Healthy-Bod Summer 2022
5 Tips for a healthier YOU this summer!
Who needs the perfect body? I know, I know – we all want to make some improvements on some area of our bodies, and nothing is more confronting about our insecurities than summer approaching. However, I’m here to tell you that the “perfect body” doesn’t exist! In our imaginations it does, but in reality, everyone has insecurities about something when it comes to how they look. Instead of focusing how we look for the summer, I’d like to introduce some tips to improve how we FEEL this summer. Our health, no matter how we look on the outside, determines how we feel. If we live a healthy lifestyle, and are in great health, we can’t help but feel good about ourselves and how we look – our level of health does directly affect our self-image. So let’s explore several ways we can add vibrancy and vitality to our lives this summer!
1. Eat local and in-season foods. – Farmer’s markets have become buzzing marketplaces, providing fun and food for the whole family. Not only are in-season fruits and vegetables sold, but you can often find locally sourced meats and dairy products as well. Making the best of this season’s farmers markets truly add so much vitality to our lives and our diets by introducing varieties of foods we don’t have access to the rest of the year! Humans thrive on variety, and all the different kinds of foods grown throughout spring and summer provide all kinds of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients we don’t normally eat that aid in building great health! Get creative with some recipes and your body is sure to thank you!
2. Get hydrated. – Because the transition into summer is a gradual process, we tend to overlook our body’s increased need for water when it starts to get hot. Depending on our activity level, our water intake needs can double or sometimes triple in the summer from our winter habits. If you have a habit of drinking a half to two-thirds of a gallon of water in the winter (for more active individuals), then expect your body to need a gallon to a gallon and a half of water in the summer for the same activity level. As surprising as this is, deliberately increasing our water intake in the summer will help us handle the heat better, and keep our energy levels high when they have a tendency to dip during the mid-day heat. Consuming extra water-rich foods such as in-season fruits and veggies will also help the body retain proper hydration!
3. Get outside, but be mindful of sun exposure. – This is such a big tip. There are many of us who simply don’t care about sun exposure, we just want to live outside all day every day in the summer. While other people tend to be so fearful of the sun, they would over-compensate for those fears by avoiding the sun at all costs, and staying indoors most of the summer. Both are extremes, and both types of people need the outdoors, and sunshine, but how do we balance exposure? Of course, most everyone will burn eventually, but each person’s tolerance to sun exposure varies, sometimes drastically. In the early season, 15-45 minutes of sun exposure each day is enough to get the benefits of sunlight on our skin without burning. Towards the end of the season, we can often double or triple that exposure without burning. Intentionally get your 15-45 minutes of sun each day, and after that point if you must remain outside, apply sunscreen liberally as directed. Or you can choose to find shade, or wear big hats and shawls to cover exposed areas. Either way, the answer to sun exposure is the goldilocks theory: not too much, not too little. We need some sunlight exposure for our health, but too much can be incredibly damaging (and painful!), while too little does not allow our bodies to store enough vitamin D for the winter. The only way to navigate this is to be mindful and deliberate about our sun exposure.
4. Stay active. – If you already have a habit of exercising throughout the rest of the year, this one will be a no brainer. However, putting our indoor training to some functional use is more of what I’m speaking to in this tip. Stay active, as in use your current fitness level and play more outside! Such as tennis, volleyball, soccer, biking, walking or running outside (as opposed to on the treadmill), rock climbing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and so many other fun sports to play outside. If you’re prone to overheating, avoid mid-day and tackle these fun sports early in the morning, or later in the evening as the sun stays out for much longer this season. Enjoy the longer days and play outside!
5. Invite more play into your social life. – Winter-time tends to put a damper on many fun sociable activities that we like to do outdoors. This summer, if you’ve been feeling a little down or disconnected from your community, make a point to set up fun activities with friends. Host a few cook-outs this year, or invite a few friends to play tennis early in the morning. Take a few friends and walk in the park while the kids play on the playground, or find a few water activities and have a mini-waterpark adventure in your backyard! Take this time to deliberately catch up with friends in settings that are much more fun than sitting inside. Taking advantage of the warm weather as the sun sets, can make for some amazing memories with people you love. Prioritizing fun and social activities in our summer will add a ton of vibrancy to our lives!
I hope you all have a great summer this year, and allow your life to build health and vitality throughout the next few months. Summer truly is a wonderful season to celebrate and enjoy life to the fullest, whatever that means for you. Shake off the winter funk, and cold-weather blues, and make 2022 the best summer yet! Here’s to a Healthy-Bod and a Vibrant-You this season! Shine on, friends!