Tips for Living Your Best Life During the Summer Months

Tips for the summer

Summertime beckons us to dive into a season of adventure with family and friends. From its endless hours of warm sun rays to its luscious fruits and vegetables, summer is the perfect time to pack in months of fun, exploration and growth. Soak in the following tips for living your best life during these energizing summer months.

 

Empower Through Exercise

The increased daylight hours and inviting temperatures make summer an ideal time to power up your exercise routine. A 2010 study involving twelve trained cyclists found that exercise in hot temperatures is as beneficial as training in high altitudes and operates as a workout enhancer. Another study of the effects of heat on ten healthy athletes showed improvements in heart rate and efficient sweating in as few as five training sessions. Take advantage of the assets of physical activity in the warmer months with enjoyable, active outings.

 

Embrace the Warmth of the Summer Sun

Over the past couple of decades, many people have begun to avoid exposure to the sun due to concerns of basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma skin cancers. The latest health reports caution against depriving ourselves of the tremendous advantages of sunlight.  The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the benefits of safe sun exposure outweigh the risks. These benefits include:

  • Reducing the harmful effects of cardiovascular disease.

  • Releasing the compound nitric oxide, which lowers blood pressure.

  • Bathing the body in vitamin D, which helps to process calcium and reduce the risk of cancer.

  • Decreasing the risk of later development of multiple sclerosis.

  • Relaxing muscles and tendons around joints, therefore alleviating arthritic conditions.

  • Balancing hormones and boosting energy levels by increasing serotonin. 

The key to taking advantage of this health powerhouse is to limit sunlight exposure to short periods (15-30 minutes), make most of your exposure during the morning or late afternoon hours and use proper sun protection.

 

Explore the Beauty of the Outdoors

Summertime is the ideal opportunity to plan a vacation or weekend getaway. Sometimes some of the best destinations can be found in your own backyard. Travelocity shares breathtaking views found in Wisconsin, including the windswept beaches and rugged cliffs of the Apostle Islands, the mesmerizing 165-foot tall cascade of Big Manitou Falls and the 360-acre spring-fed lake with 30 miles of trails around Devil's Lake State Park. Plan now to invest these months in the great outdoors while basking in the sun's healing rays.

 

Energize Through Eating Nutritious Produce

Summertime provides a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, packed with nutrients and bursting with flavor.  

The website thespruceeats.com provides  a complete guide of seasonal fruits and vegetables found in Wisconsin, including:

  • Early-summer produce (May-June): asparagus, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, strawberries and turnips.

  • Late-summer produce (July-September): apples, basil, blueberries, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, peppers and watermelon.

  • All-summer produce: beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green onions and raspberries.

 

Organically grown fruits and vegetables offer a wide range of healthy vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate and potassium. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber, which helps to regulate the digestive system. Fruits and vegetables are a delicious way to maintain a healthy weight.

 

Enjoy the Advantages of Increased Sleep

Relaxing during the summer should involve extra hours of sleep, including sleeping in on vacation days to napping outside under a shade tree or alongside a sparkling body of water. Healthline.com promotes the benefits of adequate sleep, including maintaining a healthy weight, increasing concentration and reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

 

Embark on a Journey of Self-Care                                                                                                 

Because summertime lends itself to healthy choices in so many ways, this is the right time to initiate or increase your level of self-care. If you take the time to care for yourself first, you will be better prepared to help others. Increased productivity, boosts in the immune system and an increase in self-awareness are just a few of the documented benefits of self-care. Self-care can take different forms for different individuals. Many of the activities listed above can be part of your self-care regimen. Other activities include journaling, talking with a counselor or therapist, scheduling time with friends and family and pampering with manicures, pedicures and more.

 

One of the best forms of self-care to consider is massage therapy. Massage therapy releases energy throughout the body and helps the body heal and nourish itself.  

 

Mayo Clinic has released a summarization of the benefits of massage therapy, including:

  • Relieving the body of anxiety.

  • Reducing digestive disorders.

  • Reversing the effects of fibromyalgia.

  • Alleviating head and body aches. 

  • Easing the effects of insomnia.

  • Speeding the healing of injuries.

  • Relaxing tense muscles and joints, including temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

 

Summertime is a wonderful gift of health and activity, but it is fleeting. Decide now how to increase your activity, nutrition and self-care throughout the summer months. Book your vacation, plan your meals and make appointments for self-care treatments such as a therapeutic massage therapy session. Design your best life by taking action today.