I absolutely love summer! The warm, sunny weather and fresh seasonal produce are things I look forward to. While summer is a joyous time, the hotter weather can take a toll on our health: both physical and mental. Here are a few summer wellness tips to help you feel your very best this summer!
Summer wellness tip 1: Get enough vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that supports proper bodily functioning—everything from immunity to mood to defending cells against cancer. Although most of the nutrients our body needs are available via the food we eat, vitamin D is primarily obtained via sun exposure.
The first thing you can do to get more vitamin D is to spend some time outside, but don’t forget your sunscreen!
Eat Vitamin D rich foods
You can also get vitamin foods rich in vitamin D, such as:
- Vegetables: Especially Leafy greens and tomatoes
- Healthy fats rich in Omega-3s: Good sources include fish (like sardines and salmon), eggs, flaxseed and walnuts.
- Other healthy saturated fat: Fats like coconut oil, avocado oil and organic grass-fed butter
- Antioxidant-rich foods: Beans, berries, nuts and green or black tea
Summer wellness tip 2: Protect your skin when outdoors
One of the best natural methods of sun care is to cover up your body. So, if you’re going to be in the sun for an extended period of time, it’s best to wear a hat, sunglasses and cover up your neck, shoulders, arms and any other part of your body that will get direct sunlight. Typical summer fabric has an SPF between 4 and 7. Generally, the tighter-knit the fabric, the higher the protection.
Build up sun exposure
It’s also important to build up sun exposure slowly. So start off spending a few minutes outdoors and increase this gradually.
This gives your skin time to respond by producing more melanin, which will result in increased levels of sun protection.
Wear an SPF sunscreen
An SPF number indicates how long the sun’s UV radiation would take to redden your skin. For instance, an SPF 30 sunscreen allows about 3 % of UVB rays to hit your skin, giving you 97% protection against UVB rays. Most dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
Summer wellness tip 3: Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is vital any time of year, especially since the human body is made up of two-thirds water, and we need it for all bodily functioning. Adequate hydration is especially important in the summertime sun and heat.
Water (in litre) to drink a day equals your weight (in kg) multiplied by 0.033. For example, a person that weighs 60 kg should drink about two litres of water every day. Remember to boost your water intake even more if you spend time in the heat—especially exercising or exerting yourself in the heat.
Bonus tip: A simple tip to make staying hydrated easier is to use a healthy fruit infused water recipe. Many people find fruit infused water more enjoyable to sip on throughout the day, and the fruit provides some additional health benefits!
Summer wellness tip 4: Add more fresh fruits and veggies to your diet
No matter what season it is, it’s essential that we include enough fruits and vegetables in our diets.
Eat a rainbow of colourful vegetables and fill half your plate with veggies. In addition, smoothies are a great way to incorporate more fruit into your diet.
Look out for these summer seasonal produces items:
Fruits: Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, Cape gooseberries, cherries, coconuts, dates, grapefruit, guavas, lemons, limes, naartjies, nectarines, oranges, pawpaw or papaya, pears, pineapples, plums, strawberries, sweet melon, watermelon.
Vegetables: Asparagus, Brinjal (eggplant), baby marrows, beans, beetroot, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, kale spinach, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, potato, pumpkin, radishes, red onions, rhubarb, turnips, watercress.
Summer wellness tip 5: Develop an exercise routine
We all dream of having that summer-ready body that we can show off at the beach. Make this dream a reality by starting an exercise programme at home or at the gym. Start off with easier workouts and work your way up to more advanced exercises. Find an exercise buddy to make it more interesting and keep you motivated.
Summer wellness tip 6: Practice self-care
These simple self-care tips can help you feel better physically, emotionally and mentally.
Create a spa environment: Using a face mask, taking a bubble bath, or doing a DIY mani/pedi are all affordable ways to help yourself feel cared for.
Practice mindfulness: Try meditating or make a list of 10 things you are thankful for. Check out my article on Maintaining a Healthy Mind.
Get grooving to some jams: Make a feel-good playlist to brighten up your mood.
Go road-tripping: Pull up a map and find a new area that you haven’t been to yet.
Go for a stroll.: A long walk is a great way to clear your mind and enjoy a warm summer afternoon.
Check out your local farmer’s market. Take advantage of seasonal local vendors and their seasonal produce. Use your purchased items to cook up a storm! Check out some inspiration for creating summer dishes on my Instagram page.
Reconnect with someone. Call an old friend or family member for support or to simply get a good laugh!