Swimming, laying on the beach, picnics in the park—it’s no surprise why the summer is our favorite season. The hot and humid weather, however, can have detrimental effects on our health and well-being. When we’re overheated, we may feel sluggish, irritated, and unmotivated to stay fit. Add in lots of drinks by the pool and a few barbeques and you might find yourself packing on the pounds. Check out our list of some easy ways to stay cool and feel healthy throughout the summertime.
Eat small meals throughout the day
Think of yourself as a bonfire that needs to be “stoked up” routinely in order to keep the energy levels consistent. By doing so, your blood sugar will stay level and you’ll maintain better clarity and endurance throughout the day. One of the best ways to do this is by eating small meals the entire day, starting with the first half hour after waking up. After that, eat a small meal every two and a half hours throughout the day. Each main meal should include about one “palm full” of protein like meat or nuts and 1.5-2 palm fulls of carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables. This will keep you energized throughout the day, so you’ll suffer no more post-lunch dips at the office or sluggishness after dinner at night.
Always stay hydrated
Everyone knows that the most essential element to better health is water, water water! As simple as this sounds, staying hydrated decreases pain, increases energy, provides clarity of thought, clears skin, and suppresses hunger. Unfortunately, however, the majority of people are dehydrated most of the time. Without enough water, your organs and muscles need to work a lot harder, leaving you feeling exhausted and lethargic.
In the summer, you might be losing lots of water due to high temperatures that cause more sweating than usual. That’s exactly why it’s especially important to drink plenty of water—around 8 ounces (about 2 liters) a day. If you’re not used to drinking water throughout the day, try a fruit infused water bottle to add a little flavor and nutrients to your drink. You can also get a water bottle like a Nalgene that’s marked with the amount on the side, so you can keep track of how much you are drinking in a day.
Fight heat fatigue and keep your mind sharp
We all know that hot and humid weather can affect our body’s capabilities, but it’s good to note that it can also affect our minds. High temperatures can cause tiredness, a lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and decreased stamina. In order to fight the heat’s effects, take a few extra supplements like B12, fish oil, or a multivitamin to keep your body and mind on track.
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Keep a cool bedroom
A good night’s sleep is a crucial part of a healthy routine that should never be taken for granted. The heat, however, is known to cause restless sleep that can cause you to feel extra groggy in the morning. If an indoor cooling system like an air conditioner isn’t an option for you, there are a few ways you can keep your bedroom cool in the summer. For example, install blackout curtains and close them before you leave the house in the morning. That way the heat won’t enter your room during the peak hours of the sun. Instead of silk or synthetic fibers, buy cotton or linen sheets as they breathe and will keep your body cool as you lay on them. Also, consider adding a few plants to your room. They will keep the air filtered, leaving you feeling cooler and fresh in the morning. If you live in a particularly humid area, consider getting a dehumidifier to remove some of the moisture from the air.
Plan and prepare for barbecues and outdoor events
The summertime is especially fun because of the downtime you have with friends and family. Whether it’s a picnic, a barbecue, or just a get together with friends, food is bound to be a part of the festivities. When we’re having such a good time, we sometimes forget to keep in mind our calorie intake.
If you’re attending an outdoor event that you know will have lots of fried food and sugary drinks, plan ahead before you go. Bring your own calorie-free drink or a bowl of juicy watermelon. Your hosts will probably thank you for the tasty addition! Pack a few bags of filling snacks like nuts and veggies that you can munch on if the other options aren’t so healthy. Avoid dips, sauces, and butter when possible. And remember to moderate alcohol intake—it’s a lot of empty calories that could be filled with hydrating water instead.