Summertime Wellness Tips
The summer is time to reset, rejuvenate, and get healthy. The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and there’s no need to bundle up with several layers as we do in the winter. You’re finally able to go outside without shivering so hard that your entire body shakes in protest. The warm summer months are a time when you can focus on yourself and those things that are important for your well-being -- wellness goals included.
Give Yourself a Reason to Drink More Water
Water makes up around 60 percent of your body weight. It’s an essential nutrient, vital for the proper functioning of your organs and tissues. Drinking water is critical to your health. Yet many people don’t get enough fluids every day.
Hydration is an even bigger issue in the summer, especially when temperatures climb above 90 degrees F.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you’re less likely to stay hydrated. Give yourself an incentive to drink more by jazzing up your water with fruit slices, cucumber slices, or herbs. Fresh mint is an invigorating choice.
Also, make sure you have a space-age space flask that is easy to tote around and keeps your water cold all day long. Nobody wants to drink lukewarm water all day long, so get something that keeps it chilled.
Wear UV Shade to Protect Your Eyes
As you spend time outside in the sun, your eyes are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays. How can you protect your vision? Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. This will help prevent eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration (loss of central vision). Other features that help sunglasses improve vision and comfort include polarization to reduce glare and larger frames that protect the skin around the eyes from sun exposure. Add a hat with a brim for even more protection.
Protect Your Skin
The sun’s rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can put your skin at serious risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging. Protect yourself from sunburn and skin cancer, generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to all exposed skin every two hours -- or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring heavily. Don’t forget to apply it to the tops of your feet, your neck, and your ears. They get sun exposure too.
Limit exposure to the sun’s most intense rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when they are at their highest point in the sky. And if you want to go out during those hours, cover up with a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves for extra protection.
Hit the Trails
Hiking is such a good summertime activity because it allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature while breaking a sweat. It’s a great way to build cardio endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility--and it’s fun. Plus, it’s cooler in the woods than on pavement, so it’s a perfect activity for a warm day.
Hiking trails have grades ranging from easy to difficult. You can choose one that matches your fitness level and schedule -- even if you’re not ready for an intense uphill climb every day
Hiking isn’t just for nature lovers -- it can be an adventure. It helps build stamina, burn calories, and manage stress. Walking in nature will make you feel calmer and more relaxed. You can even hike with a human or canine friend. What’s not to love about that?
Spend Some Time in a Hammock
Summertime is a great time to break out the hammock. If you don’t have one, there are plenty of ways to DIY your own hammock. And if you don’t have trees, no worries! There are plenty of hammock stands you can buy or make. A hammock is the ultimate summer accessory. It’s portable, affordable, and the perfect spot to kick back and forget about your worries.
Grab a good book & your favorite drink (something cold & refreshing is best) and get to it! It’s a perfect activity for a hot day when you need a little rest & relaxation.
Get Outside Early in the Morning
Getting outside early in the morning is probably one of the most underrated things you can do for yourself during summertime.
For one thing, it sets the tone for the rest of your day. It’s like having an early morning workout or meditation session. You start in a calm and centered state, which allows you to better resist distractions and stressors that come your way later on throughout the day.
What’s also great about getting outdoors early in the morning is that there aren’t many people around, so you don’t have to worry about dodging pedestrians or bicyclists while walking or running through the park (or on any urban path). This means you can fully immerse yourself in nature without any distractions.
Plus, exposing your eyes to light early in the day helps set your internal biological clock and circadian rhythm for optimal health. A properly set biological clock will also improve your sleep quality.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
To help prevent summer weight gain, try keeping an eye on your sugar intake. It’s easy for extra sugar to slip into your diet in the summer from sugar-sweetened sports drinks, soft drinks, fruit-flavored yogurt, sweetened tea, ice cream, smoothies, and coffee.
The majority of that sugar comes from not just sweet desserts, but also savory foods -- salad dressing and ketchup, for example, are among the top sources of added sugar in the American diet. Cutting out added sugars will make a big dent in your calorie count without sacrificing much food in the process. Keep tabs on how much sugar you’re taking in.
The Bottom Line
Summer is a time for fun and games, but also a time for taking extra care of your health. Summer brings sunshine, outdoor activities, and leisurely days at the beach -- but it can also bring intense heat, sunburns, and insect bites. Follow these summer wellness tips to stay healthy and safe all season long.