It’s officially summer, which means longer days and warmer temperatures. As you’ll most likely be spending more time outdoors and on vacation within the coming months, it’s important that you keep your body’s health and wellness top of mind. While the summertime often accounts for a boost in mood, motivation, and productivity, it also means a greater risk in terms of over-exposure to sunlight, dehydration, and other potential problems that may affect your health. So, as you spend more time soaking up the sun, this month’s blog will dive into summer wellness tips for healthy living!
1) Get Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient needed to support proper function of the body. It helps boost the immune system, enhance mood, as well as defend cells against cancer. While most of the nutrients our body needs are available from the food we eat, our main source of vitamin D is obtained through sun exposure. However, as many people spend a majority of their days indoors, vitamin D is, in fact, one of the most common deficiencies today. So, as the days get warmer and sunnier, make sure to get outside and get your natural vitamin D. To maintain healthy blood levels, make it a priority to get around 10 to 30 minutes of sunlight, several times per week. Doing so will ensure optimal health in terms of your body’s overall function. That being said, make sure to practice proper sun care as it is an important part of enjoying the sun.
2) Sun Protection
Although sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, too much UV light from the sun can also be hazardous to the body. Over-exposure to UV rays can contribute to skin damage and cancer risk, making it extremely important to be cautious of the amount of sun exposure your body is receiving. You can enjoy the sun responsibly, while protecting your body from UV rays by:
- Limiting direct exposure to the sun (10 to 30 minutes)
- Wearing sunscreen (SPF of at least 30) that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and reapplying sunscreen after swimming and sweating
- Wearing protective clothing such as hats and sunglasses
- Eating anti-inflammatory foods, including healthy fats rich in omega-3s (fish, eggs, flaxseeds), other healthy saturated fats (avocado, cheese, and nuts), and antioxidant rich foods (vegetables, berries, and beans)
By protecting your skin with the proper amount of exposure and coverage, you’ll gain the positive benefits of vitamin D, while keeping your body protected from the hazards of UV rays.
3) Stay Hydrated and Cool
Staying hydrated is essential any time of the year, but it’s even more vital during the summer due to the effects that the sun and heat have on the body. In order to stay hydrated and replenish the fluids that the body loses through sweat, you should aim to drink around eight glasses of water daily. Remember to also increase your water intake when spending time in the heat, especially when exercising and exerting yourself. Drinking enough water will help you maintain the balance of your body’s fluids and temperature, energize and lubricate your muscles and joints, support your digestive system, and deliver oxygen throughout your body. If you’re spending time outdoors and find yourself sweating or overheating, drink a glass of water – your body will thank you. Don’t forget that heat exhaustion can also be caused by sweltering weather. If you’re feeling warm and need time to cool off, head to a shaded area or even go inside – your body needs time to regulate its temperature, and cooling off will prevent heat exhaustion from occurring.
4) Add More Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
Another tip that applies year-round but is also more prevalent in the summertime is to consume in-season fruits and vegetables. We all know that fruits are vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are essential for a variety of reasons. But, when it comes to the summer, your options for in-season fruits and vegetables are even greater. Fruits such as peaches, plums, berries, apricots, nectarines, and melons are in full bloom during this time. Vegetables such as corn, zucchini, squash, and beans are also in their prime throughout the summer. So, make sure to eat plenty of fruits and fill half your plate with vegetables. With the summer being a great time to prioritize your diet with fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, it’s the perfect opportunity to boost your body’s immune function with healthy eating.
5) Refresh Your Lifestyle and Practice Self-Care
With the fresh air, longer days, and brighter sunshine, the summer is one of the best times to refresh your lifestyle. Whether it be a new wellness routine or simply a new healthy habit, the summer often instills a greater sense of energy, optimism, and productivity, making it the perfect opportunity to better set and reach your personal goals.
Don’t forget to put self-care at the top of your to-do list. Doing so will contribute to your overall health and wellness, allowing you to feel more content and fulfilled as a whole. Below are some self-care activities that you can enjoy throughout the summer:
- Yoga and meditation
- Reading and gardening
- Starting a wellness journal
- Walks around your neighbourhood
- Spending quality time with friends and family
- Doing the things you love!
- Scheduling health and wellness appointments such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care
6) Boost Your Physical Activity
With mid-day being the warmest time of the day, early mornings and evenings are often the ideal times to go outside and work in some physical activity. As physical activity plays a significant role in boosting your mental health, enhancing your fitness, and improving your quality of sleep, make sure to fit in some outdoor exercise into your routine. Some outdoor activities that will boost your physical and mental health include:
- Walking and hiking
- Visiting an outdoor recreation center
- Exploring a conservation park
- Going for a jog or bike ride
- Enjoying some swimming
While outdoor exercise will provide several health benefits at large, also make sure to protect your skin and stay hydrated. By keeping your health at the forefront of your activities, you’ll not only enjoy the wonders of the outdoors, but you’ll also support your physical and mental health along the way.
With summer being a time of outdoor exercise and activities, we hope this blog provided you with important wellness tips for healthy living! If you need extra support in enhancing your health and wellness, our team of certified professionals can help you bring your physical and mental health to its full potential. Contact us today to book an appointment at our Lancaster, Waterloo, Driftwood, or Baden locations.
Want more lifestyle advice on how to improve your health and wellness? Contact our LiveWell Health and Physiotherapy Kitchener (Lancaster and Driftwood), Baden, or Waterloo teams for more information and to book your next appointment. You can also reach out to us by email or social media, and one of our team members will be more than happy to answer any of your questions! All of our practitioners have tips and expert guidance to help improve your health and overall quality of your life.