Incorporating a few simple, positive habits during these months can have long-term benefits…
1. Get Out More
Now’s the time to boost your social and activity calendar! Warm weather is the ideal backdrop for getting together with friends which has been shown to increase happiness and fulfillment! Not surprisingly studies confirm that people who are active and sociable live longer, healthier lives. Pick one activity – a long walk, gardening, playing with the children, cycling or getting down to the beach – anything to shed that cooped-up feeling. Try to be more spontaneous: too much planning can be a source of stress! Push yourself outside of your comfort zone – when was the last time you tried something new? It can make for a real confidence and health boost.
2. Drink Up
Drink water throughout the day and carry it with you if you are going out for activities and exercise. Most women need 1.6 litres of fluid, and men 2.0 litres per day, and more in hot weather or with exercise. Water is by far the best option as not all drinks hydrate you – caffeinated drinks and those high in added sugars and alcohol can lead to dehydration. After water, low-fat milk is a good option as are 100% fruit and vegetable juices and herbal teas. Sports drinks work well if you are exercising vigorously. Try adding cucumber lemon or lime to your water for a refreshing change.
3. Give your Diet a Boost
Fruit and vegetables are at their best now so get colourful and be creative! Ripe fruits, mixed vegetable juices and raw salads take advantage of nature’s bounty and give your body the vitamins and minerals it craves while protecting cells from the damage caused by free radicals.
Have a cup of mixed fresh berries – blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries – every day. They’ll help reduce the risks of age-related illnesses. Blueberries and blackberries are especially antioxidant-rich. Why not adopt the previous ‘be spontaneous’ tip and get to a local ‘Pick your Own’ farm for added fun?
Nutritional supplements can also support you with a greater amount of physical energy, enhancing your summer activities. Inner Me believe that Health, Beauty and Vitality all begin within and have a brand new range of supplements tailored to different needs and age-groups, as well as for hair, skin and nails, general vitality and overall fabulousness! Botanical experts Terranova create nutritional products enhanced with a complex of phytonutrient-rich foods. The B-complex vitamins are calming to the nervous system and helpful for cellular energy production, while Vitamin C and the other antioxidants protect your body from stress, chemical pollutants, and the biochemical by-products of exercise. If in doubt, a Full-spectrum Multivitamin is a great way to ensure your body’s nutritional needs are met. Other helpful summer ingredients are Ginseng which is an energy tonic, Gingko for brain function and anti-oxidant protection and Zinc which is vital for hair and skin health.
4. Find Time for Family
One of the key elements of happiness is devoting quality time to family and friends. Swap hours in front of the television for picnics, barbeques and family days out. Create summer memories to cherish and make the most of the long days and balmy nights. Summer pleasures can be simple and inexpensive – days spent walking or at the park or beach can be magical.
We all need to unwind. Switch off the computer and leave the phone at home. Pause and reconnect with the real world instead. An afternoon spent lazing under the sky, reading a book or just wandering through the countryside can really help to recharge and put fuel in the tank for when winter darkness returns. Engage with the world more positively and you will reap the benefits both physically and mentally.
6. Love the Sun
Enjoying the sunshine is an important part of summer. We all know that too much can cause skin cancer but the good news is that in moderation it can help prevent illnesses including depression, heart disease and – believe it or not – some cancers.
There is also a theory that habitual exposure to sunlight can induce the skin to develop self-protective mechanisms. There’s no doubt that the sun has a profound effect on mood, and lack of sunlight is thought to be the major factor in a depression which occurs in the darker months, known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Sunlight is also important for the production of vitamin D, a deficiency of which causes muscle weakness and immune system problems. Just be sensible; for further advice see our previous post: Everything Under the Sun!
7. See the Light
Invest in a good pair of sunglasses which will block at least 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays. Sunglasses can help prevent cataracts, as well as wrinkles!