Summer is a great time for fun in the sun but it’s also a time you should be focusing on your health and wellness –really, you should focus on being healthy all the time. As you all know, I’ve been focusing on being healthier and losing weight. I’m super close to my weight goal and I don’t want the lazy, hazy days of summer to derail my progress.
Here are 8 ways to stay both physically and mentally healthy during the summer:
- Drink more water. The human body is made up of about 50-75% water. Always take time to properly hydrate over the summer because the high temps mean you’ll get dehydrated more easily. Really, if you’re feeling thirst, you’re already dehydrated so take that water with you everywhere and keep sipping. Your skin will thank you, too. I’ve been drinking water exclusively for a while now, and my skin has never been better.
- Protect your skin from the sun. The harsh rays of the sun can do damage that you might not see for many years. While sunburn is a risk, too much sun also contributes to wrinkles and other signs of aging and it also increases your risk of developing skin cancer later in life. So put on your sunscreen, a hat, or more clothing and protect yourself from the sun. Even people with darker skin should wear sunscreen. Just because you don’t see or feel the burn, doesn’t mean your skin hasn’t been affected.
- Eat a healthy diet. It’s far too easy to get busy in the summer and forget to eat healthy. You may not feel like cooking when it’s hot out and this makes it more tempting to just grab fast food or eat junk. Take time to plan light, healthy meals and keep a watch on your diet even in the summer months. (Yes, even at BBQs.)
- Get regular exercise. This is something you should be doing all year long. While it may seem like it’d be easier to exercise in the summer, some people *cough* me *cough* let the hotter temps of the summer deter them. Others stay so busy with activities and travel that their exercise is nearly nonexistent. Try to make it a regular habit and stick to it.
- Brush and floss daily. Did you know that your dental health can actually affect other parts of your body and your overall health? That’s why it’s super important to brush and floss daily. Again, this is something you should be doing year-round but the fast pace that many have in summer means they might slack off a bit on the dental hygiene. Consider this a friendly reminder, because teeth are important.
- Take it easy on the alcohol. Summer parties means there might be more alcohol than you’re used to and people have a tendency to overdo it on high-calorie drinks. No one’s saying stop drinking altogether, just try to avoid over-drinking or drinking too often. And, when you do drink, you can always choose lighter drinks with less calories. Also, did you know that drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration? (See tip number one.)
- Get enough sleep at night. Rest is always important but the long days and hot nights of summer mean many people aren’t getting enough sleep. Make sure you’re still getting a healthy amount, even in the summer months.
- Reduce and manage your stress. We can’t all make our stress go away (I wish), but there are things you can do to reduce it. There are also healthy ways you can manage this stress in order to have a healthier life. This summer why not take up yoga, meditation, or journaling to help you manage your stress?
Working to stay healthy during the summer doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy all of your favorite activities. You definitely can, just try to but you can do so while keeping your health and wellness in mind.