With warm weather comes swimsuits and tank tops, beaches and outdoor adventures. Excitement and happiness fills the air as the hot summer sun stimulates pent up endorphins, hidden away from cold winter months. However, it’s important to acknowledge the do’s and don’ts of playing safely under the sun’s blazing rays.
Let’s delve into how these little rays of sunshine can impact your health.
What better way to get your direct source of Vitamin D then from our planet’s brightest star – the SUN. Otherwise known as the “Sunshine Vitamin”, Vitamin D is produced naturally in your skin in response to sunlight. Expose your bare skin to some sunshiny rays everyday, to achieve your daily requirement. A supplement, as well as consuming Vitamin D enriched foods like salmon, is beneficial to include in your diet if you’re not getting enough daylight hours.
Vitamin D serves many important physiological functions such as normal development of bones/teeth and facilitating proper immune function, hence, fighting certain diseases. Additionally, it’s been shown to regulate mood and ward off depression – working hand in hand with serotonin, a mood-boosting hormone that is released in the brain when exposed to sunlight.
Whether you’re hiking, biking, swimming or just lounging in your backyard, you need to protect your skin from the ultraviolet radiation in the sun’s rays, as it can pose health risks such as the development of skin cancer, sunburn and sunstroke. Sunscreen is KEY! An SPF of 30 to 60 is best. Ensure that you apply a generous amount onto your skin and re-apply every two hours for optimal protection, as it can wear off from activities throughout the day. For even more protection, stock up on additional SPF products such as lipsticks, daily lotions and other cosmetic products, as well wearing sunglasses with a UV rating to protect your precious peepers.
A little sun-kissed glow is all the rage in the summer months. However, tanning overkill is definitely not worth the negative after effects – skin damage. Whether you’re bronzed like a goddess or burnt like a tomato; neither is favourable for the largest organ in your body. Over exposure may cause premature aging (a.k.a. wrinkles and age spots!) and a higher risk of precancerous growths and skin cancer. Protect your delicate epidermis by staying out of direct sun (for long periods of time) during peak hours between 10:00am to 2:00pm; this is when UV rays are the strongest. Be mindful when enjoying outdoors activities – seek shade where you can and wear thin, light colored garments that cover most of your skin for the best defense against harmful UV radiation.
TIP: Check your skin regularly for moles and marks that could be suggestive of skin cancer; be cognizant of any new and/or changes in skin pigmentation. Keep your doctor apprised of any concerns.
Drinking fluids, ideally Mother Nature’s purest source WATER, is the best bet to replenishing your skin – inside, out. Aim to drink your daily requirements of 6-8 cups a day – more, if you’re active. The hotter the weather, the more dehydrated you may become. Be mindful of your body’s needs and how much activity you’re participating in throughout the day. If you’re feeling thirsty, tired, irritable, experiencing headaches, dizziness, fainting, flushed skin, dry lips and/or mouth – you’re DEHYDRATED. Drink up, as much as you can, so you can actively enjoy the hot, summer sun with family and friends!
With a few of these healthful tidbits of information to shine a light on how to get the most out of the sun’s rays, its also important to recognize and appreciate Mother Nature is always boss.
Get your daily sunshine fix – guard your skin, top up your fluids and SOAK UP THE SUN!
There is a small, still voice inside you, that one that talks to you at night. The one that pulls at your heart and mind strings about a certain situation or circumstance. The one you sometimes ignore, but “damn, you know it’s right!”. The unbiased whisper that is trying so hard to lead you, guide you, inspire you – is ultimately your universal connection, your God.
We all have a “connection” – a connection to what intuitively feels right and feels good within us. Trust this. Know that this is your internal guidance system, trying so hard to steer you in the direction of your true calling. When you’re off balance, you know it. You start to feel agitated, worried, stressed, sad and angry. Alternatively, when you’re balanced, you’re happy, excited, inspired and confident.
Stop ignoring the genuine feelings that are churning in your gut – we all essentially “know the truth”, but we just get good at lying to ourselves about it. Push through the resistance of your mind and know that life is full of opportunities, experiences, people and resources that are waiting for you to say, “enough’s enough, I’m gonna follow my gut!”
As a wise friend once told me, “when you take a leap, you either grow wings and fly or someone will be there to catch you”. You just never know what, where or why your instincts are navigating you in a certain direction. Trust yourself and the undeniable power of your God…
Rounded; Glow; Gratitude; Prefer; Express
Below are SEVEN great tips on how to keep your body in tip top shape and ready for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Care for it with respect and love and it WILL take care of you too!
FLEX THOSE MUSCLES, PUMP THE HEART
Strength training (aka. pumping weights) is crucial in the burning fat process (muscle burns fat!), overall body flexibility, increased muscle strength and minimizes the occurrence of injury. Similarly, implementing cardio on consistent basis is super beneficial for the ticker and other vital organs to keep your body in check. Elevation of your heart rate helps with blood circulation, releases “feel good” hormones, promotes elimination of waste, drives up your metabolism and improves recovery after a workout. So, grab those chrome 5’s and jump on the StairMaster, your body will pay you back tenfold.
