How to Improve Your Health This Summer
Summer Health Tips
The summer season can be a great time of year to get your health back on track. Whether you want to improve your heart health, get to a healthy weight, or prevent illnesses, these tips can help you reach your health goals this summer.
Eat a Healthy Diet
When it comes to eating a healthy diet, there are a host of options to put on your plate that will do your body good such as:
- Colorful fruits and vegetables like apples, red peppers, and avocados and asparagus loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna and sardines.
- Nuts and seeds that have an abundance of vitamins and antioxidants like almonds and walnuts.
- Legumes packed with proteins such as green beans, kidney beans, and lentils.
Eating a healthy diet has many benefits and can help you:
- Keep a healthy weight
- Reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses
- Maintain blood pressure
- Keep cholesterol levels in check
- Improve energy
It’s no secret that the summer season in Florida can be a scorcher, and working up a sweat on some of the hottest days of the year does not sound like fun. However, it’s still important to stay active and exercise regularly. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adults should follow these physical activity guidelines:
- Stay active by moving more and sitting less throughout the day.
- Get between two and 5 hours moderate-intensity exercise or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise throughout the week or a combination of both.
- Do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate to high-intensity two or more days per week that include all major muscle groups.
Working out in hot weather can be challenging, so it’s essential to know these warning signs of heat-related illnesses. Stop working out immediately and seek medical care if you experience:
- Muscle cramping
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or weakness
- Excessive sweating
- Dizziness/lightheadedness (either during or after exercising)
Before getting started with a new workout routine, it’s critical to consult your physician on what exercises and workout routines are best for your fitness level.
Reduce Stress Levels
Stress can be the catalyst for many physical and mental health problems. Some common symptoms of high-stress levels are:
- Chronic headaches
- Anxiousness and sadness
Long-term stress can weaken your immune system, as well as increase your risk of infection and certain illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. It can also make you prone to developing anxiety and depression.
Here are some fun ways to reduce stress levels:
- Practice mindfulness/meditation
- Read a book
- Go for a long walk
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Watch a funny movie
- Take an online yoga class
- Listen to music
- Spend time with your pet
Limit Exposure to the Sun
When out in the sun, no matter what time of year, it’s critical to keep your skin protected from harmful UV rays that can increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Here are some tips to keep your skin healthy:
- Avoid peak sun hours (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.).
- Wear sunscreen at all times and use a minimum of SPF 15 (even on cloudy days).
- Wear protective clothing (loose, light-colored clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses).
- Self examine your skin by using the ABCDEs of skin cancer method.
- Avoid tanning beds (the UV lights are just as damaging to your skin as the sun).
There are many reasons to get your daily intake of H2O. Not only can water help with digestion and circulation, but it also helps to maintain body temperature. If you aren’t drinking enough water, here are some other reasons to keep your water bottle handy:
- Reduce muscle fatigue when working out.
- Improve the appearance and health of your skin.
- Improve kidney health (not drinking enough water can increase your risk of developing kidney stones).
- Improve gastrointestinal function and prevent constipation.
Here are some tips for staying hydrated:
- Keep a bottle of water at your desk when working.
- Replace sugary drinks with water — if you prefer flavored beverages, add a slice of your favorite fruit or a splash of lemon juice.
- Eat foods that have a high water content, such as watermelons, cantaloupe, or honeydew melon.
It’s also important to limit alcohol consumption as it’s a diuretic that causes your body to remove fluids. In turn, you can become dehydrated.
Get Enough Sleep
During the summertime, people tend to stay up later and do more activities since there’s more daylight. However, it’s still important to ensure you get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can bring on the following health problems:
- Memory issues
- Mood swings
- Trouble thinking/concentrating
- Weakened immune system
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of diabetes
If you have trouble sleeping, here are some recommendations from the National Institute of Health and Human Services (NIH) on ways to get your proper ZZZs:
- Go to bed at the same time each night, even on weekends.
- Don’t take naps after 3 p.m. or nap longer than 20 minutes.
- Avoid large meals and beverages late at night.
- Don’t exercise too late in the day.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages before bed.
If you are chronically fatigued or consistently have trouble sleeping, the Parrish Sleep Center may be able to help you find the root cause of the problem so you can get proper treatment for a better night’s sleep.
Take Our Free HealthAware Risk Assessment Test
At Parrish Healthcare, we are committed to providing our community with the resources and tools to help improve their overall health and well-being. Whether you are concerned about cancer, heart disease, or any other health issue, we have nine free Healthaware Risk Assessment tests available to you.
By answering just a few questions, you can learn your risk factors and work with us to reduce them.