The sunshine of summer is enough to make you feel better than you usually do throughout the year. But with a few changes to your daily habits, you can feel at your absolute best throughout the summer. Without further ado, here are four simple ways to optimize your health during the hottest months of the year.
First, make sure to eat anti-inflammatory foods. Inflammation is at the root of many health conditions and can bring down your energy. To avoid inflammation, eat real, homemade food. Not weak salads that leave you vulnerable to a blood sugar crash in the afternoon, but “regular” food that’s boosted with anti-inflammatory tricks. Try more vegetables of all kinds, preferably four different kinds with four different colors. How about a rainbow of vegetables and berries every day? Blueberries, purple eggplant, red onion, green spinach, yellow peppers, orange carrots, red tomatoes, and all other colors. Vegetables, with their various polyphenols, act directly or indirectly (researchers are investigating this) as protective mechanisms for the plants, and we humans can “borrow” their effects to protect ourselves.
The next you’ll want to do is lower your sugar intake. A first step is to get rid of all the sugary junk in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry such as ice cream and soda. Another method is to figure out a new standard breakfast, which will probably be different from the way you used to eat. Breakfast buffets with bread, orange juice, sugary fruit yogurt, “regular” high-lactose milk, processed cereal, and marmalade—goodbye! Many of these products will give you a blood sugar rush or create other types of inflammation. Instead, go for a breakfast that focuses on protein, fat, vegetables, and fruit.
Beyond diet, exercise is another effective way to decrease inflammation and boost your energy this summer. Aim to exercise a little every day, but vary the length and intensity. And even when you don’t feel like it, you can at least try 10 minutes.
Lastly, take time to de-stress. A moment of deep breathing and meditation decreases inflammation. So take the time to breathe deeply, meditate, practice yoga—whatever you need to do to feel relaxed. And of course, make sure to get enough sleep!