Summer is taking its sweet time to arrive this year in many parts of the country, but when it finally does arrive here are some tips to make it safer and healthier!
Sunscreen – If your sunscreen’s active ingredients include anything other than Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, it’s time to rethink your sunscreen. Cancer causing and hormone disrupting chemicals in your sunscreen are more problematic than the sun’s UVA/UVB rays! These chemicals can harm your thyroid and interfere with your hormones and affect both children and adults, male and female! It’s time to ditch your suncreen if it contains ingredients such as Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, and Homosalate. FDA approved does not mean SAFE, unfortunately! The FDA relies on the manufacturer of a product to do their own research and present it to the FDA. Hmmm…The EWG is an excellent source of information for researching safe sunscreen.
Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables – Eat what is grown locally in your area by shopping at your local farmers markets. It is not natural for you to eat a peach or grapes in January that were grown in Argentina. Your body does not need those nutrients in the middle of winter if it wasn’t grown where you live at that time of year. One of the reasons the Paleo diet has become popular is because if you do it right, you’re eating more closely to how our ancient ancestors ate who weren’t importing bananas in the middle of winter from South America if they lived in Northern Europe. Eat those cherries, apricots, peaches, tomatoes, etc…that are ripening in your area as summer progresses. Learn why eating seasonally is beneficial and check out this seasonal food guide.
Exercise – Longer days lend themselves to more time to spend outdoors. Take advantage of the extra daylight with evening walks, runs, hikes and bike rides. Get the whole family involved! Many communities have parks with nicely paved bike and walking paths. Weekday mornings and evenings are less crowded than weekends and you can also beat the heat at these times. Don’t overexert yourself in hot weather which may lead to heat stroke. Children and the elderly are more susceptible to heat stroke, but it can happen to anyone.
Hydration – When temperatures rise, your need for hydration increases. Do not rely on unhealthy sports drinks which are full of sugar (empty calories) and often artifical colors and other undesireable ingredients. Pure water and electrolyte supplementation (the proper ratio of sodium and potassium) are best. Don’t be afraid of sodium in the form of sea salt. If you’re experiencing muscle cramps, fatigue, and headaches, you may not have enough sodium or potassium. Read here why sodium is important and that most of us are not getting enough. In addition to drinking plenty of clean water, eating foods with a high water content and potassium are ideal. Think watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and leafy greens. These are excellent things to plant in your garden to have all summer long!