Summer always feels like such a special season. From vacations to BBQ’s and swimming, it’s essential to keep your health in mind as we enter this time of fun.

Tip 1: Get your body moving for optimum health!

Summertime offers incredible opportunities for activity. From tackling outdoor activities such as gardening to attending supporting events and going to a swimming pool, there are many wonderful options for getting your body moving.

We at Dr. Andrea’s understand that it isn’t always easy to find time for activity. In a previous article, 6 Reasons to Stay Active, we talked about the vast benefits staying active has on your body. So feel free to check out that blog to understand better why you should prioritize a busy life.

Tip 2: Make eating healthy a priority this summer.

Yes, summertime does mean more options for activity, but it also means more food choices that are available to you. No, we aren’t talking about a surplus in ice cream trucks or BBQ, though those are commonly thought of in the summertime. We are referring to delicious fruits and vegetables that aren’t in a season other times.

Previously we wrote, “The link between good nutrition and healthy weight reduced chronic disease risk, and overall health is too important to ignore.” This statement is still so powerful to us, and it is an important reminder to focus on good nutrition this summer.  Sure, you will be faced with ice cream trucks and BBQs, but those food choices are okay in moderation. Our suggestion for you is to make sure you have healthy snacks with you at all times to help you make eating healthy a priority this summer.

Tip 3: Fend of mosquitos naturally.

As we all know, mosquito bites are an annoying aspect of summer. The continuous itching is annoying, and mosquitoes also can carry diseases such as Malaria, West Nile, and the Zika virus. Because of this, we recommend fending off mosquitos when outdoors.

The market is full of DEET-driven products. DEET, also known by the chemical name N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, is an active ingredient in many mosquito products on the market that works to repel mosquitos. Even though DEET has been declared by the CDC to be safe, we believe the use of fewer chemicals on your body is always the best solution.

Natural repellents that work best to fend off mosquitos are lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and cinnamon oil. You can utilize their potent repelling power by combing four drops of any of the oils listed above with two ounces of water; you can create a spray that will help keep those pesky bugs away from you.

Tip 4: Before you partake in any activity, take the time to warm up your body and then cool down your body post-exercise.

Taking the time to warm-up prepares the body for increased activity, helping to decrease the risk of injury in the process. Dr. Andrea recommends spending ten minutes warming your body up to work out safely. Your warm-up could be something easy such as dancing to a song on the radio, or it could be more intense where you hold stretches for ten to thirty seconds at a time.

The exact time should be taken post-workout for a ten-minute cool-down. Your cool-down will help avoid muscle cramps while allowing your heart rate to return to a regular beat. A helpful cool-down routine includes a range of motion stretching that works to ease and lengthen muscles.

Tip 5: Visit the farmers’ markets.

Farmers’ markets not only provide you with another fun reason to be active outdoors, but it also allows you to know where your food came from. Through this knowledge, you can know that harmful chemicals and other GMOs were not used on the produce you wish to consume.

The beautiful produce at the farmers’ market can also serve as a tool to inspire you to try new locally grown healthy foods. So who knows, you may have a new favorite fruit or vegetable in your future!

Tip 6: Ditch the toxins and soak up the sun!

We are always trying to help our patients understand the risk of exposing ourselves to toxins. We touched a little on this above in tip three but working to avoid chemicals is a great reason to make tip six about toxins and your skin.

Your skin is your largest organ, and it is also very absorbent. Because of this, we want to ensure that you keep yourself safe by looking for a natural and chemical-free sunscreen. Vitamin d is essential for health wellness, but so is sun safety. Did you know that you can get all the vitamin d you need for the day in ten minutes outside? It’s true! So, as you prepare for outdoor activities, we suggest using chemical-free sunscreen or sun-safe protective clothing.

Tip 7: Get enough rest and relaxation.

From taking kids to their soccer games, mowing the lawn regularly, or simply planning the sights you must see on an upcoming vacation, summers often keep us all busy. With that said, it’s essential to prioritize your health by getting enough rest so that your body can recover from all the activity. After all, your muscles need adequate time to heal. When you do not allow healing to occur, you are more prone to injury, which is never good.

Tip 8: Keep hydration a priority.

Though hydration is important all year, it is especially crucial in the hot Oklahoma summers we face here. The body is made up of approximately 65% water. The role water plays in your body is vast. It helps with tasks such as lubricating your joints, regulate your temperature, allows you to flush out waste products, and protects organs and body tissues.

Based on the list above, your body needs water to work. As the summer months are upon us, it is important to remember that you can become dehydrated when your water intake does not equal your output. Therefore, it is crucial to get your more than just the eight recommended glasses of water you need a day with all the hot summer outdoor activities. We recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should drink 90 ounces of water each day.

Tip 9: Commit to chiropractic care.

Choosing to prioritize chiropractic care in the summer doesn’t always seem to make sense. After all, you are getting extra physical activity. However, that extra physical activity means increased opportunities for injuring yourself, which is why you need chiropractic care the most in the summer months.

Besides relief from potential injury, chiropractic care also helps reduce headaches, helps you get better sleep, a larger range of flexibility, and a stronger immune system.

Tip 10: Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Every day we are faced with opportunities to take life way too seriously. From slow internet to terrible drivers, everywhere you turn, there are opportunities for frustration. However, summertime means a time of decreased stress and schedules. Because of this, we want to remind you to learn to let go and have fun. Though this can be a difficult task, the reward will be vast.

Don’t use summer as an excuse to ignore spinal health. To schedule your appointment with Dr. Andrea, or if you would like to discuss any of the tips mentioned in this blog, click here. We would love to hear from you!