Our top tips for your health this summer
Summer is here! A change of season calls for a change in routine, a revamped diet, and of course, a new exercise plans that fits in with the weather. The onset of warm weather can make your body more vulnerable to different types of ailments and there are simple precautions you can take to make summer more enjoyable and safe.
Eat healthy and light
Eat light, small, frequent meals. Heavy meals with large amounts of carbohydrates and fats give rise to a lot of heat in the body. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables that have high water content such as oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, etc.
Treat your eyes well
Protect your vision from the harsh sunlight at work and at play by wearing protective eyewear. When outdoors, wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of ultraviolet rays.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
Alcohol, fizzy drinks and coffee can quickly leave you dehydrated. If at all possible, try to reduce the amount of these type of drinks, especially during hot weather. Plain or sugar-free flavoured water is a good substitute.
Drink plenty of water
Heat and sweat in the summer months can leave your body dehydrated, causing unwanted health outcomes such as fever and chills. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking at least 2 to 3 litres of water every day.
In very hot weather, restrict outdoor activities to the cooler parts of the day – early mornings before 11am or after 3pm in the afternoon.
Improve your skin care routine
Summer can wreak havoc on your skin if proper care is not taken. Excessive oil and sweat can cause troublesome irritation, rashes, prickly heat and exacerbation of acne. Wash your face often or use tissues to wipe a sweaty face to avoid acne.
Prioritise good sleep
It’s so important for our bodies, but too often ignored. For the average adult the aim is 8–9 hours of sleep a night. Your bedroom needs to be as quiet and dark as possible to get your mind prepared for sleep after an active day and to help you stay asleep.
Find it hard to get to sleep? Why not try meditating for five minutes, writing down your top three things from the day to be grateful for or reading a few pages of a book before slipping into bed for a good night’s rest. Keeping your room at the ideal temperature for sleep in summer can be difficult. Try closing your blinds or curtains during the day to block as much heat from the sun as possible and ensure that your room is well ventilated by keeping your windows open.
Find excuses to move!
With the weather warming up and days getting longer, now’s the time to get active and move more. Just getting out and about for a walk locally can give you countless benefits. Reduced stress, better sleep, feeling fitter – what’s not to like? So, make the most of the summer weather – especially with our changeable climate – and go for regular walks, play outdoor sports like golf and tennis, do some gardening or get on your bike. Quick, before autumn is upon us!
Set good alarms throughout your day
There are many good alarms that you can set throughout your day to give you a consistent routine. For example, a reminder to start winding down ahead of bedtime, to drink water throughout the day, stand up (for those that work on computers all day) or to remind you to eat a healthy meal, if you often work through your lunch hour.
Develop better sunscreen habits
Love the skin you’re in and get into good habits this summer. We all know the drill when it comes to sun protection, yet many of us can get caught out, especially on partially cloudy summer days. Sunburn can be unpleasant and very sore and can increase your chances of developing serious health problems, such as skin cancer, later in life. Wearing sunscreen of SPF 50+ daily to help provide your skin with the best protection, for the longest period of time. Remember, if you are outdoors for a great deal of time, you will need to reapply throughout the day and try to cover up during the hottest part of the day (11am–3pm).
Top up your vitamin D
Vitamin D supports healthy bones and immunity and is made by the action of sun on our skin so our levels can drop quite significantly during the cooler months. It can still be difficult to get enough from the sunshine (without getting sunburn) and our diet, even in summer months. You can keep levels topped up with a supplement to support yourself.