Taking steps to ensure your wellness–whether physical, emotional, or mental–is important all year round. However, there are certain actions you can take that are particularly helpful in the warmer months.
Check out these tips that can help you shine all summer long:
Drink Five 8-oz. Glasses of Water Every Day.
Water helps with digestion, food vitamin and mineral absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
Toss the Potato Salad.
Don’t be a victim of the “cookout flu.” It takes roughly two hours for bacteria in foods to grow to dangerous levels, which is why you want to minimize the amount of time food is in the temperature danger zone (between 41 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit). On days that are 90 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, that time shrinks to one hour.
Eat a Rainbow.
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients that give them their beautiful hues. Each phytonutrient contains different vitamins and minerals that are essential to the human body. Eating a wide variety of color in your diet assures you’re getting the nutrition you need, and there’s no better time than summer in Pennsylvania to find fresh, colorful produce. Check out your local farm stands.
Take a Hike.
Walking improves circulation, can stop bone loss in those with osteoporosis, may extend your life, can stop the loss of bone mass for those with osteoporosis, releases natural painkilling endorphins to the body, helps you lose weight, strengthens muscles, improves sleep, supports joint health, increases your breathing rate, slows mental decline, lowers Alzheimer’s risk, and may reduce the incidence of disability in the activities of daily living for people older than 65. Not bad for a little stroll…
Slathering on the sunscreen protects you from sunburn and lessens the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and dark spots. It also reduces your risk of skin cancer and broken blood vessels just below the surface of your skin.
Avoid Getting Ticked.
Ticks are common in our area and can cause serious illness and disease. Make sure to wear long pants tucked into socks and long sleeves if you are hiking or walking through tall grass. Wear a natural tick repellent such as cedar oil spray, eucalyptus oil or neem, and do a thorough tick check on skin, clothing, and pets after every outing.
Wear Your Shades.
UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or indoor artificial rays, can damage the eye’s surface tissues as well as the cornea and lens. Too much exposure to UV light raises your risk of eye diseases and other problems like cataracts, cancers of the eye, and a serious condition called solar retinopathy.
Learn How to Take the Heat.
Heat stress can come on quickly and is dangerous if you don’t know what to look for. If you or someone you’re with outdoors starts profusely sweating, feels faint or dizzy, or has a weak pulse, get into a cool place quickly. Stop all activity to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and recoup energy.
Ditch the Flip Flops.
For some folks, flip flops are THE summer fashion, but they can wreak havoc with your foot health. Because most flip flops lack the ability to support and protect your feet, you could end up with tendonitis in your toes, arch and heel problems, skin infections, and a host of other issues. Find a supportive sandal instead and save your soles.
Drink a Hot Beverage.
It seems like it wouldn’t make sense. But when you sip a hot beverage, your body senses the change in temperature and increases your sweat production. Then, as the sweat evaporates from your skin, you cool off naturally.
Pay Attention to Poisonous Plants.
Poison ivy, poison sumac or poison oak, causes issues for about 85% of the population. When out working in the yard or spending time in nature, be aware of the plants you’re exposing yourself to, especially if you’re not wearing long sleeves and pants.
If you are exposed, take a cool shower so you don’t open your pores, and wash with drying soap, like Dawn dish soap or Fels Naptha, to remove the plant’s oils from your skin.
Calm Your Mind with a Mini Meditation.
Studies show that contemplating nature during meditation can help calm you and strengthen your connection to the natural world.
Find a quiet spot outside and focus on your breathing for one to two minutes. Feel your breath expanding your chest and belly, and feel it contract as you exhale. Try to let go of any thoughts you might have. You can focus on them in a minute or two. This time is just for breathing.
People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
(That’s good advice any time of the year!)
Until we meet…