Each year, people worry about their beach body, how they'll look in a sundress, or other appearance-related things as summer rolls around. This worry is often accompanied by extreme dieting, exercise, or other behaviors that actually may hinder one's health. So, here are my top eight tips for keeping your body, mind, and soul healthy this summer.
1. Hit The Gym At Least 3 Times A Week
This has nothing to do with having abs, a toned butt, or slender legs (although those are all awesome goals). Exercising at least three hours a week can improve cardiovascular health, release endorphins that support mental health, and increase your metabolism.
2. Buy Fresh Fruit Often
Summer is my favorite season of the year for fruit. Cherries, peaches, blackberries, strawberries and plenty of other fruits are fully in season. Fresh fruit is full of fiber, antioxidants, and healthy carbs that support digestion and overall wellness. Substituting a small bowl of fresh fruit is a perfect swap for other sugary treats!
3. Spend More Time Outdoors
With jobs, school, and other commitments, it can be extremely difficult to plan extended amounts of time outdoors. However, even if you can't take a three-day camping trip to the mountains, it is still possible to soak up some sun. Taking a 20-minute walk after work, taking your dog to the park, or going to the public pool on the weekend are all easy ways to keep active and healthy.
4. Limit Sugary Summer Drinks
Summer often brings with it a plethora of different sugar-filled drinks. Cold sweet tea, sugary iced coffee, fruit punches, and frozen alcoholic drinks (margaritas, daiquiris, etc) can all pack a huge punch. Limiting these to 1-2x a week or less will keep your blood sugar in check, as well as ward off any unwanted pounds.
5. Drink Plenty Of Water
With the blazing summer heat, it can be very difficult to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your skin glowing, your hair healthy, and your body functioning properly. The rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day, i.e, 65 oz. if you are 130 pounds. Add another 16oz for every 30 minutes of exercise performed!
6. Put Down Your Phone Earlier
This has more to do with circadian rhythm and fatigue than anything. Because the sun is out later, your body is already wanting to go to sleep closer to 11 p.m. or 12 noon as opposed to 9 p.m. Staying on your phone, which emits blue light signaling your brain to stay awake, can make insomnia unbearable. Try putting your phone down an hour before you plan to go to bed; this will allow for restful sleep and the ability to wake up earlier.
7. Wear Sunglasses
Not only can your favorite pair of sunnies be super cute, but they also are highly necessary during the summer. UV values from the sun reach their peak during the summer months, which can wreak havoc on your eyes. Overexposure to UV can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other optic diseases that no one wants. Keep those sunglasses on outside and protect your eyes!
8. Find Your Quiet Place, And Spend Time In It
Whether it's a small nook in your home, a hot tub, a river close to your work, or some other place, it is important to find a place to reset your mind. Summer can be an extremely busy time for many people, and it is important to make sure your mind and soul are healthy. Spending time reflecting, journaling, praying, or reading is absolutely necessary to keep yourself fully healthy.
Hopefully, these tips are a useful reminder of ways to keep yourself healthy this summer. Health isn't just about appearance, it's about what's going on inside too! Keep these tips in mind as you head into the hot summer months.