Ah, Summer! Longer days, warm nights, spending our time at the beach or pool, and barbeques. It’s also a season when many of us overdo it, including myself. Sunburns and heat exhaustion as examples. But there are ways that we can prevent these things from dampening our summer spirit.
To begin: sunscreen. We should all be doing what we can to protect our skin. Staying the shade when outdoors is the best, and sunscreen should still be applied. However, if you’re a sun worshiper or outdoor enthusiast, sunscreen should be a mandatory part of your daily regimen. And if you go in the water – or sweat a lot – be sure to reapply often. If you do get sunburned, cool (not cold) showers with aloe vera gel generously applied after is my personal favorite. A face cloth soaked in cool water with lavender oil can also be relieving,
Choose cooling foods. Salads are very popular this time of year not just because of the availability, but because they are light and cool. Choose light dressings, or none at all. One of my favorite salads is a base of spinach leaves with a squeeze of lemon or lime, a small amount of olive oil optional. Not only a bright-tasting salad, but the citrus juice helps your body to absorb the nutrients in the spinach, specifically iron. Snack of fruit. There are so many different fruits available throughout the summer that snack time should never be boring. I like to store my fruits in the fridge so that they have an extra coolness – I think chilled apples taste extra crisp, but that might just be me.
Drink plenty of water. And although it seems counter-intuitive, drink it room temperature. Ice-cold beverages can shock our entire body system and also decrease the efficiency of our digestive system. If you must have cold water, try not to make it ice-cold. You can also vary the temperature of your water through the day. When having beverages with a meal choose warmer. If having cold beverages, opt to consume during the warmest part of the day (10am-4pm) and be sure to sip slowly.
Exercise & Activity: Try to keep all exercise and physical activities to the early morning or later evening, when outdoor temperatures are cooler. If you are out on a midday excursion or exercising, take it slow and don’t over exert yourself – conserve that energy! Choose activities like swimming, kayaking, gentle yoga, perhaps a leisurely hike on a shaded path.
Most of all: ENJOY the season and the extra sunlight. I know I will.