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Summer’s extreme heat can be a problem for individuals of any age and health conditions, but those with kidney disease need to take extra precautions to ensure they have a happy and safe summer. Take advantage of the opportunity of sunny days to enjoy activities and gentle exercise, but keep the tips below in mind.
Maintain a healthy fluid intake Staying hydrated in the summer months is important, but patients with kidney disease need to take care to avoid fluid overload. Speak with your healthcare team about whether your fluid intake should be adjusted for summer. On very hot days, try to stay in air conditioned spaces or in the shade to avoid perspiring and increasing your thirst.
Cut down on the intake of caffeine as it leaves you dehydrated, even though you are taking in liquids. Eat vegetables and fruits that are rich in water and nutrients. Eat a lot of salads to keep your body cool. It’s always good to eat a well balanced diet and follow any modification your provider suggested.
Hydrate well during and after exercise. Sunny summer days are ideal for going outside and exercising. If you have kidney disease, be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. Your physician can help you create an exercise plan that will support your health. Even if you feel tired at times, easy exercises may help you feel better. Walking and yoga are two activities that put minimal stress on the body.
Help protect your skin from sun exposure.
Apply sunscreen liberally. Unprotected sun exposure can cause skin damage. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Remember to reapply your sunscreen every two hours and also right after swimming or exercising. A water-resistant sunscreen will be less likely to come off if you swim or perspire. You can also protect your skin by covering up with a shirt, wearing a hat or sitting in the shade.
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