Even now with things so off-kilter and normal routine completely out the window, the sunshine and warmth just make us happy ( at least it does me!) and make it easier to be active, with working in the garden, swimming, hiking, golf, tennis… so many options to be healthy.
And, with all the fresh summer produce for truly nutritious colorful meals and plenty of chance to get your vitamin D, there’s no better time to renew your commitment to living well and making healthy habits a priority.
So, How can you take full advantage of the season?
Drink more water.
Especially now we need to be sure to stay hydrated. For one thing, it is a major player in our cooling system. Sweating is the body’s way of cooling itself off. And to be able to sweat you need adequate water. If you are in the heat and suddenly find yourself STOP sweating be sure to get inside to cool off and hydrate immediately. This is your body’s warning sign that you are getting dangerously close to heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.
Less dire but something that is worth knowing, being even 10% dehydrated slows your metabolism. So, keep your metabolism running smoothly by making sure to drink plenty of water. This can even help you get rid of a few extra pounds and keep them off. Yay!
For an easy appetite suppressant, drinking a glass of water before each meal will help fill you up faster and keep you from over-indulging.
Every cell in our body requires water. Your discs in your spine are 88% water. Being dehydrated causes them to lose their cushioning quality leading to stiffness and back pain. Our blood is mostly made up of water, being dehydrated thickens the blood and makes your heart work harder to circulate it. This will raise your blood pressure. Leg cramps? Drink more water! Want soft supple skin? Yup, drink more water. Feel a little ‘bound up’? water is good for that too. Seeing a pattern? A healthy body starts with water!
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink either. The same way your eyes aren’t as good as they used to be or your hearing may need a little help, our sense of thirst dulls with age. If you’re thirsty chances are you’re already slightly dehydrated,
How much should you drink? WebMd recommends ½ to 1 oz of water per pound of body weight. So 150lb person should aim for 75-150 oz of water a day, aim for the high end if you are working out or sweating. If this seems like a lot, try increasing your intake gradually, Drink a full bottle or glass of water as soon as you get up and then keep a bottle with you and drink small sips all throughout the day. Refill as needed. Drink a glass with every meal and you’ll be well on your way to improving your hydration level. Need some more ideas of how to up your intake? Give me a call I have some other ideas that may help, too.
Getting bored with plain water? Add some fruit or mint leaves for a nice refreshing change of pace.
Avoid the hottest part of the day.
Gardening can be hard work, so get your weeding done just after breakfast, then take your evening walk after the sun starts to lose its intensity. These are great ways to enjoy the outdoors this time of year while staying safe.
Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen!
Too much sun ages your skin more than any other single factor. Worse than that, it causes skin cancer. According to Consumer Reports, over 60% of people 60 years of age and up don’t use sunscreen. Protect yourself. Skin cancers are on the rise in Baby Boomers.
A sunscreen with UVA AND UVB protection with an SPF of 30 or above is your best bet. And once and done isn’t enough. If you are out in the sun for several hours you need to reapply. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends 1 oz of sunscreen, about what would fill a shot glass, to properly cover your body. Pay special attention to (often neglected) ears, top of the feet, and unless you’re wearing a hat, the top of your head where your hair parts, (hit a sunburned scalp with a comb and you’ll know it!)
If you do get too much sun soothe tender skin with a spray recommended by Men’s Health Magazine. Mix 2 oz of which hazel, 1 oz coconut oil and 1 oz aloe vera. Then add 5 drops each of lavender oil and peppermint oil. Shake well and mist on sunburned skin as needed. Which hazel calms inflammation, aloe and coconut oil moisturize, Lavender will soothe the skin, and the peppermint oil ( diluted) will help cool your skin.
Keep Mosquitos at Bay.
Just a little bit of standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos, so don’t give them a chance to even get started. Store empty flower pots and buckets upside down and dump out any place where water collects. To keep mosquitos from chasing you back indoors, use bug lights in your light fixtures outside and bug repellent on the grass. To keep them off you, many people swear by Avon Skin So Soft. It smells nice but evidently the bugs don’t like it 😊
A Riot of Color
Roadside stands are plentiful now. Take advantage of the bounty of vegetables and fruit straight from a local garden. The produce will be fresher and more nutritious than you find in any grocery store.
Turns out, drinking alcohol makes you more susceptible to sunburn. The amount of UV exposure you can get before burning is substantially less after consuming a few drinks. Summer sunshine and too much alcohol is a cocktail you don’t want to mix.
Before you know it this summer will be over, so enjoy it while you can. Eat well, exercise, get plenty of rest, be careful in the sun, and HAVE FUN! It’s good for your stress levels!
Want help creating healthy lifestyle habits?
Whether you need just a few words of encouragement and accountability, or someone to walk with you every step of the way on your health journey I’m here for you. Just reach out and together we can map out a path that’s just right for you and easy to maintain
Have a safe and happy summer!
Look Good Feel Good Live Better!