Summer is the perfect time to focus on your health and wellness! With the warm, sunny weather, it’s easy to get outside and take advantage of everything New Hampshire has to offer.
Summer is a great time to increase your physical activity. Starting a new activity while the weather is good will make it easier to form a healthy habit that will continue throughout the year.
2. Grow Your Food – Nothing beats the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer! Planting a garden can be both an enjoyable activity, as well as a cost-saving one. Getting your hands in the soil can also reduce your stress levels. Do you have a bad back or use a wheelchair for mobility? A raised garden bed can be helpful for individuals that have disabilities or anyone with physical restrictions. Start small to keep it a fun and manageable project.
No yard? Growing produce in individual pots can be an efficient way to provide some fresh produce for yourself… and may even result in some left overs for a lucky neighbor or two!
3. Visit a Farmer’s Market – Farmer’s Markets are a great place to shop for fresh, seasonal produce (typically open one to two days a week). As more vendors pop-up throughout the summer, the price of fruits and veggies tend to drop. Buying food locally allows you to know where your food comes from and who grows it. Plus, you’ll be supporting local farmers, working farms and supporting your community. Click here to find a market near you.
But once you find the produce, how do you fix it? Some vendors and grocery stores provide recipes for shoppers so you can take them home with you. You can also ask the seller for recommendations on how to prepare the foods – They will be happy to share their passion and expertise with you! Googling the words “Easy Healthy Recipes” with the name of the vegetable or fruit you are purchasing will also produce a wealth of good recipes to choose from. Feeling adventurous? Try making up your own healthy recipe!
4. Use Sunscreen – Whether it’s hiking, biking, swimming or one of the many other outdoor activities so many of us enjoy in the summer, it’s vital to remember applying sunscreen to protect our skin from damaging UV rays. Make it the first thing on your list when getting ready for your outdoor adventure. Research suggests that one severe burn is enough to increase your chances of developing melanoma later in life by 50%.
5. Stay Hydrated – We all know how important it is to stay hydrated, especially in the heat, but most of us don’t consume enough. How much water should you consume in a day? Experts say you drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. For instance, if you way 150 pounds, aim for drinking at least 75 ounces of water. Be sure to keep water on you throughout the day.
6. Protect Yourself from Heat Exhaustion – As the summer temperatures remain in the 90s, be aware of the signs, symptoms and treatments of heat exhaustion. A person with heat exhaustion may suffer from confusion, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, headaches, nausea, vomiting and/or profuse sweating. If you or someone else experiences signs of heat exhaustion, get out of the heat and rest immediately. Drink plenty of fluids, remove tight clothing and apply cooling measures, like fans or ice. If untreated, heat exhaustion can turn into heat stroke, which can result in severe consequences.
7. Head Indoors – When the temperature outside is 90 degrees or higher, the risk of heat-related illness increases significantly. When it is extremely hot out, avoid doing physically intense outdoor activities. Seek air conditioning in places like shopping malls, movie theaters or other cool establishments. You can also stay physically active by visiting indoor places, like yoga classes, the YMCA for tennis/racquetball or other health clubs.