Summer is upon us, and this is the best time to enjoy the outdoors to help us get fit and stay healthy. It is easy to overindulge in the summer time in Sun, Fun and many other activities but keep in mind all good things in moderation. These 6 health tips are easy to implement and will help you enjoy the most of your summer.
1) Stay Hydrated with Water! When your water intake does not equal your output, you can become dehydrated. Fluid losses are accentuated in warmer climates, during strenuous exercise, in high altitudes, and in older adults, whose sense of thirst may not be as sharp. In the sun any activity can put you in a state of dehydration. It is critical that while you are doing any strenuous or vigorous activities in summer, you drink more than the recommended 8 glasses of water. Remember cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. “When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and your performance can suffer.”
2) Exercise in the summer, everything outside can be your gym! One of the best benefits is you can get your exercise for free without any gym membership! You can stop at a park and set up a circuit training or obstacle course workout. Jungle gyms are great between pull-ups and picnic tables for step aerobics. Swim some laps at a local pool or lakes. The possibilities are endless, you don’t need a trainer, and there is no line for equipment! Plus, you get the added bonus of fresh air and sunshine.
3) Get Plenty of Vitamin D. This is the best time of year to get Vitamin D because it is free! Our skin makes vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight, which means we do not have to purchase supplements. 15-20 minutes a day during the time with the strongest rays (10 am to 2 pm) with the most skin exposed will generally provide individuals with their optimal daily dose. Vitamin D has been shown to promote healthy bones and teeth, fight depression, help brain development in pregnancy and infancy, and help decrease inflammation and more. Vitamin D has a large impact on our global health and deficiencies show up in almost all body systems. To determine your levels, a simple blood test can be taken at your doctor’s office. Healthy levels should be around 50-60 ng /ml. What can be more fun than getting the best vitamin D around by simply going outside to play?
4) Eat Fresh, Local Produce. Eating fresh, local produce is the healthiest thing you can do for your body. Farmers markets pick their seasonal best, full of the highest value of nutrients and vitamins. You may even be able to make it a summertime family event to pick the fruit or vegetables yourself. Local produce is also low in calories and keeps you feeling full for a long time. Many dark colored veggies also contain compounds that decrease inflammation and naturally protect your skin from sunburn. Some plants, such as garlic, may also help stop bugs from feasting on you as well.
5) Use Essential Oils for Summer Skincare. Two products that are used heavily in the summer are sunscreen and bug spray. If you are looking for healthy non-toxic alternatives to these products, you can implement essential oils. Essential oils are a wonderful way to create safe, healthy and natural products for use on the skin. Many oils are excellent at repelling ticks, mosquitos, bees, biting flies, and can also treat stings and bites if they occur. The most common ones are eucalyptus, citronella, lemongrass, tea tree, geranium, catnip, clove, lavender, thyme, rosemary, garlic and peppermint. Oils can be mixed with water, alcohol, or witch hazel, to make a spray. Or they can be diluted with a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil and rubbed on the body, or simply dabbed on. The possibilities with oils are endless. While oils alone may not prevent sunburn, they can be used after a burn to soothe and lessen the severity. A simple mixture of lavender, peppermint and water in a spray bottle is a great post-sun spray to soothe sore skin.
6) Chiropractic Care and Massage Therapy. Since we tend to be more active and physical in the summer, our muscles and joints often become more fatigued. Whether running, playing sports or gardening, an increase in physical activity can cause our bodies some discomfort. Instead of running to the medicine cabinet for some over the counter pain relief, try some bodywork that promotes healing and may prevent future injuries. Chiropractic is a great way to realign the spine and extremities, balance the nervous system, relax muscles, and promote healing. Chiropractic adjustments can help in correcting the cause of the pain, and in turn, make your body even stronger and healthier. Massage therapy is great for relieving sore and tired muscles, removing built-up toxins and lactic acid, improving lymph flow, and promoting overall relaxation. Together, chiropractic and massage therapy can keep your physical body going strong throughout all of your summertime activities.
From all of us at OHP Kelowna, enjoy a healthy and happy Summer!
Source: Standford Chiropractic