If there’s one thing we can all agree upon, it’s that this summer is unlike any other.
In years past, you may have associated summer with focusing on how to look your best in a swimsuit (whatever that looks like for you). But this year, most pools are closed and sunbathing is probably the furthest thing from your mind.
Instead, it makes a lot of sense to prioritize your health this summer. With so much talk about viruses and illnesses, it certainly can’t hurt to provide the immune system with a much-needed boost.
Here are five ways to make your health a priority this summer.
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Make this summer the summer of exercise. Regardless of how you do it, be sure to commit to exercise each day. Exercise is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle, and it’s great for your physical and mental health. Try an early morning hike or an inside workout if it’s too hot.
Enjoy some fresh fruits and veggies when they are ripe and in-season. Not only will they be more nutritious this way, but they’ll also taste better. Some summer veggies include corn, cucumbers, green beans, broccoli, and eggplant. Seasonal fruits include cherries, blueberries, pineapple, plums, and watermelon. Take advantage of the warm weather by consuming the myriad of fresh foods that ripen now.
And if you want bonus points, look for some fun recipes that include all fresh summer fruits and veggies. If you want to keep it even more interesting, join a CSA or produce program like Imperfect Foods where you can get a different variety of produce delivered each week.
In the summer months, we lose more of our body’s water supply through sweat, and this can be dangerous if we don’t replenish. This is why you should be sure to hydrate well and often in the summer months. Try to drink half your body weight in ounces every day, and you’ll want to split it up from morning to late evening. Coffee is a diuretic, so it doesn’t count towards your total. It may even increase your body’s need to replenish.
Remember that the body is mostly made up of water, and it is essential to your health. If you need help keeping track or finding motivation, there are many apps available that can help you track water consumption.
Heatstroke is real, and it’s not something you want to mess with. So try to avoid spending extended periods in the hot sun, especially during a heat advisory. If you can’t help but spend time in the heat, be sure to hydrate well and avoid physical exertion as much as possible. There are also cooling products you can buy for the times you know you’re going to be spending time in the heat. Such products include cooling shirts, moisture-wicking clothing, a handheld misting fan, and cooling patches. Cooling patches are designed to help children keep their fevers down, but they’ll also work to lower your body temperature when you’re out in the hot sun.
Not only can alcohol dehydrate you, but it’s generally terrible for your overall health. But in recent times, we’re seeing many people abusing alcohol to relieve stress. This is a dangerous and slippery slope that can (and often does) lead to alcoholism.
If you’ve gotten into the habit of drinking alcohol every day, it’s time for a break. Consider taking a one-week break from alcohol to start. If you find that easy, consider keeping it up. On the other hand, if you find that you can’t take a break for even a day or two, you may need help kicking the habit. Reach out to an alcohol counselor or group.
A lot is going on this summer, but you can still make this the summer you get healthy. Make small changes every day, and you’ll work towards a healthier lifestyle.