearby to check on current conditions, and then plan the day's excursions accordingly. Also, be prepared to make a hasty exit if the weather suddenly takes a foul turn.
Missing a few hours of sleep every night during spring break can have poor health outcomes. If you're driving a car, it can double your crash risk, but even if you're saying put, lack of sleep can boost your appetite, encourage weight gain, and lower your immune system.
Don't go off on an adventure alone -- always pair up with one or more pals, so you can monitor and assist one another in case something goes awry. Let others know where you're going and an approximate time you'll be back.
Protection from the sun isn't just about skin; eyes need protection as well. Too much exposure can lead to serious problems, such as cataracts, growths, or cancer. Invest in a pair of UV-blocking sunnies and a big-brimmed hat.