As Nat King Cole sings, we’re headed into “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer.” It’s a wonderful time to be outside, to taste seasonal fruits and veggies at their best, and maybe even enjoy some down time. Often, we overdo things a bit, and use the summer as a chance to take a vacation from nearly everything, including our health. It’s a rare person who wants to go all out this time of year, and with everything so relaxed, that could be a hard pace to maintain.
Here are seven simple things you can do – one or more for each day of the week. Who knows, you might even relabel this time of year “Those productive, Hazy, Sane Days of Summer.” While it falls flat as a song title, you might find it’s a great way to live a life. Let’s do it!
- Get some sun, but not too much. If you’re one of those people who hides out in the air conditioning when it gets hot, don’t forget to spend some time outside for some much-needed Vitamin D. After all, those of us who live farther from the equator need all the help we can get. Restrict your time to early in the morning or later in the day to limit the chance of sunburn.
- Stay hydrated. Make it a point to concentrate on staying hydrated, especially if you’re going to be active. Take water along with you, or buy some if you’re out and about. It will keep your energy higher, and help to flush your kidneys of toxins.
- Don’t just drink it. If you have the chance, go for a swim. If you don’t feel comfortable swimming in front of others, see if you can find a quiet time to swim. You can also sit on the edge of a pool and put your feet in the water. If swelling of your legs is a concern, the pressure of the water is ideal for helping with this. If you don’t have access to a pool, allow yourself the luxury of a bubble bath or soak your feet in cool water.
- Take a walk. Sometimes, we get so caught up in a particular workout routine that we forget to enjoy the beauty outdoors. Consider skipping your treadmill session for a walk outside. If you’re spending time at a sports event for a child or grandchild, or any outdoor event for that matter, consider walking or even pacing or standing. If you want to change things up a bit, take one of our workouts outdoors. Try it in your bare feet on the grass, or do it in a pool for added resistance.
- Read for health. If you’re enjoying some time at the beach, waiting in airports or bus stations, or just enjoying the outdoors, consider adding a health-related book to your summer reading list. If you’re looking for suggestions, I’ve reviewed several on our podcast.
- Unplug. Consider turning off the soundscapes playing on your smart phone, and enjoy the beauty outside. I don’t know most of them by name, but I love listening to all the bird songs and so many other sounds of summer. Enjoy the smells, and sights with what usable vision you have. Summer is also full of rich textures; everything is so alive. Don’t forget to live and to experience it for yourself.
- Act like a child. I truly believe spontaneity is good for us. We never knew when it was going to happen, but as kids, my sisters and I loved the one day a year that dinner was pre-empted by strawberry shortcake. Corn on the cob Day was pretty good too, but that strawberry shortcake was the best. I’m not advocating eating dessert for dinner every day of summer, but keeping that mindset of excitement and being willing to mix things up and try new adventures is the very essence of what summer is all about.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to stop reading – at least for now – and start using the coming days to transform your own summer into a season of growth and refreshment! We’d love to hear what that looks like for you. Simply contact us to share your experiences.