Summer is officially here, a perfect time to thrive and become the best version of you! Unfortunately, it comes with precautions... a change in season can hold challenges - the warm weather isn't always kind to our body. So, we've put together our top tips for a happy, healthy summer:
The warm weather causes water to leave our body at an increased rate, this is to reduce our body’s temperature. The more water we lose, the more we need to replace with fluids. Have a water bottle to hand throughout the day and schedule in water breaks if you are finding it hard to get enough fluids. You can also consume fresh fruits and vegetables that have a high-water content, many of which are thriving in the summer months. These include watermelons, cucumbers, strawberries, tomatoes and even broccoli.
Replenishing electrolytes may be something that you associate with exercise, but everybody should look to restore lost electrolytes. This is to prevent imbalances that could be damaging to our body’s muscle and organ function. Sodium, calcium, and potassium are the main electrolytes lost through sweat and can be replenished through sports drinks, as well as whole foods such as bananas, potatoes, spinach and milk. You can also work to replenish these electrolytes with a glass of Good Green Vitality after your workout, with one serving containing 16mg of sodium, 165g of calcium and 300mg of potassium.
While a 'cold one' is tempting on a sunny afternoon, be mindful that alcohol can dehydrate you further. If you are tempted, just be sure to balance your consumption with plenty of water and foods high in water content.
Finding the time to work out in the summer can be tricky, but don't let it put you off. The longer days allows for extra opportunity and exercising outside is fun!
Take advantage of the cooler temperature in the morning and evening, or perhaps head to a gym with air-conditioning. Avoid exercising between the hours of 10am and 3pm when temperatures are no doubt going to be higher.
You will find that you will need to adjust your exercise routine; be cautious that you will sweat more when it is warm which could lead to dehydration and therefore impaired performance. Listen to your body, if you are feeling tired, take it slow. Set your standards differently for the summer months.
Enjoy the sun
Get outside and enjoy the weather. Not only is it great for social and mental wellbeing but exposure to the sun provides our bodies with vitamin D, which is essential for bone health, immunity and even brain health. But be sure to protect your skin, too much exposure to UVA rays from the sun could lead to skin damage and cancer. Be sure to wear an SPF of 30-50 before heading out.
Make good choices
There's nothing wrong with a treat in the heat. Try not to feel guilty if you are feeling the desire to indulge, it's perfectly ok to, but you won't always get the right nutrition you need. On the other end of the spectrum is the desire to get a 'summer body', an ideology that often results in a fad diet or unhealthy habits for those quick results.
Try to maintain a balanced nutritious diet and be mindful that your appetite will change over the seasons. In summer, lighter meals are best received by body as the digestive system slows down and becomes weaker, this is because the body is trying to regulate our temperature by cutting down on heat-generating functions such as digestion.
Fortunately, over the summer months several fruits and vegetables are in season, which can provide the body with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants while offering a lighter meal.
Manage your sleep
Getting a good nights sleep during summer seems almost impossible, Usually, your body temperature decreases by 2 degrees to initiate sleep, however, the heat makes it harder for our core temperature to drop and therefore harder for us to fall asleep. This is coupled with the lighter evenings, which can interrupt our circadian rhythm and increase our alertness.
To help manage your sleep and help you relax, try to avoid exercising close to bedtime as this will increase your body temperature. You may also want to have a cool shower or bath before hopping into bed. One final tip is to unplug earlier than you normally do; mimic the dark nights with dim lighting and try to avoid a glaring tv screen or mobile phone.