8 Ways to Stay Healthy in Summer

June 1st, 2016
8 Ways to Stay Healthy in Summer

Summer is finally here and before we know it, the holidays will be here. If you’re ready to have your healthiest summer yet, take on board these eight golden rules:

  1. Drink plenty of water

It’s essential to drink water all year round, but staying hydrated is particularly important in the summer when temperatures¬†are higher. If you’re sweating, your body is losing fluid. You need to replace this fluid. Aim for at least two litres of water a day. Drinking water will prevent dehydration, headaches and tiredness. It will also help keep your skin looking bright and clear.

  1. Protect your skin from the sun

Most of us love the feel of the sun’s warmth on our skin, but it’s important not to forget that the sun is harmful. Use a high factor of sunscreen to prevent burning and if you have fair skin, try and stick to factor 30 or above. Avoid sitting out in the midday sun and reapply cream during the day, taking care to cover your whole body. Don’t forget your ears and the soles of your feet! If you can feel your skin starting to burn, move into the shade. When you get inside, apply moisturiser or after sun lotion to soothe your skin.

  1. Exercise

Exercising has so many benefits for your physical and mental health. Working out improves your strength, stamina and endurance and it also helps to reduce tension and refocuses your mind. You don’t have to be a gym bunny to reap the rewards of exercise – there are loads of different sports and activities you can try! Go for a yoga class or take your mat down to the park if you’ve had a stressful day. Join the local tennis, golf or jogging club if you’re eager to be sociable as well as sporty. Try climbing, hiking or canoeing if you fancy getting out into the great outdoors.

  1. Drink in moderation

Many of us enjoy a refreshing cocktail or cool beer on a summer’s afternoon. Drinking in moderation won’t do you any harm, but take care not to exceed the recommended weekly intake. If you are drinking, make sure you drink plenty of water and stick to the recommended guidelines of 14 units. One unit is the equivalent of a single measure of 25ml measure of a spirit (vodka or whiskey, for example).

  1. Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential for good health. When you’re sleeping, your body goes through a series of processes that enable it to recover and prepare for the day ahead. If you miss out on sleep, you’re likely to feel tired and sluggish. In the long term, sleep deprivation can contribute to an elevated risk of serious health problems and affect your relationships with others and your performance at work. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try and get into a set routine so your body clock adjusts. Keep your bedroom free from phones and tablets and make sure it’s dark and quiet. Exercise on a daily basis and avoid caffeinated drinks after 3pm. If you still can’t sleep, consider seeing your doctor.

  1. Give up smoking

Giving up smoking is one of the most positive steps you can take to improve your health and reduce your risk of potentially life threatening illnesses. Quitting smoking is notoriously difficult, but it can be done with the right support and a healthy dose of willpower. If you want to give up, contact your local  pharmacy. There are many services available, including sessions with stop smoking advisers and group support sessions. You may also wish to discuss using nicotine replacement therapies to curb cravings.

  1. Cut down your sugar intake

If you read the papers on a regular basis, you’ll probably have noticed that sugar has hit the headlines a lot lately. Research suggests that most people consume too much sugar and this is contributing to rising rates of obesity, type 2 diabetes and dental decay. The recommended daily intake for an adult is 30g. If you’re keen to cut down your sugar intake, swap fizzy drinks and fruit juice for water or milk. Reduce the amount of sugar you put in hot drinks and go for wholegrain cereals rather than sugar coated puffs, flakes or rings. Always check food labels before you buy. You’ll see the traffic light system on most food products, so try and stay out of the red in the sugar column!

  1. Get out and about

Hopefully, summer will bring us lovely weather and light evenings. Use your free time wisely and make the most of days off. Go exploring in the countryside, hit the beach or arrange to spend time with friends and family. Socialising and getting fresh air can do your mental health the world of good.

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