Ten Simple Summer Health Tips
By Brenda Morales
Summer is officially here! Did you know that summer is the healthiest season there is? In the longer and warmer days of summer we tend to slow down the stresses of our busy lives and for most of us life becomes less chaotic, healthier, and happier. During summertime many of us tend to naturally gravitate towards eating more fresh and raw foods, increased physical activity, and spending more time outside in the sun soaking up natural vitamin D. If you are looking to amp your wellness or increase your overall health this summer then follow these simple tips:
1. Eat clean. Avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners. Focus on a whole food diet which includes lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
2. Try green smoothies. Green smoothies have become a staple for health seekers. For a healthy refreshing snack blend together leafy greens and your favorite fruit, or to replace a meal add an additional boost to your green smoothies such as protein powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, or flax seeds.
3. Enjoy the sun in a safe way. Safe, smart, and limited sunscreen-free sun exposure is good to help optimize vitamin D levels. However, if you plan on being outdoors for more than 15-30 minutes you should start sun blocking. Protect your skin; when it’s time to apply sunscreen, use one with as few chemicals as possible. Also, try wearing a hat, sunglasses and light-colored clothing to block the sun when out for longer periods.
4. Take a vacation. Doing so may be one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Vacations help ease stress and improve overall mood. Also for many of us, taking a little time away brings some added perspective to life and boosts our motivation levels to get back on track with our personal goals.
5. Make exercise fun. We tend to skip exercise plans when they feel boring and like a chore, you’re more likely to stick to your plan if you make it fun. Change up your workouts, get outside, or get a group of friends together to move this summer.
6. Drink plenty of water. During the hot summer months we go outdoors more often and we are more physically active so it’s important to make sure you are drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated.
7. Fruit salad, anyone? Summer wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a serving of strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, cherries, or watermelon. The list of in-season fruit during summer is infinite. The best news is that these summer picks are nutritious; all are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, high water content to help you stay hydrated, and very few calories.
8. Go swimming! Swimming uses all muscle groups in the body with minimal impact and helps improve strength. According to the CDC, even if you suffer from joint pain you can participate in water-based exercises such as swimming without worsening symptoms. Swimming has also been shown to improve mood and alleviate depression.
9. Unplug and connect with real life friends. Summer is the time to shut off the computer, ditch the phone, and get out of the house more often. Meet up with a friend for lunch or plan an outdoor picnic with your family. Having a conversation with someone in real life is better than spending your time talking through comments on Facebook and text messages.
10. Take up a new hobby. Summer is the perfect time to take up a new activity. For example, gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and will help you burn some calories. If gardening isn’t really your thing, try going outdoors to play tennis or consider taking a yoga class.
Have a wonderful, healthy, and happy summer!