The summer heat and sunshine has arrived! When your external environment changes, so does your internal body’s environment. Optimize your health this season with these five tips.
DON’T : Spend your days in the gym.
DO : Get active outdoors! Bring your mats and meet a friend in the park for a yoga session. Walk instead of taking the subway. Bike to work instead of drive. Not only do these decisions save you money, but they also get you fit in the fresh air. There are also some awesome group outdoor fitness class options in the summer months.
DON’T : Fall for the wrong summer sweets.
DO : Start craving the healthier options! When you think of summer treats you think of ice cream, popsicles, frappucinos, etc. Sugar is extremely dehydrating… add in the sun and heat and your toast. Most popular summer treats have refined sugars which are highly inflammatory to your skin, gut and brain. Stick with watermelon, frozen grapes, homemade iced tea, smoothie bowls and frozen banana soft serve (will post recipe soon). There’s no harm in a special occasion gelato but stick to kiddie-size.
DON’T : Get a sunburn.
DO : Protect your skin! However, I don’t believe in blocking every single ray of sunlight. I go out for 15-30 minutes without sunscreen to get some natural Vitamin D. Afterwards, I move to the shade and apply 30 SPF by Koola (body) and AlumierMD (face). This works for me but many people with lighter skin tones can burn easily in 15-30 minutes. Know your body because burns occur before you see or feel them! With every sunburn, your risk for melasma, melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma (one of the worst skin cancers) goes up drastically. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
DON’T: Binge drink!
DO : Be mindful while socializing. Summer is known for patio season, weddings and other booze-filled events. Getting into a bad habit with alcohol can lead to weight gain, depression, fatigue, aging skin and vitamin depletion. Another negative side to drinking alcohol in the summer is extra dehydration. Drink a glass of water between every beer, wine or spirit. The NIAAA considers at-risk drinking as followed:
Women: more than 7 drinks per week or 3 drinks per occasion
Men: more than 14 drinks per week or 4 drinks per occasion for men
DON’T : Scorch your food on the BBQ!
DO : Enjoy BBQ foods cooked longer on lower heat. The black char you see on BBQ food is actually a product of incomplete combustion which is carcinogenic. These parts consist of heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which have been linked to DNA changes that may increase cancer risk. Make sure to use the barbecue on lower heat for a longer duration in order to skip the carcinogens and preserve nutrient density.