Health: It’s summertime, and the living is easy. It can also be one of the most active, healthy times of the year. Here are seven tips to help you on your way!
1. Feast on the summer bounty
Corn, juicy peaches, sun-ripened tomatoes — summer is the season for fresh fruit and vegetables. It’s definitely time for a visit to your local farmer’s market. Or, enjoy a morning at a local berry farm where you can pick your own. Be sure to eat light! Avoid the heavy sauces and belt-loosening portion sizes of those winter feasts. Turn those veggies from the farmer’s market into a crisp salad. Hot days and a stuffed belly are never a healthy mix.
2. Keep exercise cool
Avoid strenuous exercise in the sun. If you’re a jogger, limit your running to early morning. The sun may be just as low in the late afternoon, but the streets and sidewalks are radiating a full day’s worth of heat. If you opt to exercise in the afternoon, try hiking in the woods where there’s plenty of overhead coverage — just don’t forget the bug spray!
3. Take a break
Avoid outdoor activities altogether for the hours between noon and two when the sun is at its most scorching. This is a great time to schedule housecleaning and other indoor chores so you can enjoy the air conditioning. Or take a nice snooze. Naps are a great summer activity, and they’re healthy … aren’t they?
4. Hit the beach (or pool)
Beaches and pools are great for summer exercise. Sign up for a water aerobics class, or learn to play water polo. The cool water will draw excess heat away from your body so you can play harder. Just be sure to give your face, neck, and arms a liberal helping of sun block. And don’t forget to wear a hat! See why below.
5. Remember your hair
A hat can add both style and sun protection to your summer wardrobe. Avoid dark colors — they’ll absorb heat. A light hat made of straw or other mesh-like material is best to keep the air between hat and head well ventilated. Also, consider combing a bit of aloe vera paste or a few drops of sesame oil through your locks. Both are great natural sun blocks for your hair.
6. Protect your eyes
Until someone invents sun block eye drops, you’ll have to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays with a pair of sunglasses. If you use readers, leave them and your sunglasses at home. Instead of switching back and forth, combine the benefits of both with a pair of sun readers (luckily, we know where to find them). Sun reader bifocals are the perfect accompaniment to an early morning round of golf, where your focus needs to shift from lining up your shot to filling out your scorecard.
7. Stay hydrated
Make a habit of carrying a personal water bottle and keeping it filled. Beer and iced soda may seem like great thirst quenchers on a hot summer afternoon, but they will just make you thirstier and more dehydrated. Since drinking plenty of water is also a great dieting tip, you’ll look even better in that new swimsuit.