Since we are smack in the middle of summer and everyone is busy with vacations, get-togethers, and doing all the things, it’s incredibly important to pause and check in with your health.
Even though you might not be ready to think about fall (or if you're like me - you're a little excited for it), how well our bodies transition with the seasons largely depends on how well we take care of ourselves right now during the summer months. The healthier you are going into the end of summer, the better off you will fare moving into fall and winter, aka... your body will be better equipped to fight cold and flu season.
This is why I have put together 7 very simple tips so you can check in with yourself and adjust as needed while there is still time left this summer so you can feel great in your body.
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - and I'm not talking about those cocktails by the pool kind of hydration.
Your body needs water and during the hot months of summer, we typically need extra H2O to support our cellular health and function, especially if we are being active in the outdoor heat. Our cells require proper hydration to flush out toxins and to regulate all of our bodily systems. How are you doing with water intake? I like to take a big glass of water with me to bed, that way, when I wake up in the morning when my body is most dehydrated, I can drink the full glass and maximize my hydration. Think about it - You haven't ate or drank anything for hours and there is nothing in your system that your body has to filter through first thing in the morning so this allows water intake to go straight to your cells that desperately need some good old H20.
Bonus tips - Coconut water is full of electrolytes and is a great way to replenish and hydrate the body after being in the heat or being active (also helps after a few too many alcoholic beverages but try to avoid alcohol as much as possible to keep inflammation down in your body).
Add fruits and herbs such as mint, basil, strawberries, or cucumbers to your water for some flavor punch and more minerals.
2. Add in loads of local, seasonal, and organic fruits and veggies. Eating seasonally means that we eat fruits and vegetables growing in your area at that time of year. This is extremely important because those particular foods help support our immune systems for our particular environment at that specific time of year. For summer, think garden veggies- tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, beans, etc. On top of supporting our bodies for the environment we're living in, eating seasonally and locally also means that the food most likely didn't have to travel far to get from farm to table and that means more nutrients. The longer a fruit or vegetable goes from time of picking to get to your plate, the more nutrients it will lose so maximize your nutrition by choosing seasonal, local, and organic as much as possible.
Bonus tip- fruits help to cool the body in the summer heat- don’t be afraid of sugar in fruits, your body knows what to do with it and will appreciate all the extra fiber. Be mindful to avoid fruit juices as they don't contain the fiber your body needs and can spike blood sugar levels very quickly.
3. Keep Moving. It’s easy to stay indoors in the air conditioning where it’s more comfortable and you can binge some Netflix. However, netflix isn't exactly conducive to moving your body. Even small amounts of exercise can have a profound impact on your health. Exercising gets the lymphatic system moving which helps flush toxins from your system and reduce inflammation within the body and that means less illness, feeling better, staying regular in the bathroom, and strengthen all of your body systems.
Bonus tip- Try to get outdoors as much as possible for some fresh air and move in the early hours of the day or later to avoid the high heat during the middle of the day. Keep it simple and fun by going for walks, swimming, biking, or doing some basic strength exercises. The key is to mix it up often and have fun with moving your body. Find what works best for you, sometimes finding a buddy will help keep you both accountable.
4. Plan Ahead!!! Most of us are on the go quite a bit in the summer and even if we’re not, it’s incredibly important to plan ahead for everything! Whether you’re vacationing, heading to a cookout, or doing lunch with some friends, there are typically many opportunities to over indulge in some not so healthy foods or activities. Consider what your schedule will look like, what foods you can take with you, and make a plan in advance for how much you intend to indulge vs choosing healthier options. You don’t have to be the mother saint of everything healthy, but if you want to feel good in your body, planning is 100% the best thing you can do to keep yourself in check. For instance- Going to a cookout? See if you can take along a healthy option. Vacationing? Maybe you make a few of your own meals instead of eating out every meal or you check out restaurant menus ahead of time to find the healthier options and order an extra side of veggies.
5. Add in the good stuff first. You don’t have to deprive yourself at all. Piggy backing off of tips number #2 and #4, plan ahead to add in fruits and veggies to your meal first. That way, you fill up on the good stuff and tend to crowd out more of the not so great stuff plus you ensure you’re body is getting the nutrition it needs while not feeling like you have to avoid everything under the sun.
6. Practice self care and slow things down. We are on the go all the time these days and it’s more important than ever to take time to yourself to slow down, recuperate, and relax. What makes you feel calm and rejuvenated? A bath, reading a book, painting, dancing, getting a massage, playing a game with someone you love? Do whatever it is that fills your cup so to speak- unplugged! Get out of in front of your screens, away from technology, and do whatever makes you feel happy. Even if it’s 5 minutes here and there, slow down to fill up!
7. Get Your Zzz’s. We give our kids a bedtime routine or we usually had one as a kid ourselves. When and why did we ever stop this practice? Sleep is crucial to our health and well-being. It’s our bodies time to repair itself and without decent sleep, we simply don’t function on any level at our best. Getting into an evening routine can certainly help with getting to sleep and staying asleep through the night.
Check in with your health, how are you doing in each of these areas so far this summer? What could use some more attention and improvement? Being aware of areas we need to focus on with our health is the first step to improving those aspects that could use some extra attention.
Be gentle with yourself and start with one thing at a time, all the little things you do in the course of a day, a week, a month... they add up and it all matters. If you would like some support with getting started or maintaining some of these habits, let's chat - schedule a free consult by clicking here.
Here's to enjoying the rest of your summer,