Summer is here at long last, making it the perfect time of year to start that new exercise, diet, or health regimen. Unfortunately, many people don’t know quite where to begin when it comes to summer health, and while it’s always best to consult your doctor for specific health tips, there are some basic pieces of advice that can help everyone enjoy a happy, healthy summer. Here are just a few pieces of summer health advice you just can’t afford to skip.
Sip on Some Refreshing Summer Smoothies
The sweltering heat of summer often leads to the temptation for sweet and refreshing treats. According to an AACD survey, virtually all adults (99.7%) surveyed believe a healthy smile is socially important but too much added sugar can cause tooth decay and hurt your oral health. With that in mind, don’t stop for an ice cream cone when your sweet tooth strikes — resist the urge and head home to make your own smoothies, which have natural sugars.
There are countless smoothie recipes online that incorporate various fruits, vegetables, greens, and more. Or, you can combine any of your favorite ingredients and make a one-of-a-kind smoothie recipe of your very own. For an extra health boost, consider throwing in some microgreens: a tiny form of edible greens produced from very young vegetables, herbs, or other plants. They range in size from one to 1.5 inches long, including the stem and leaves.
“These seedlings are high in protein, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and have few calories … Since microgreens are very young greens, they have a better texture and less bitter taste than their more mature versions. This makes them a great addition to any smoothie,” writes BetterMeForLife.
Spend Time Outdoors
The average American now spends about half a day staring at screens. A Nielsen Company audience report found that U.S. adults spend 10 hours and 39 minutes each day consuming media. With that in mind, it’s essential to cut down on screen time and take advantage of summer weather by spending more time outdoors. Get active and get some exercise by hiking, swimming, and playing sports. Talk to some friends about which fun activities you all love and can enjoy with each other. Exercising doesn’t have to be tedious, boring, and in a dank, dark gym — embrace the outdoors and do all you can to keep your body moving on your terms.
Despite all the summertime fun ahead, it’s critical to keep your personal health needs in mind. One major summertime health aspect many people neglect is hydration, so whether you’re planning a quick 20-minute walk or an all-day hike, make sure to bring enough water. Similarly, if you’re enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two, make sure to alternate with water to stay hydrated, and frankly, prevent a hangover. In fact, there are a number of ways you can enjoy alcohol consumption without negative health risks and effects.
“Summertime cocktails and spritzers can be refreshing fun. To keep them healthy, alternate each with a full glass of water. This helps prevent dehydration and accidents from careless mishaps (by diluting consumed alcohol). When possible, dilute drinks with seltzer to reduce empty calories. Or, mix in seasonal fruit to add water content. Responsible drinking keeps your waist lean and your brain fit,” writes Michelle Sutton-Kerchner on FitnessAndWellnessNews.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen!
Aside from the excruciating pain, a bad sunburn can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. So before you go out and enjoy the weather, consider your activities and lather accordingly. About 95% of Americans live within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water, and if you’re swimming, make sure to get a waterproof variety to minimize the risk of sun damage. And as always, experts recommend an SPF of at least 50 for optimal sun protection. It’s also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Ultimately, it can be easy to let certain aspects of your health fall by the wayside during all of your summertime fun. But being mindful and aware of these basic tips can help keep you healthy all season long.