The winter fog is starting to give way to the summer sun. While winter has its own challenges, the summer heat brings its own in regards to our health and well-being. It’s important to prepare our bodies for the changes. We don’t have to make huge changes for us to take better care of our health. Listed below are a few important changes that will not only help us be better prepared for the incoming summer but a few of them will help us in the long run as well.
First and foremost is often neglected and mostly taken for granted- sleep. It should not matter what the coming season is, we should all be getting eight hours of sleep every day. Resist the urge to stay up later during long summer days. Sleep plays an important role in physical health. Sleep is involved in the healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Sleep also plays an important role in the repair of the muscles we use throughout the day. Sleep also plays an important part in building our immunity. Infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. And considering the time we live in we need all the help, we can get to fight these infections. The best way to sleep better is to have a routine. We should try to sleep at the same time every day. Also, we should avoid naps for longer than 20 minutes during the afternoon. Another habit that helps in better sleep is having dinner at least two hours before bedtime and not using any gadgets one hour before sleeping.
The human body is made up of about 60% water. Heat and sweat in the summer months can leave your body dehydrated, causing unwanted health outcomes such as fever and chills. In fact, a lack of water is also harmful to your body and can make you crave food even when you’re not hungry. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking at least eight to nine glasses of water per day. If you get bored with plain water, try adding some fruits like lemon, strawberry to your water to improve the taste. Water also helps our body get rid of toxic wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. To improve your fluid intake, have a glass or two of water before every meal. It will not only keep you hydrated but also prevent you from overeating.
These days most vegetables and fruits are available all year-round; however, consuming seasonal foods have their own charm and health benefits. Always picks freshly harvested foods to extract the best benefits they have to offer. Load up on mangoes, plums, tomatoes, cucumber, yongchak, berries, watermelon, oranges, etc. Fruits like oranges and watermelon, not only provide us with essential nutrients and minerals but also hydrate our bodies and cool down our body internally which helps us fight the detrimental effect of the rising heat. Vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes and yongchak are excellent sources of Vitamin C. Berries are also an excellent source of vitamin C as well as a good source of antioxidants.
As the summer heat rises, you will have the temptation to go to your nearest shop and grab a bottle of either cold drink or packed juices. And in the immediate scheme of things, they will do their job and quench your thirst but to your overall health, they will only be detrimental. These packed drinks are bereft of nutrients and packed with sugar. These drinks in the short term can cause weight gain and in the long term cause heart diseases and lead to diabetes. Summers make you thirsty more often, which makes us resort to cold drinks and energy drinks that prove to be hazardous in the long run. Whenever you feel like quenching your thirst, prefer fresh juices like sugarcane juice, Orange juice, etc.
As we move from cozy winters to warm summers, it’s important to maintain good hygiene. While summer is a time for fun and play, this is also the period when illnesses abound. Germs thrive and spread due to the heat and humidity leading to ailments like seasonal flu, gastroenteritis, jaundice, typhoid, skin rashes, and food poisoning. Hygiene becomes extremely important. The good thing is it’s really easy to maintain good hygiene. Simple things like taking a bath twice a day, washing hands before eating, using a moisturizer for your skin to avoid rashes, avoiding eating out, or at least eating in a place that maintains cleanliness goes a long way in maintaining basic hygiene.
The last and the most obvious way to be healthy as the season change is to exercise. It doesn’t have to be any specific exercise like running, swimming, Gym, etc. It can be any specific sports you enjoy from football, volleyball, cricket, etc. Getting at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week is recommended by health experts which amounts to 30 minutes per day 5 days a week. The best time to exercise is in the morning, not because it provides any extra benefits but because you can get it out of the day and move on with your day. You may never know what can come in the latter part of the day and hamper your plan to work out later in the day.
Taking care of our body doesn’t require an extreme overhaul if we are not overly unhealthy. The little changes can take us along a lot further. It’s just about taking that first step.