The shift from spring to summer is warm and welcome to most, but with graduation season, Memorial Day, and high temperatures just around the corner, Morningside Recovery presents two simple, but major, tips to keeping it as healthy and stress-free as possible! Enjoy this healthy guide to Spring & Summer.
Eat well and exercise!
How many times have we all heard that? The thing is, the shift to sun and warmer temperatures means there’s a massive harvest of fresh produce coming. Berries, peaches, avocado, dark leafy greens, and a number of different vegetables are in season, so if you eat healthy already, you’ll be joyous, and if you want to improve your diet, now is a great time of year to start.
As far as exercise goes, there are many more options outside of grueling gym sessions to get or keep you in good cardio-vascular health and reduce stress. Brisk walking outside is a good place to start for aspiring runners or those with companions (you can take your dogs or children with you for a walk or hike), practices like yoga are great for body and mind, and swimming is a great option for those with joint problems or individuals who want to shed some pounds quickly—not to mention, it’s a great way to cool down. If you don’t know how to swim, don’t be embarrassed—nearly 37% of American adults struggle with it. Adult swim classes are offered at public pools and swim clubs all over the country, and, for most, swimming is a skill that can be learned relatively quickly (1-3 lessons). For those who are truly water phobic, lifting and doing cardio at the gym is never as scary as it seems. Most people keep their headphones in and are too focused on their own fitness to bother you, and nearly all gyms offer various exercise classes if you prefer a coach-driven team-like workout. There are also a number of gaming devices and websites with home-exercise programs that you can subscribe to, so there’s really no excuse not to exercise anymore. Exercise makes you look better and feel better, so why wouldn’t you want to anyway?
Finally, it’s vital that you stay hydrated. Water is what helps our brains and bodies function, and most people don’t drink enough. Do your best to reduce your intake of dehydrating beverages like alcohol, soda, and coffee, and avoid high sugar fruit juices and energy drinks, and drink 2-3 liters of water a day. It clears skin, aids in weight loss by curbing over-eating, and is essentially the oil to our machine, considering that 60% of the human body is water. This is especially important as temperatures rise and summer parties and barbeques abound.
Get good quality sleep!
More Americans than ever before have trouble falling and staying asleep and prescriptions for sleeping medications are at an all-time high. The light from our computers, televisions, and smart phones are huge culprits in this matter, and most sleep experts suggest shutting down and powering off these devices about an hour before you want to fall asleep. Keeping your room cool and quiet also aids in sleep, but having and using home Air Conditioner is a pricey luxury for most Americans. A couple of options are taking cool showers, light sheets, and despite, what you may think, drinking a hot beverage before bed. Residents of hot and humid countries in the Caribbean and elsewhere drink hot coffee or tea to cool off, as sweat releases heat from the body to bring it to a lower temperature. There are also certain teas like chamomile that boost the brain’s production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. Ceiling fans are also a quiet and effective alternative to A/C for those willing to spend money but keeping a budget. That being said, don’t let the early rising sun of the season ruin your morning sleep. If your room gets bright in those morning hours, consider investing in blinds or blackout curtains. There are affordable blackout curtain brands that are both energy efficient, heat reducing, and approved by the National Sleep Foundation. After you wind down and power off your electronics, keeping your sleep space cool, dark, and quiet is ideal sleep etiquette. A good night’s sleep not only reduces stress but heals the mind and body, since rest is our system’s primary form of repair.
In short, take care of yourself! These tips are basic tenants of a healthy existence that should be strived for every time of year, and although none of us do these things perfectly, the optimism that comes with sunlight may be just the inspiration we all need to try a little harder.
A Stroke You Must Have. (n.d.). Well A Stroke You Must Have Comments. Retrieved from http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/28/a-stroke-you-must-have
The Water in You. (n.d.). Water properties: (Water Science for Schools). Retrieved from http://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html