Your Health Guide to Summer

After spending several months self-quarantining at home, it’s no surprise that we’re all a bit anxious to get outside and enjoy the summer. But warmer temperatures can bring a few challenges when it comes to our health, so it’s important to get prepared in order to look and feel our best all summer long.

Protect your skin

Spending time in the sun can help your body produce vitamin D, but too much of it can cause skin damage and potentially cancer. As a precautionary measure, it’s important to limit your exposure to the sun as best you can. This may mean wearing a swimsuit covering when you’re not in the pool or tossing on a hat and 100% UV protection sunglasses before your afternoon walk.

Did you know that not all sunscreens have the same ingredients? Whether you shop at your local grocery store or online, it’s difficult to know what to look for and which to avoid. And while it’s easy to grab the inexpensive bottle, that doesn’t mean it’s always the safest. For instance, some brands may include harmful chemicals that irritate the skin more than they protect it. When choosing a product, avoid any added fragrances or parabens. What you want to look for bottles with zinc oxide as the main active ingredient and a high SPF. Remember, what goes on your skin goes into your body.

Get Moving

Regular exercise promotes heart health, strengthens muscles and joints, and improves your balance and coordination. But if your gym hasn’t opened back up yet, or you’re still concerned about social distancing, you may not know where to start. Thankfully, as the temperature gets warmer, it’s easier to get moving outdoors. Not only does outdoor activity promote your physical health, it also helps reduce stress and anxiety, fight depression, and promote wellbeing.

Whether you prefer hiking, playing tag in the backyard with your grandkids, or swimming laps in the pool — make it a goal to move your body for 30 minutes a day, and do so safely.  This means following the tips listed above, like reapplying sunscreen regularly, wearing proper clothing, and drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. Aim to get activities like gardening or mowing the lawn out of the way before noon or after 3 pm, when the sunlight isn’t as intense.

Eat right and stay hydrated

Summer goes by fast, so you don’t want the primary focus to be on your eating habits. However, it’s important to find a happy medium between deprivation and overconsumption. If you’re like most of us, the Saturday barbecue at your neighbor’s house can very quickly turn into an all-day food and beverage buffet. You don’t want to skip any social get-togethers, but you do want to plan ahead.

The trick is not to show up to an event hungry, as you’re more likely to overeat that way. Instead, eat a snack before you go that’s packed with veggies, protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Once you get to the event, you can treat yourself to a small helping of your favorite dish without feeling like you overindulged. Don’t deprive yourself, just focus on balance.

Whether you’re consuming alcoholic beverages or not, make it a habit to sip on water throughout the day — especially if you’re out in the sun. For low-calorie flavor, you may add slices of cucumber or your favorite fruit to a water pitcher in the refrigerator. And if you do consume alcohol, find mixers that aren’t high in processed sugar and never drink on an empty stomach. Additionally, be sure to snack on foods that promote liver health like almonds, broccoli, and blueberries.

Please contact us to learn more about bringing balance and vitality back to your life.