Summertime – and the Living is Healthy!
Summer is here, the days are longer and there is plenty of time to enjoy life. One of the great things about summer is that is so easy to lead a healthier lifestyle. Here are a few tips to keep you healthy as you enjoy the warm days ahead.
1. Wear sunscreen. And a hat, for good measure. Don’t let all your healthy, fun, outdoor living turn into an increased risk for skin cancer.
2. Eat more berries. If you do one thing this summer to improve your diet, have a cup of mixed fresh berries — blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries — every day. They’ll help you load up on antioxidants, which may help prevent damage to tissues and reduce the risks of age-related illnesses. Blueberries and blackberries are especially antioxidant-rich. A big bonus: Berries are also tops in fiber, which helps keep cholesterol low and may even help prevent some cancers.
3. Be kind to your eyes. To protect your vision at work and at play, wear protective eyewear. When outdoors, wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays. Sunglasses can help prevent cataracts, as well as wrinkles around the eyes. And when playing sports or doing tasks such as mowing the lawn, wear protective eyewear. Ask your eye doctor about the best type; some are sport-specific.
4. Hydrate. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is especially important in the summer months when you run the risk of overheating. 8 glasses a day is a myth – water intake really depends on activity levels, but we should all follow the 70/70 rule which means that if it is over 70 degrees or above 70% humidity, or both, we should increase the amount of water we drink. Energy drinks and diet soda are not good substitutes for water and end up doing more harm than good, including increasing your risk for high blood pressure, depression, heart attack and diabetes. Stick to water.
5. Fill your grill with chicken, fish and veggies. Summer nights provide a great opportunity to get outside and grill your food. Lean meats, and chicken and fish in particular are great choices for the grill. For some great summer recipes go to cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/five-star-grill-recipes.
6. Get dirty! To improve your stress level, plant a small garden, cultivate a flower box, or if space is really limited, plant a few flower pots — indoors or out. Just putting your hands in soil is “grounding.” And when life feels like you’re moving so fast your feet are barely touching the stuff, being mentally grounded can help relieve physical and mental stress.
7. Spend more time outside. Pick one outdoor activity — going on a hike, taking a nature walk, playing games such as tag with your kids, cycling, roller blading, or swimming — to shed that cooped-up feeling of gym workouts. And remember, the family that plays together not only gets fit together — it’s also a great way to create bonding time.
8. Got lite on the alcohol. Summer’s a great time to skip drinks with hard alcohol and choose a light, chilled alcoholic beverage (unless you are pregnant or should not drink for health or other reasons).A sangria (table wine diluted with juice), a cold beer, or a wine spritzer are all refreshing but light. In moderation — defined as one to two drinks daily — alcohol can protect against heart disease.
9. Sleep Well. Resist the urge to stay up later during long summer days. Instead pay attention to good sleep hygiene by keeping the same bedtime and wake-up schedule and not drinking alcohol within three hours of bedtime. It’s also a good idea to avoid naps during the day unless you take them every day at the same time, for the same amount of time.
10. Relax, have fun and enjoy!
Sources: WebMD, Prevention.com, cookinglight.com, American Heart Association