Here are some simple summer wellness tips for healthy living:
1. Get your vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient needed to support properly bodily functioning—everything from immunity to mood to defending cells against cancer! Though most of the nutrients our body needs are available via the food we eat, vitamin D is actually primarily obtained via sun exposure.
2. Eat your sunscreen
No, not the lotion in a tube! But real food is actually some of the best sunscreen around.
That’s because sunburn is a type of inflammation, and diet has a tremendous impact on inflammation in the body. Your diet can increase or decrease your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, as well as its ability to repair itself when it does get damaged.
To reduce your sun-sensitivity and risk of sun damage, make sure you’re eating enough anti-inflammatory foods like:
Healthy fats rich in Omega-3s: Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation in your body and promote healing. Good sources include fish (like sardines and salmon), eggs, flaxseed and walnuts. Omega-3s are also available in supplement form via fish oil and flaxseed oil (vegan).
Other healthy saturated fats: Choose healthy saturated fats like coconut oil, avocado oil and organic grass-fed butter. Saturated fats are the building blocks of healthy skin (and hair and nails).
Veggies: The vitamins and antioxidants in veggies help to protect cells from the effects of UV radiation. Leafy greens and tomatoes are particularly good.
Other antioxidant-rich foods: Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals in your cells, as well as protect against sunburn and skin damage. In addition to veggies, berries, beans, nuts and green or black tea have high antioxidant properties.
3. Protect your skin with natural sun care
One of the best, most natural methods of sun care is to cover up and enjoy the sun responsibly.
That means that if you’re going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, it’s best to wear a hat and cover up your shoulders, neck, arms and any other part of your body that will take direct sunlight. Typical summer fabric has an SPF somewhere between 4 and 7. Generally, the tighter knit the fabric, the higher the protection.
The benefit of covering up instead of using topical sunscreen is that it doesn’t get into your bloodstream (here’s more about what's in conventional sunscreen protects and why we don’t necessarily want to put that on our skin before sitting in the sun), fabric doesn’t wash off or need to be re-applied, and its lower SPF still gets you some vitamin D.
4. Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is important any time of year (the human body is about two-thirds water, and we need it for all bodily functioning!)—but it’s especially important in the summertime sun and heat.
In general, you’ll want to drink about two-thirds of your body weight in ounces of water each day. (In other words, a person weighing 100 pounds would aim for 67 ounces of water daily).
And, remember to boost your water take if you spend time in the heat—especially exercising or exerting yourself in the heat.
5. Add more fresh fruits + veggies to your diet
Some of our most common nutrition tips that apply to everyone, of all different dietary needs and preferences, are to:
Eat the rainbow (make sure you’re eating each color of the rainbow regularly!)
Make half your plate veggies
6. Practice self-care
Summer is one of the best times to start a new wellness routine—the longer days, brighter sunshine, fresh air tend to help us feel more energetic and optimistic and better able to set and reach our personal goals.
That means it’s a perfect time to get started with a new healthy lifestyle habit that you’d like to continue carrying into the colder, wintery months too.
7. Develop an exercise routine
For the same reasons establishing a self-care routine tends to be easier in the summer, the warmer summer months are also a great time to start (and stick with!) a new exercise routine.
8. Reduce tv time
Many of the healthy habit “add-ons” mentioned above are easier accomplished with a couple extra hours in your day… which can be found by reducing TV time.
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