Summer is officially here, and while you’re celebrating with beach days and your favorite sundresses or shorts, summer also brings a new set of health challenges to keep in mind. And we’re not talking about “beach body” BS, but things like staying hydrated, keeping your skin protected from harmful UV ways, and - if you’re a smoker - starting your journey towards quitting. Here are 6 easy-to-follow tips to treat your body well this summer:
1. Stop Smoking
Out of all of the bad habits that you can pick up, smoking is one of the worst. It’s damaging to not just your lungs, but to all parts of your body. Giving up this addiction is vital if you value your health. Thankfully, there’s a great range of anti-smoking aids on the market at the moment, with e-cigarettes in particular proving really popular at present. Each aid has their own perks to them, so enjoy experimenting with what’s on offer.
2. Cook At Home
Busy lifestyles don’t always make this possible, but taking the time to cook a recipe instead of ordering takeout can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Fast food is often lacking in nutrients, and the production chain is harmful to the environment - not to mention that all that takeout gets expensive, fast. Try visiting a local farmer’s market and using fresh, locally-grown ingredients to try out a new recipe - you’ll be supporting local businesses, cutting down your carbon footprint, and trying something new and delicious at the same time.
Summer brings plenty of opportunities for physical activity - from swimming to beach volleyball to hiking to outdoor yoga. And you don’t have to run a marathon to benefit from exercise - even low-intensity forms of physical activity, like walking your dog, can help out your health. Whether you want to exercise in a group or on your own, the options are endless.
4. Drive Less
This might prove tricky for some, depending on where you live, but going without your car where possible is not only great for your body, but for your bank account, too. The average American burns through a staggering quantity of fuel per year, and cutting back will help your health - whether it’s giving you a new opportunity for exercise if you can bike or walk to work instead, or simply cutting down on air pollution if you can carpool.
5. Drink More Water
Although something you should do all year round, in the summer heat, it is extra important to stay hydrated. Studies estimate that women require at least 9 cups a day and men 13, but this is a minimal figure - and you should drink even more if possible! Summer heat will make you sweat more whether you like or not, so your body is losing water - which means hydration is key.
6. Wear Sunscreen
Though you really should be wearing sunscreen every day, year-round, it’s extra important in the summer - especially if you’re going to be spending a long time in the sun. Make sure you search for a sunscreen with a high SPF, and reapply every two hours. Sunburns are painful, and leads to a higher risk of skin cancer down the road - if it’s a deep tan you’re after, it’s best to go the self-tanner route.
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