While summer is the season most commonly associated with vacations, that doesn’t mean you should be taking a vacation from your health routine. School may be on a break, but your body never stops, and taking care of it is a great way to feel better both physically and mentally. Here are five health tips for summer that’ll keep you looking and feeling good.
Getting your recommended daily intake of water is important year-round, but with increased temperatures and humidity, it’s even more important in the summer. Drinking eight (8 fl oz) glasses a day may not cut it, especially if you’re outside sweating. In fact, everyone’s body requires different amounts of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink half an ounce to an ounce of water for every pound you weigh.
For example, if someone weighs 150 pounds, they should be drinking 75-150 ounces of water a day. Since drinking what seems to be a pool’s worth of water can get boring, however, hydration can also be achieved through fruits and vegetables. Produce with high water content can easily hydrate, especially foods like watermelons, cucumbers, and pineapples.
Despite summer bringing more hours of daylight, sleep shouldn’t be overlooked merely because there is less nighttime. Sleeping too much or too little can cause short- and long-term health issues, so it’s important to achieve the right balance. You should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night on a consistent schedule (so going to bed and waking up approximately the same time every day).
Not only can the heat from the sun cause health issues through dehydration, but the UV rays it kicks off can also pose a serious threat to your skin, especially during the peak hours of 11 am-2 pm when UV rays are at their strongest. In order to avoid burning your skin to a crisp, be sure to apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 anytime you plan to be in the sun.
It’s important not to forget coverage on your ears, tops of feet, and even your scalp especially if you have a part in your hair that’s exposed. To protect your lips, there are lip balms available with SPF as well. Proper skin protection can help you avoid things like sunspots and other skin concerns in the future.
Another critical area to protect is your eyes, and the best way to do that is with a quality pair of sunglasses. The best option is a pair that blocks 100 percent of UV rays, a worthwhile investment for the long-term health of your eyes.
Between cookouts full of burgers and hotdogs, and fairs full of fried foods, the summer offers a lot of tempting junk food to throw off your diet. But it’s important not to over-indulge in these unhealthy options, so that you stay on top of your nutrition. A good option would be to eat lighter foods such as berries, fish, vegetables, and other seasonal superfoods.
While you may think that monitoring your diet by yourself is doable, having help from a qualified nutrition specialist provides insight on signs you may be missing. A nutritionist will analyze information such as urine output, daily digestive condition, aches, pains, menstrual cycles, and more in order to create a distinct profile of your needs. From there she can customize a nutrition plan for you, so you can reach your ultimate wellness goals. As Kelley Mondesire, a well-known nutritionist and acupuncturist in NYC says, “Have a taste of everything if you desire, but keep the portions SMALL.”
After being stuck in a gym all winter, it’s important to get outside and get some vitamin D to get your body moving again. If an intense workout is more your speed, exercising in the morning or evening is recommended to prevent heat exhaustion.
But there are plenty of other activities that are healthy for your body and mind including hiking, swimming, or joining a club sports team. Plus, these activities can be done in groups, or with family and friends. Overall, it’s very helpful to join a community for the activities you enjoy, so that they can hold you accountable to your routine.
With countless outdoor activities to choose from, summer is a great time to start your health kick or to beef up the routine you have now. As long as you enjoy the outdoors responsibly, wellness is sure to follow.