As the summer months roll on it's a great time to brush up on some healthy living advice. This is very vital as we hit the hottest temperatures of the year.
There are many things to keep in mind about your health during late July and early August as the heat index peaks, and chief among them is making sure to stay hydrated. When you're dehydrated, your body doesn't have enough fluid and electrolytes to work properly. Electrolytes are minerals in your body like sodium, calcium and potassium. They're found in the foods you eat and the fluids you drink.
1. Drink Water
Drinking water will keep urine flowing normally and flush waste products from your system. Make sure to stay hydrated especially while in the sun and/or exercising, when you lose water from perspiration. You can also eat more "water-rich" fruits and vegetables like watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, peaches and cantaloupe. Other good options include cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, celery and tomatoes.
Getting enough water helps prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs) by flushing bacteria out of our bodies. Staying hydrated helps prevent kidney stones, too.
2. Limit Salt and Caffeine
Cut down on salt. Too much salt may cause you to retain water and disrupt the salt/mineral/water balance in your kidneys, which may put you at greater risk of kidney stones.
Cut back on caffeine as it acts as a diuretic and may irritate your bladder. Try caffeine-free iced coffee or iced tea. In general, tea has about half the amount of caffeine as coffee. There are also herbal and fruit teas that are caffeine-free.
3. Try a Hydrating Recipe
The good news is that you have more options than just drinking plain water to stay hydrated and healthy this summer. Here are some simple recipes to help you stay refreshed:
- Peachy Apricot Slush
- Watermelon-Rosemary Flavored Water
- Fruity Smoothie
- Refreshing Cucumber and Lemon Water
4. Watch What You Eat
Eat cold soups, preferably those that are broth-based. Gazpacho is one popular cold soup that originated from Spain. The main ingredients are tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, garlic, and onions.
Freshen up your diet with colorful fruits and veggies. Try eating asparagus, lettuce, beets, mangos, honeydew or strawberries. Take advantage of your local farmer's market and look for foods that are organic, free-range, grass-fed, wild or pasture-raised.
5. Head Outdoors on Unseasonably Cool Days
Is it normally 85 degrees Fahrenheit where you live in the summer? If you catch a day in the low 70s than take advantage and head outdoors for a walk, bike ride or just to soak up some of that wonderful sunshine. Just make sure to apply (and re-apply) plenty of sunblock.
6. Let Go of the Tech
Many of us believe technology makes our lives easier, but it can also clutter things up a bit. Spring clean your tech by create tech-free times. These can be during dinner, before bedtime, or certain hours in the day. If your email inbox is full of junk, organize your emails into folders and unsubscribe from lists that deliver too many unwanted messages.
7. Focus on Sleep
Did you know your brain is busy restoring itself while you sleep? While you're busy catching up on your zzz's, your body is clearing itself of the chemicals it produces during the day, which allows you to wake up feeling alert and refreshed, rather than tired. Sleep also allows for tissue repair and muscle growth, which mostly or only occur during this time and sleep allows your muscles to relax, which can help relieve tension and reduce symptoms of certain types of chronic pain.