“One of these mornings, you’re gonna rise up singing. You’ll spread your wings, and you’ll take to the sky.” You know the chorus: Summertime- and the living is easy. It’s one of my all-time favorite lyrics, and a statement that for many of us is absolutely true. The sunshine, warmer temperature, and longer days can indeed make life a little bit easier. One great way to take advantage of the season is to get started on building some simple healthy habits that can help you through the rest of the year. My UpWellness team has put together a useful list of summer habits that can make the bright season even brighter. Enjoy!
It is much easier to embark on a journey towards better health in the summer when the sun is shining, and the temperatures are warm. It is far easier to make excuses in the winter when the weather is more conducive to long hours of sleep, comfort foods, and minimal activity. Now is the time to embrace healthy habits. They say it takes about thirty days for an activity to become a habit. No time like the present to get started.
Here are a few healthy summer habits that your body will thank you for:
Wake up earlier and move – Since it gets light earlier in the summer, it is a great time to adjust your internal clock to get up a little earlier. Use the extra time in the morning to take a quick walk, stretch, or do a yoga routine. The body responds exceptionally well to early morning movement, and you will soon find that your day is more productive because of it.
Eat plenty of in-season produce – Visit your local farmers market or better yet, grow your own food and enjoy seasonal produce all summer long. There is some evidence that seasonal eating is the healthiest way to eat. This means plenty of beans, corn and tomatoes all summer long and pumpkin, apples and Brussels sprouts in the fall.
Drink water – Hydration is always important, but especially crucial in the warm months or when exercising. Develop a healthy habit of drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water, and your body will love you back. To help you remember to drink put an app on your phone or get a ½ gallon water jug and carry it around with you. If water is not your thing, try infusing it with your favorite fruit or mixing it with a little 100% fruit juice for more flavor.
Practice grounding – Summer is a great time to start the practice of grounding. Grounding, also known as earthing, is simply the practice of standing barefoot on the ground. The earth is an electrical planet, and humans are bioelectrical in nature. The heart and nervous system are good examples of this. Research reveals that direct contact with the ground allows for an energy infusion. It doesn’t take long, just a few minutes a day to reap benefits like reduced inflammation, better sleep, calmness, and a boost in the body’s ability to self heal.
Enjoy fresh flowers – There is just something about a bouquet of beautiful flowers that brings life to any room in the house. If you have a garden, bring in some of your flowers to enjoy. This is a habit that does not have to stop when summer is over – there are always fresh flowers to be found year-round no matter where you live. Just looking at a bouquet can inspire creativity, lift one’s mood, and instill a sense of relaxation – just what many of us need.
Sun gaze – While you are outdoors enjoying the early morning, perhaps doing some grounding, why not add in some sun gazing while you are at it? At sunrise or sunset, when the sun is closest to the earth, stand barefoot on the earth and look directly at the sun for ten seconds. That’s it, only ten seconds. The theory behind this practice is that the sun is the force of al life, and it infuses the body with large amounts of energy. According to research, sungazing stimulates the pineal gland as light hits the eye and moves through the retinal-hypothalamic tract and to the brain. This causes an increase in melatonin and serotonin – the “feel good” hormones. A word of caution – don’t look at the sun for longer than ten seconds or any time other than the first thing in the morning or during sunset – all other times, be sure to wear high quality sunglasses when outdoors to protect your eyes.
Turn the temperature on your shower down – It is easy to develop a cool shower habit when the weather outside is hot. Even turning your shower temp down just a little bit can make a tremendous difference to your health. Not only is cooler water good for your skin and hair, but it helps with circulation, boosts immunity, and lowers stress. There is also some indication that a cool shower can increase testosterone levels, help with a better night’s sleep, and boost antioxidant protection. If going cold turkey on hot water is hard, try turning the shower temperature down for the last little bit and gradually increasing the duration daily. Before long, you will crave that cool and refreshing blast of water!
-The UpWellness Team