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Posted on 07-18-2017
Five Healthy Summertime Habits You’ll Enjoy
Summer brings up thoughts of playing sports, lying on the beach, and barbecues sizzling with flavorful delight – but there are five simple secrets you can adopt to make this your healthiest summer yet. They cost nothing, they are time and energy efficient, and they feel good, too.
TAKE A WALK OUTSIDE
You may not want to venture out during the hottest part of the day, but taking a summertime stroll, either early in the morning or after dinner as the temperature starts to drop, can be one of the most pleasurable habits you can choose. Select a reasonable pace, not a crawl but not a trot either, and settle into a rhythm so your arms and legs are swinging naturally and your breathing is not labored or uneven. Walking is one of your best exercises, since it places little strain on your body and gives back many benefits, like stimulation of your muscles and circulation, improved digestion, and better coordination. Walk to your own tolerance – pick a distance and a tempo that matches up to your current level of fitness, and build from there.
Most of us don’t realize it, but the most important nutrient we get is not food, which we can do without for weeks, or water, which we can do without for days, but air, which we cannot do without for more than a few minutes. Most of us do not appreciate that this vital substance is free and abundant, which means that so many of us don’t take advantage of it. If you start and end your day with a series of deep breaths, you‘ll be amazed how energized you feel, and how bright the world looks through your eyes. Try breathing in for a count of three, holding your breath for a count of twelve, and exhaling for a count of six. This ancient breathing style, derived from yoga and practiced by millions of people worldwide, will bring oxygen into your cells and organs, and will vitalize you by supplying ample chemical energy to your body. Do ten or more of these “power breaths” each morning and each evening, and notice how much better you feel.
Especially during the warmer months, we tend to sweat and lose water through our skin. Replenish it with a daily intake of a half ounce of water for every pound of body weight – in other words, if you weigh 120 pounds, 60 ounces or five 12-ounce glasses should do, while if you weigh 192 pounds, drink eight 12-ounce glasses or 96 ounces each day. If your mouth and eyes are dry, you feel dizzy or headachy or you’re really thirsty, you may be dehydrated -- avoid this by drinking enough water, especially if you’re going to be outside in the heat for a while.
GET SOME SUNSHINE
Recently going out in the sun has gotten a bad rap. We need a certain amount of direct sunlight, on bare skin without sun blocker, not for extended periods, but for ten or fifteen minutes or so each day. Regular sunlight has been linked to decreases in heart disease and diabetes, improved immune system function, and an overall better attitude.
TAKE A NAP
Ideally, we need seven or eight hours of sleep each night as this is the amount of time it takes the brain for typical daily maintenance and detoxification. Most people get less, and you can make up for some of that lost sleep with a brief nap. Grab a short snooze about the same time each day, you’ll be amazed how much more energy you get afterwards. Thirty minutes to sixty minutes is ideal, but even a few minutes with your eyes closed can be refreshing and rejuvenating.
Exercise, breathing, hydration, sunshine, rest – five healthy summertime habits you’ll enjoy doing. They won’t cost you any money, but they can pay dividends in the form of better quality of life and improved health and longevity.
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