Summer vibes are in the air. The sun is feeling warmer and the nights are getting longer, which we must take advantage of. Beach days, pool parties, BBQ fun and late night summer breezes is sure to put us in a “chill mood”…or at least it should. Let’s make sure that you are not “too chill” this summer, where your health goals fall to the wayside…
The truth is, there is never a good time to stop taking care of yourself. Your body will always remind you to get back on track before it’s too late. I see too many people get into bad habits over the summer and have regret once it is over, hence my motivation for writing this blog. Prevention is the best medicine. Let this read act as your warning 😉
Here are a few things to stick to. I call them my non-negotiable health actions.
- STAY HYDRATED: I cannot emphasize enough the importance of drinking pure water. If you are unsure how much you should be drinking, I will tell you MORE than you already are. Take your weight in lbs and divide it by 2. This is the amount of water in ounces that your body needs to maintain optimal function. Now, for every cup of coffee/tea/alcohol you drink, you must drink an extra 2 glasses (16 ounces). Take some time to do the math and ensure you are drinking enough water. The other thing to consider is water lost through perspiration. If you are active in the sun and sweating, you must add more water to match the deficit. Dehydration is a risk factor in the summer months. Headaches could be your first sign. Don’t take this risk lightly.
- EXERCISE DAILY: With the weather being nicer and days longer, it is natural to want to be out more and to have a bit more energy. Use these summer days to commence or continue an exercise routine. Some outdoor activities for you to try: bike rides, hikes (choose different locations to keep you engaged and exploring new terrain), tennis, basketball, rollerblading, outdoor runs, walks, and any sport that you love to play. Some of my favorites are soccer and tennis. You can be sure to find me on the soccer field and tennis court! With the extra calories burned while being active, you can enjoy a few treats without the guilt.
- KEEP SUGARS/CARBS TO A MINIMUM: Bathing suits, crop tops, dresses, shorts and tanks all reveal more skin than winter months. A sure way to cut weight and bloating is to minimize sugars. Try to cut out all refined sugars, breads, pastas, baked goods, pop etc. These foods can be consumed occasionally, if you desire, but not a daily basis. You will feel lighter and more confident in your clothes if you do this during the summer.
- ALCOHOL NEEDS TO BE LIMITED/AVOIDED: Are you someone who drinks a beer a day or a glass a wine a day? Are you someone who binges on the weekend or at parties? Ask yourself why? Any amount of alcohol in the body creates stress in the liver and other organs, and gets metabolized as sugar. From my experience, alcohol intake, at any rate, can increase weight gain, bloating and increased fatigue. Drink responsibly and be aware of alcohols’ negative impact on your well-being.
- PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE SUN: The allure of having bronze, sun kissed skin seems tempting. The sun today is much more damaging than 20 years ago. Sun burns increase your risk exponentially of getting skin cancer. Please invest in some SPF 60 and be sure to apply this everyday, even if you are not directly in the sun. Catching rays while driving is a thing. If you are going to be outside for extended periods, wear a hat. If you have sensitive skin, please wear protective clothing to ensure that you won’t get burned. Rates of skin cancer are on the rise and no one is immune. Please do your best to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the suns damaging rays. Your future self will thank you! BONUS * Best way to prevent aging prematurely*
Hope these 5 tips help keep you healthy this summer. If you require a bit more motivation, feel free to reach out to set up an appointment. I am available throughout the summer. I am happy to help you feel your best!
In good health,
Dr. Jen Cisternino, ND