We associate summer with fun in the sun. But did you know that summer is a great time to add some healthy practices to your routine? Because of the great weather, slower pace, and availability of lighter, healthier foods, summer can be a wonderful time to not only have fun, but also get healthier.
These tips from Marshall Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Evans, Georgia, can help you boost your health this season.
Sunshine doesn’t just feel nice—it’s good for you, too! Safe sun exposure has many benefits. The first, and perhaps most well-known, the benefit of sunlight is that it allows our skin to produce Vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone health. Sun exposure is also a mood-booster; it is associated with the production of serotonin, a hormone that improves mood and helps you feel calm and focused. Spending time in the sun also leads to improved sleep, and research suggests that it could also lower blood pressure, curb appetite, and reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and possibly some autoimmune diseases. Sunshine may even help people live longer!
But too much sun can be harmful. It can lead to sunburn, skin damage, or heat exhaustion. It is best to make sure that your sun exposure is safe. Wear plenty of sunscreens and reapply according to the package instructions. If you’re sensitive to heat, make sure you enjoy the sun in the early morning, before the hottest part of the day.
When the weather heats up and the sun beats down, it’s even more important to choose your clothing wisely. Make sure that your clothing is appropriate for whatever activity you’re taking part in. In general, breathable fabrics like cotton and linen will help keep you cool in the summer heat, while synthetics like acrylic and polyester can trap heat and feel abrasive on the skin. Clothing that fits well is important, too. Make sure your clothes are sized correctly but do not cling to your body. And if you’re going to be in the sun or near biting or stinging insects, you may want to wear long sleeves or pants to protect your skin.
Ensure that you’re wearing the proper footwear, as well. Flip flops are convenient, but they’re often not very supportive. Save the sandals for the pool or when you won’t be walking around. If you’ll be hiking, exercising, or walking a lot, choose breathable, supportive shoes like athletic sneakers to protect your feet and ankles.
And remember your sunglasses! Just like your skin, your eyes can accumulate damage from sun exposure. Bring along a stylish pair of shades to protect your eyes.
In warmer weather, we tend to be outdoors and sweat more than in the fall and winter months. That means more water loss. It’s important to drink plenty of water every day, but even more so in the summer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the typical recommended water consumption for the average adult is 64-80 ounces of water per day. However, depending on your level of activity and exposure to heat in the summer, you may need to drink extra water—up to 100 or more ounces per day. You can also increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and other water-filled produce to help you meet that goal.
If you’ve been outside for a long period of time or have been exercising, you may also want to take in extra electrolytes to ensure you stay hydrated. Have a sports drink handy if you’re planning one of these activities.
With these tips, you’ll not only have a fun summer but a healthy one, too!
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Marshall Pines, contact our friendly team today.