Simple & Effective 10 Tips for a Healthy Summer
Welcome to the ultimate guide for a healthy and enjoyable summer! As the temperature rises and the sun shines brightly, taking care of your well-being and making the most of this vibrant season is important. This blog will share valuable tips and advice to help you stay hydrated, protect your skin, embrace outdoor activities, and maintain a balanced lifestyle. From refreshing hydration hacks to outdoor fitness routines and mindful relaxation techniques, we've got you covered. So, let's dive in and discover how to have a fantastic summer while prioritizing your health and happiness!
1. Keep yourself hydrated at all times!
With the arrival of heat, dehydration becomes more common. Whether due to exposure to the sun, hot weather, or the fact that you sweat more, drinking water is one of the most important factors to stay healthy and comfortable in the summer.
You can also get needed water from the food you consume: try to eat hydrating and watery foods, such as vegetables and fruits.
A good tip is, if you find it difficult to drink a lot of water a day, try to play with flavors: add fresh cucumbers, lime slices or fruit to your fresh water. Be creative and you'll see that hydration is simple and good!
2. Get your Vitamin D!
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in the proper functioning of the body – it promotes greater immunity, improves mood and fights against serious illnesses. Although most of the vitamins we get come from the foods we eat, Vitamin D is mostly obtained through sun exposure.
Nowadays, due to home and office routines, Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common in modern society.
What you should know is that your body stores Vitamin D, which means that if you get enough (and safe!) sun exposure during the summer months, you will remain healthy in that regard in winter.
Therefore, take advantage of the best time to sunbathe, but always in a protected and conscious way! Here are some more tips on how to do it…
3. Protect your skin
Every sunburn you get increases your risk of serious skin conditions. Therefore, protecting yourself from the sun is very important! Use sunscreen with at least SPS 15, rich in natural products, reapplying it frequently, especially when in contact with water, on beaches or pools.
Also, there are certain times of the day, such as the hottest hours, when it might be good to protect your shoulders, neck, arms and any other part of your body that will take direct sunlight, using a hat or a long-sleeved shirt with sun protection.
Pay attention to intensive sun exposure, especially if you live in areas where the climate is colder and wintery - exposure to the sun should be done progressively and slowly.
In case of sunburn, you may apply a light aloe vera gel – this plant has refreshing and healing properties.
4. Switch up your fitness routine.
Although the heat can take away the desire to exercise, why not see the season as a good time to switch up your usual workouts?
Try HIIT outdoors, take long swims in the pool, practice yoga in the park, or take a family walk. These are great ways to enjoy good weather and late sunsets.
Aerobic activity is also an excellent option: in addition to being a great ally in the fight against cardiovascular diseases, it helps to align the body and mind!
Combining physical exercise with the summer weather is a great way to stay active and healthy!
5. Enjoy Nature’s Bounty
Summer brings some of the best flavors of fruits and vegetables! Consuming fresh and light foods, such as fresh fruits, natural juices, raw salads, and foods with a lot of water, will nourish your body.
Diversifying your diet will help improve your skin's health and its ability to regenerate in case of sunburn.
Here are some anti-inflammatory foods you can eat to reduce skin sensitivity and risk of sun damage:
- Healthy fats rich in Omega-3, including fish (sardines and salmon), eggs, flaxseed, and nuts. Foods rich in Omega-3 help reduce inflammation in the body and promote regeneration.
- Healthy saturated fats like coconut or avocado will strengthen your hair and nails.
- Legumes and vegetables of all kinds, as their vitamins and antioxidants help protect cells from the effects of UV radiation.
- Other antioxidant-rich foods like beans, nuts, or green or black tea will help reduce inflammation and protect against sunburn and skin damage.
6. Get outdoors
Is there a better time to spend time outside than summer? Whether with the family, children, pets, or friends, leave the house and enjoy the good weather.
Make plans that you can enjoy! Here are some suggestions:
- Visit parks and gardens: Explore your local parks, botanical gardens, or nature reserves. Take leisurely walks, have a picnic, or simply sit and enjoy the greenery.
- Go hiking or biking: Find nearby hiking trails or biking paths and embark on an adventure. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, breathe in the fresh air, and get some exercise.
- Enjoy the beach: If you live close to a beach or a lake, spend a day soaking up the sun, swimming, playing beach games, or simply relaxing by the water.
- Go camping: Plan a camping trip with family or friends. Set up a tent, have a bonfire, roast marshmallows, and enjoy stargazing at night.
- Try water activities: Engage in water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, or canoeing. These activities can be refreshing and enjoyable if you're near a lake or river.
- Explore local markets or fairs: Visit farmers' markets, flea markets, or craft fairs in your area. You can find unique items, enjoy local produce, and immerse yourself in the vibrant community.
- Go on a road trip: Plan a day trip or weekend getaway to explore new places. Research scenic routes, visit landmarks, and enjoy the natural beauty along the way.
Take advantage of the summer to increase your connection with the Earth. You’ll improve your health, physically and spiritually.
Spending time in nature also helps you to feel happier: the sun increases levels of serotonin, one of the "happiness hormones." High levels of serotonin are linked with better mood and reduced anxiety.
