It’s finally summer, time for beach days, BBQs and patio parties. Most people associate being sick with the colder months, but of course, you can get sick any time of the year. The following are our top tips for staying healthy so you can enjoy the summer months as much as possible.
Avoid Processed Foods
You probably hear this one all the time. So what are processed foods and why are they so bad for you? Processed foods are foods that have been chemically processed and made from a combination of artificial substances. These are bad for you because more often than not, they are very high in sugar, contain chemicals that are not really “food” at all (preservatives, artificial colours and flavours) and have little to no nutritional value. So next time you go grocery shopping, try keeping mostly to the outside aisles where you can find the good stuff. (The packaged and processed foods tend to be found in the centre aisles!).
Eat Whole Foods
Now we come to the things that you SHOULD eat. These include foods such as whole grains (rolled oats, quinoa, rice), beans and legumes (including lentils and chick peas), nuts and seeds, and fruits and vegetables. As a guideline, when choosing a meal or snack, think about how close that food is to its natural form, either having none or the least amount of processing possible. Whole foods are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. They will keep you energized and reduce your chance of illness.
This is especially important in the hot summer months, where we may sweat a little more, and get a little more dehydrated. Humans are 60% water, so you can image how important it is to make sure that we consume enough of it! We need water to help kidney function, enable our cells and organs to function, to lubricate the joints, protect sensitive tissues within the body, regulate body temperature and aid in the process of digestion. Water is absolutely essential in order for your body to run optimally, so drink up!
Exercise is important, and can be easier than you think to incorporate into your daily life. Benefits of regular exercise include reduced risk of heart disease, lower risk of type 2 diabetes, improves your energy, mood, and sleep quality, and lowers blood pressure. Now do you need to be a bodybuilder or run a marathon to get enough exercise? Nope! But it is recommended you get a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate activity in every day, which can include a walk, run, hiking, or another activity you enjoy such as volleyball, tennis, or swimming. Even if you don’t have time for one of these, you can always make small changes such as walking instead of driving, taking the stairs versus the elevator, and so on!
Getting a good night’s sleep is important to your health, it helps to properly regulate your appetite, and improves immune function, concentration and productivity, problem-solving and memory. It has even been linked to a decrease in risk of heart disease!
Make your mental health a priority
Your mental and physical health are closely tied, whether you realize it or not. Poor mental health can affect your physical health and vice versa. Looking after your body is important, but so is taking care of personal relationships with friends and family and taking time for yourself to reset and relax. This is something that each person can deal with in a way that works best for them, whether it means taking yoga, meditating, attending retreats, or having consistent visits with a psychologist or life coach.