Simple tips for staying healthy this summer
Today is the first official day of summer and we thought it would be fitting to share these 8 simple tips to staying healthy this summer.
Boost your diet with berries
If you do one thing this summer to improve your diet, have a cup of mixed fresh berries — blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or strawberries — every day. They’ll help you load up on antioxidants, which may help prevent damage to tissues and reduce the risks of age-related illnesses. Blueberries and blackberries are especially antioxidant-rich.
A big bonus: Berries are also tops in fiber, which helps keep cholesterol low and may even help prevent some cancers.
Get your hands dirty and reduce your stress
To improve your stress level, plant a small garden, cultivate a flower box, or if space is really limited, plant a few flower pots — indoors or out.
Just putting your hands in soil is “grounding.” And when life feels like you’re moving so fast your feet are barely touching the stuff, being mentally grounded can help relieve physical and mental stress.
Don’t forget to floss
You know you need to, now it’s time to start flossing every single day. Do it when you brush your teeth, but if you forget, you can always floss while reading on your deck, or when watching TV — and the task will breeze by.
Flossing reduces oral bacteria, which improves overall body health, and if oral bacteria is low, your body has more resources to fight bacteria elsewhere. Floss daily and you’re doing better than at least 85% of people.
Go outside and exercise
Pick one outdoor activity — going on a hike, taking a nature walk, playing games such as tag with your kids, cycling, roller blading, or swimming — to shed that cooped-up feeling of gym workouts.
And remember, the family that plays together not only gets fit together — it’s also a great way to create bonding time.
Take care of your eyes
To protect your vision at work and at play, wear protective eyewear. When outdoors, wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays. Sunglasses can help prevent cataracts, as well as wrinkles around the eyes.
And when playing sports or doing tasks such as mowing the lawn, wear protective eyewear. Ask your eye doctor about the best type; some are sport-specific.
Take some vacation time
Improve your heart health and take advantage of summer’s slower schedule by using your vacation time to unwind.
Vacations have multiple benefits: They can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones such as cortisol, which contributes to a widening waist and an increased risk of heart disease.
Go lite on the alcohol
Summer’s a great time to skip drinks with hard alcohol and choose a light, chilled alcoholic beverage (unless you are pregnant or should not drink for health or other reasons).
A sangria, a cold beer, or a wine spritzer are all refreshing but light. In moderation — defined as one to two drinks daily — alcohol can protect against heart disease.
Get some sleep
Resist the urge to stay up later during long summer days. Instead pay attention to good sleep hygiene by keeping the same bedtime and wake-up schedule and not drinking alcohol within three hours ofbedtime.
It’s also a good idea to avoid naps during the day unless you take them every day at the same time, for the same amount of time.
Well, there they are — Eight super simple ways to boost your health this summer. Try one or try them all. They’re so easy you won’t even know they’re — shhhh — good for you.