The summer is a great time to get back on track with your physical and mental health. The sunshine naturally raises your vitamin D levels and the long, warm days make it easy to go for an evening stroll or an early morning run.
However, as nice as the summer is, you might feel as though you’re missing out on the health kick that everyone else seems to be enjoying. Fortunately, a little planning and preparation can go a long way in helping you take care of your body and mind during the summer.
You wouldn’t try to fix your car’s engine or your laptop’s hard drive without expert help — so why would you try to “fix” your own body or mind alone? Getting help with your physical or mental health will save you time and help you get a better understanding of your overall well-being.
Getting help with mental health is easier today than ever before. You can find therapists who suit you and your personality online through sites like BetterHelp and TalkSpace. Of course, you can always contact your health provider for in-person appointments, but connecting online will save you time which you can spend enjoying the warm summer weather and exercising outside.
Your mental and physical health go hand in hand, but when was the last time you enjoyed a gym session or exercise routine? Chances are, you probably spent that workout with a knowledgeable friend or partner who knew how to run a great session. If it’s been a while since you last tied up your laces or lifted some weights, then a personal trainer can be a great way to improve your accountability and get more from your workouts.
If you really want to get the most out of the summer, try joining exercise groups that get together outside. Tai chi and yoga are great for socialization and stretching under the summer sun is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and energized.
Most people mistakenly think that they can ignore their immune system during the summer as they’ll get enough vitamin D from the sun and are unlikely to catch a common cold outside of the typical winter flu season. However, in reality, summer colds spread quickly and COVID-19 is still among us.
There’s no singular way to boost your immunity and you need to avoid conspiracy theorists who tout their (expensive) pills and formulas online. Instead, do your best to boost your immune system by eating a nutritious diet and limiting your intake of sugars.
A varied diet rich in fruits and veggies usually gives your body access to all the vitamins it needs. Fruits like cabbages, berries, grapes, and leafy greens also provide your body with antioxidants in the form of “free radicals.” These can reduce inflammation in your body and improve your ability to overcome illness or injury this summer.
As well as eating your fruits and veggies, you should steer clear of eating excessive sugar this summer. Eating excessive sugar can dampen your immune system due to increased inflammation that occurs while your body attempts to digest added sugar. So, when building healthy summertime habits, do your best to miss the ice cream man.
You don’t have to turn into a crossfitter or marathon runner to reap the benefits of time spent outdoors during the summer. Even small changes to your daily routine like taking a walk at sunrise can benefit your physical health and improve your mental wellbeing.
Building outdoor-based habits are particularly important if you work in an office or are stuck in front of a computer screen while working remotely. Breaking up your day with walks in the sunshine is a great way to refocus on your tasks, and spending time outdoors can significantly improve the quality of your sleep.
Making time to go outside is particularly important if you work from home. Most remote workers have a sedentary nine-to-five job that involves virtual tasks. This means that, if you work from home you probably spend most of the day sitting at your desk. You can improve your mental health while working from home by downloading some guided walking meditations and taking a timed stroll during your work breaks or weekends.
When spending more time outside, be sure that you stay well hydrated and wear clothes and hats that protect your skin. It only takes 10 minutes to get heatstroke, which results in dizziness and a lack of focus. Fortunately, you can avoid heatstroke by drinking plenty of water, staying in the shade, and only exercising outdoors during the cooler mornings or evenings.
The summer is the ideal time to start a wellness kick. However, before you dust off your running shoes it’s worth reaching out to some experts who can get you the help you need and give you a productive path towards better physical and mental health. Remember to build some healthy habits of your own and take full advantage of seasonal fruits and veggies that are packed with immunity-boosting vitamins.