Summertime: the kids have already been home for a couple of months this year, the days are longer and hotter, and your patience and energy seems about as small as last year’s shorts.
Summer is easily a favorite season for many of us, but it can also be one of the most dreaded seasons of the year, especially if you have already been feeling sluggish, rundown, and uncomfortable in your body for the last few months; summer seems to make everything feel heavier.
But it doesn’t have to be that way this year!
Instead of feeling weighed down this summer, we want to empower you to embrace the lightness of the season, by being mindful of what you’re eating and incorporate movement into your everyday routine.
Use this guide to help you regain your energy this summer, take back your health, and facilitate natural weight loss. For a more personalized approach to overall wellness, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our integrative medicine providers at Vitality Family Health.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
While drinking water is important to everyday life, drinking water in the summer is especially vital to keeping you healthy, hydrated, and can even aid in weightloss-by just adding more water into your diet. Here are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to drinking water in the summer:
- Drink water first thing in the morning. Yes, even before you’ve had your first sip of coffee. Aim for 8 ounces before eating or drinking anything else, this way you’ll have a head start on your water intake for the day.
- Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces daily. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, you should be consuming 75 ounces of water per day, more if you are spending a lot of time in the heat, working out, if you’re sick, or consuming caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
- Get creative. If the idea of drinking plain ol’ water seems unappealing, add natural flavors to your water, such as cucumber, strawberries, mint, lemon, etc. Water bottles like this one, let you put in your “infusions” without worrying about swallowing a mint leaf.
- Carry a non-plastic reusable water bottle with you everywhere.
Adjust Your Exercise Routine (And Have Fun)
If you’ve been following an exercise routine it may be time to adjust it, specifically what time of day you work out. Or if you’re new to this whole working out everyday thing, summer is the optimal time to create a new workout schedule. During the summer, many of us are waking up earlier with the sun. And, instead of scrolling through Instagram with that extra time, we could be moving our bodies during the coolest part of the day!
Aim for waking up 15 minutes earlier at first, with the goal of trying to rise up to 30 or even an hour earlier each day to get in a healthy exercise routine. In just 15 minutes you can stretch your body, take a morning stroll or run, or even turn on your favorite tunes and dance and shake your body awake.
Not a morning person? If waking up earlier sounds about as fun as getting a root canal, opt for exercising in the evenings by riding your bike, swimming, or playing a sport like volleyball with your friends and family.
Embrace Seasonal Foods
Eating seasonal foods has numerous health benefits: from helping us to meet all of our daily nutritional needs and helping natural weight loss to tasting better and helping the environment. Eating seasonally is a sure-fire way to improve your overall health. According to this study foods that are grown during “their” seasons, are more nutritionally dense than foods that are grown out of season. Bonus: Seasonal fruits and veggies are cheaper than those that are not in season. Find out what foods are in season during different times of year here.
Go With Your Gut
As we move through the seasons and adjust the ways we are eating and drinking, many people will experience gut issues, such as constipation, bloating, diarrhea, etc. And, whether this is due to too many barbecued foods, ice cream, beer or just eating a raw diet of veggies and fresh fruits, keeping your gut health in check is the best way to keep you healthy and to build your immunity.
If you are experiencing any gut issues, reach out to our integrative practice in Oak Brook, IL to find out more about how your health history and habits are affecting your gut health.
Reduce Screen Time
Many of us had our routines thrown out in early April, with our state’s stay at home orders. And for some of us, working from home meant that ourselves and our children got way more screen time then we are all used to.
Reducing screen time improves health, decreases weight gain, improves our mental health, and enhances relationships.
To start your summer off on the right foot, set boundaries for screen time with both yourself and your family. Here are some ways to set up screen time limits and have more fun this summer:
- Set, explain, and stick to family screen time limits. Every family is different, so set a screen time limit that feels good for your family and makes sense for your schedules.
- No devices at meals. Don’t bring phones or tablets to the table and turn the T.V. off during meal times.
- Get screens out of your children’s and your own room. This includes phones too. Bedrooms are for resting and resetting.
- Set up limits on your own devices. If you have a smartphone, many are equipped to show you how much time you’re spending on what apps, and then they allow you to set a limit for yourself. Don’t let technology rule your summer, get out, and have fun!
We hope that these tips will help you live your summer to the fullest. Here’s to a happy and healthy summer!