While many people identify winter as the time of year they have to be mindful about maintaining a healthy lifestyle, summer is not without its unhealthy temptations. Barbeque pairs nicely with heavy pasta and potato salads, and don’t forget the popsicles and ice cream. Even still, summer gives us the opportunity to live life in the healthiest of ways, as long as you know where to steer clear of hidden dangers.
Follow these eight steps to your healthiest summer yet!
1. Load up on berries. Berries are full of anti-oxidants, and it’s no coincidence they are in season during the summer months. Anti-oxidants can prevent damage to tissues and reduce the risks of age-related illnesses. They are also chock full of fiber! Also in season during summer: melons, peaches, pears and cherries.
2. Repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are more than an annoyance. They also carry diseases with them, some of which can be deadly. While commercial bug repellent sprays can be made of toxic ingredients, there are ways to repel mosquitoes naturally. Mosquitoes hate citronella, lavender, lemongrass and eucalyptus scents. You can make your own candles or sprays with these essential oils, and even bathing in them can help keep the bites away. Also eating more garlic or throwing rosemary on the barbeque will go a long way to make sure those critters will not want to stick around. Most importantly, if standing water can be eliminated, get rid of it. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so keep dog bowls inside, clean your gutters, and empty garden items that collect water.
3. Exercise outside. Don’t be a gym rat. Get some fresh air! Go for a long walk, a run, a hike or a bike ride. All of these activities are great for your body, but doing them outside can be good for the soul, too. Taking time to be one with nature or reflect on your surroundings can be grounding. The best part, you don’t have to be a member to get your fit on, so you can make outdoor exercise a family affair.
4. Take a swim. Speaking of exercise, a dive in the pool can offer an excellent whole body workout without being tough on your joints. Floating weightlessly can also loosen your muscles and help you relax. Pools can be dangerous places for children. Take every safety precaution make sure kids cannot access a pool unattended, and that while swimming they are always monitored by an adult.
5. Wear sunglasses and protect your skin. The sun is good for you. It helps your body create Vitamin D, and can lift your spirits. Despite the benefits of the sun, it’s no secret that too much sun exposure can be dangerous. Make sure to protect your skin with organic sunscreen and protect your eyes with some cool shades. Also, a wide-brimmed hat can go a long way to protect both your eyes and your skin.
6. Stay hydrated. We all know it’s important to get in eight glasses of water a day, and this is especially important in summer. When it’s hot outside, your body releases sweat to cool itself down, and that water needs to be replenished. Water can also be found in summer fruits such as melons and berries.
7. Avoid over-intoxication. Nothing will dehydrate a person quicker than alcohol. It seems that every weekend during the summer there’s a barbeque, picnic or fancy outdoor soiree. While enjoying this time with your friends, keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum and water consumption at a maximum.
8. Take a vacation. Americans are terrible at taking their vacation time. Summertime is the perfect opportunity to get out of dodge and enjoy the scenery of a relaxing a beach or a busy city you’ve never visited before. A vacation is great way to reset your spirit, so you can go back to the daily grind refreshed and ready to take on your next challenge.
By following these tips, we hope you’ll have the best summer ever! And remember, when summer gets messy, Greenshield Organic is here to help you clean it up!