Simple Things You Can Do To Be Healthier This Summer
Summer days are long and hot, but more carefree and laid back than the rest of the year. Practicing self care is something we should do all year, but work, relationships, and everyday hassles seem to take up all our time. Take time this summer to incorporate simple changes in your daily routine to enhance self-care.
Eat berries. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses. Two new studies suggest that berries may be good for your heart as well. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure. Included in the mix were strawberries, red raspberries and bilberries—similar to blueberries—as well as other berries more common in Finland, where the research was conducted, including black currants, lingonberries and chokeberries.
Cook at home. Eating wholesome, healthy food prepared at home benefits reduces the number of calories you consume with less salt and sugar than you would get from prepared foods or restaurant food. Find fresh, local produce at the farmer’s market or grocery store and pair it with fish, chicken or other lean proteins for a simple, delicious and healthy meal.
Take advantage of fresh, locally grown herbs. Cooking with fresh herbs not only perks up your dish, but many herbs convey health benefits. Sage can improve brain function and memory, rosemary can help prevent allergies and nasal congestion, and basil helps boosts immunity and fight infection.
Plant a garden. Just putting your hands in soil is a “grounding” activity. Being grounded means you are centered, solid, strong, balanced, less tense and less stressed. The Centers for Disease Control says, “Gardening is an excellent way to get physical activity. Active people are less likely than inactive people to be obese or have high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, depression, colon cancer, and premature death.”
Drink a glass of water when you wake up. One of the best things you can when you wake up is drink at least 16oz (2 cups) of water. Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may make you eat less. With the hot days ahead it’s even more important to drink plenty of water, so why not start first thing in the morning!