7. Take time to relax
Summer is the perfect opportunity to chill, relax and unwind.
Stress and anxiety, resulting from the daily routine of obligations, affect your mental and physical health in a lasting way.
As previously mentioned, spending time outside, away from the stress of everyday life, and doing the activities you enjoy most, will make you feel calmer and more relaxed.
This is the ideal season to slow down a bit and try to focus more on yourself. Why not try leaving your phone at home or taking a week off from TV?
Also, why not try to practice mindfulness and meditation? Find a quiet spot outdoors or in your home, and dedicate some time to mindfulness or meditation. Close your eyes, focus on breathing, and release any stress or tension.
8. Stay insect-safe
With the arrival of heat, insects become more present.
Protect yourself from insect bites using appropriate repellents and wearing long sleeves and pants in heavily populated mosquito or tick areas. Apply sunscreen before insect repellent. Reapply sunscreen after 2 hours and after swimming, sweating, or toweling off.
Check for ticks after spending time outdoors, especially in wooded or grassy areas. If you see that the bites are abnormal or do not disappear, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
9. Get sufficient rest
Although the days are longer and the sun sets later, taking time to rest is essential.
Not getting enough sleep is linked to increased appetite, higher blood sugar levels, difficulty concentrating, low immunity, and grumpiness.
If you have trouble falling asleep and sleeping well due to the heat, there are some tips you can follow:
- Use an air conditioner, fan, or open windows to create a cool and comfortable sleeping environment. Use blackout curtains to block out sunlight if it interferes with sleep.
- Choose lightweight and breathable fabrics for your sheets, pillowcases, and pajamas. Cotton and linen are good options as they allow for better airflow and can help you stay cool.
- Both caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns. Try to avoid consuming them in the evening or close to bedtime.
- Establish a consistent sleep schedule and wind down with a relaxing routine before bed. This could include activities such as reading a book, practicing gentle stretching or yoga, or listening to calming music.
The ideal would be to sleep between 7 and 9 hours, resting the body and mind and recharging energy! Proper rest is essential for overall health and well-being.
10. Reduce alcohol consumption.
The good weather, music festivals, weddings, outdoor parties, and late afternoon barbecues may be accompanied by a nice cold alcoholic drink.
Drinking alcohol has several disadvantages: Besides being an unhealthy food choice, alcohol contains dozens of calories. Excessive alcohol affects certain parts of your brain, making you lazier and age faster.
Limiting alcohol consumption to a drink or two a day is certainly a good choice. Also, summer offers numerous activities that don't involve alcohol, such as outdoor sports, picnics, hiking, or swimming. Plan and participate in these activities to diversify your summer experiences and reduce reliance on alcohol for entertainment.
If you really desire a drink, try other refreshing beverages, or drink alcohol in moderation!
Here is some more advice for a perfect summer…
We already discussed preventing dehydration, insect bites, and sunburn. There are a few more tips you can consider in search of the perfect summer!
- Heatstroke and heat exhaustion: Avoid prolonged exposure to extreme heat to prevent heat-related illnesses. Stay in air-conditioned spaces when possible, and if you must be outdoors, take regular breaks in shaded areas, drink plenty of water, and wear lightweight, breathable clothing.
- Foodborne illnesses: During summer, food can spoil quickly due to the heat. Prevent foodborne illnesses by keeping perishable foods refrigerated or on ice, avoiding cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods, and not practicing good hygiene when preparing and serving meals.
- Allergies: Pollen and other allergens can be rampant during the summer months. Keep your windows closed, use air purifiers indoors, and wash your hands and face regularly to reduce exposure to allergens. Consult an allergist for appropriate medications and treatment options if you have severe allergies.
- Swimming accidents: If you plan to swim, make sure to do so in designated areas with lifeguards. Follow safety rules and guidelines, swim with a buddy, and always supervise children. If you're not a strong swimmer, consider wearing a life jacket.
- Travel issues: Plan and make reservations if you're traveling during the summer. Check for any travel advisories or weather conditions that may affect your trip. Pack essential items such as sunscreen, remedies, and first aid supplies.
- Power outages: Summer storms can lead to power outages. Prepare for such situations by having a backup power source like a generator or battery-powered device. Keep a stock of non-perishable food, flashlights, and a battery-powered radio for updates.
- Pet safety: Ensure your pets always have access to shade and fresh water. Never leave them in a parked car, even for a short time. Avoid walking dogs on the hot pavement to prevent burns on their paw pads.
The bottom line
Summer is a time to embrace the outdoors, enjoy the sunshine, and create lasting memories. By incorporating these health-focused tips into your summer routine, you can make the most of the season while taking care of your well-being. Stay hydrated, protect your skin, try new fitness routines, savor the bounties of nature, spend time in the great outdoors, prioritize relaxation, and be mindful of insect safety. With these practices in mind, you can ensure a healthy and fulfilling summer that leaves you feeling refreshed and ready for whatever comes next. So, go out there, make the most of this vibrant season, and thrive in the warmth and beauty of summer!