Keep healthy this summer

New research reveals a direct link between rising temperatures and an increase in injuries

Sprains, broken bones, dislocations, sun damage – welcome to the toll of playing games with family or friends in the summer garden and great outdoors. Don’t believe us? Well, new research from Bupa health clinics shows as many as two-thirds of people sustain a seasonal injury as a result of spending more time outdoors during the summer months.

The trend is set to go even further this summer as Britons work up to two big televised sporting events – Wimbledon and the football World Cup. More people will be inspired to get outside and take up tennis and football to try an emulate their sporting heroes.

Dr Husam Suliman, lead GP at Solihull Bupa Health and Dental Centre, says: “The UK on a warm summer’s day is one of the best places to be and it’s great that so many of us enjoy the great outdoors. However, it’s important that we take the necessary precautions during the summer months. A friendly game of sport could become much more serious if someone hasn’t been active for a while and jumps straight in.“


When it comes to being safe in the sun, there are also potential health risks to be aware of. Consultant dermatologist Dr Camilo Diaz, says: “There is a belief that the sun in the UK can‘t damage our skin, but this isn‘t true. Sunburn can cause our skin to age prematurely and is also a key cause for skin cancer.

“We should all protect ourselves against the sun’s rays regardless of whether we’re pottering around in the garden or sunning ourselves on a beach break.”

Here are just a few sensible tips to help you stay fit, healthy and burn free:

Play nicely: Know your limits when playing games with friends and family – it is ok to take a breather now and again and always make sure you are wearing the correct gear for the sport you’re playing.

Be Inspired, but be careful: Go at a pace that suits you and your body. Have a quick jog around and stretch your calves, hamstrings, back and arms. This can take no less than three minutes to do a full body stretch – so why not!  Prior to starting a new fitness regime or sport, see a physiotherapist or have a full body health assessment to ensure your body is at the right level before progressing.

Unwanted bites: To avoid being nature’s feast, make sure you cover up after a workout. If you are bitten, act straight away and avoid itching by buying a cream from the pharmacy. Anti-biotics are sometimes necessary if the bite gets infected. It’s important to monitor any changes surrounding the bite and visit a pharmacist if you’re unsure.

Combat allergies: One tip is to put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen, it may feel odd but it can help reduce the symptoms. Avoid grassy areas during the early morning and evening as this is when the pollen count is highest.

Stay protected: Whether you’re abroad or in the UK, everyone should protect themselves from the sun to avoid damage to the skin. It is important to know your skin type as this will determine the level of sun exposure your skin a capable of handling before burning.

Check for changes: Taking pictures with a ruler or tape measurer beside a mole can help. A useful guide to checking differences is to use the ABCDE rule – Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter and Evolution.

Dr Husam Suliman, is lead GP at Solihull Bupa Health and Dental Centre 47 Station Road, Solihull, B91 3RX. Tel: 0121 711 6400