AHHH….REPLENISH WITH H2O
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Our bodies are made up of 50 to 75 percent water; that is from blood, urine, digestive juices, perspiration, and in lean muscle, fat and bones. Since our bodies can’t store water, it’s critical to replenish! Our human bodies can last weeks without food, but only days without the all-important H2O. Drink up; about 6-8 glasses a day. It will assist in elimination of byproducts, aids in digestion and constipation, lubricates joints, carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells and regulates your body temperature. Indulge in some good, plain ol’ water, its carbonated counterpart or jazz it up with some lemon/lime/cucumber.
WHOLE LOTTA GREEN
“Eat your greens!”, as your mom would say. Wouldn’t you know, she was right! A powerhouse of vitamins, nutrients, minerals, fiber, even protein, it may help to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Low in fat and calories, which means you can binge a little and not feel so guilty. Spruce up your booooring salad with an assortment of leafy greens, colourful veggies such as chopped asparagus, tomatoes, red peppers, toss in some sweetness from sliced mango or strawberries, plus pumpkin seeds and walnuts. Viola, a SALAD of champions! Alternatively, blend veggies into a smoothie or bottoms up in a green juice. Yum!
CLEAN THOSE CHICKLETS
Keep your pearly whites sparkling clean by brushing and flossing every day, at least 2x day. Dental hygiene is so important to the body’s overall health, and here’s why… It aids in the prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even dementia. With regular brushing, you remove nasty bacteria that can live in your mouth, as to avoid it from travelling into the bloodstream. It also prevents gum disease, as is evident through swollen and bleeding gums. And of course, who wants to have smelly breath (pee-yew!). You can chew all the gum in the world, but it’s just masking what could be dangerously be lingering under your breath.
SCRUB, SCRUB AWAY
Dead. Skin. Cells. Yuck! Yes, we all have them. And some may even endeavour to do away with the nasty little scales every so often. This is one regimen that you really need to incorporate in your skincare routine. Exfoliation of the face and body helps to improve the appearance and texture of skin (youthful skin for life!) by detoxifying, improving skin tone and reducing fine lines and sun damage. It also kills bacteria and prevents breakouts. So, pull out the loofah and get scrub, scrubbing!
SHIATSU FOR YOU
Ooooo, ahhhh…. not only does a massage feel so good, there are many other pleasing health benefits. Massage therapy helps to reduce and eliminate pain associated with muscle soreness and injuries, as well as improve joint mobility and circulation. The release of muscular tension can contribute to relieving headaches and/or migraines, in addition to calming anxiety and depression. The relief from stretching and releasing those horrible knots can boost your immune system and allow you to rest your head a little better at night and sleep like a baby…Zzzzz…
RENDEVOUS FOR TWO
Va va vooom….oh yes, the 3 letter word that can be naughty, but is absolutley advantageous to your health…and not just for the (O)bvious reasons! Sex can relieve stress, contribute to a healthy immune system and boost that purring libido. In addition to being a great form of exercise, it’s been linked to lowering blood pressure and may even help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. So pull down the blinds, have fun under the sheets, sex is pleasurably healthful to the body. (And P.S…practice safe sex!)
Lace up your runners, put on those ear buds and get moving for hearts sake! Implementing cardio into your routine is one sure way to get you on the road to good health and a happy heart.
In order for your heart to build, sustain strength and fight the good fight for a healthy body, it requires much needed attention on a regular basis, so you need to get moving! Your ticker is a muscle just like any other in your body, so why wouldn’t you give it the consideration it wholeheartedly deserves? As you become active and get that heart rate up, it will provide your body with many healthful benefits such as proper blood circulation, promoting elimination of waste, improved recovery after a workout and driving up your metabolism…and who doesn’t want a revved up metabolism to efficiently burn food into energy? I DO! Alongside an upbeat metabolism, performing cardiovascular training will also release “feel good” hormones. These happy hormones will aid in allowing you to take things in stride to have a more positive outlook in life; easing symptoms of stress, fatigue and depression.
Cardio is all about getting you moving and boosting that pulse rate. If you’re just starting out, find an activity that will help achieve this. Whether walking, running or going for a bike ride; keep it consistent in your daily life and build from there. As your fitness level increases, look at interval training, HIIT training or partake in an organized sport. Whatever your fitness level – beginner, intermediate or advanced – the idea is simply to love your heart and get it pumping for a healthier, stronger, happier you!
A Good Match; Arid; Rhythmic; Against the Odds;Jiggle
The agony of a persistent, nagging back ache or pain can be enough to make you wanna scream and cry, especially if its chronic! Yikes! Most may turn to painkillers to ease the discomfort, however, relief may be in sight by taking a natural approach to remedying this aliment.
Here’s a list of “DO’s” to get you DOING the right things for a stronger, healthier back…
Do STRECTH. It will help to lengthen those muscles, making them more elastic and will aid to alleviate the tightness.
Do YOGA. Along the same lines of stretching, getting into the downward dog position will help to condition and strengthen the muscles, allowing for relief, especially in low back pain sufferers.
Do SWIM. Being immersed in water and having fluid movements from the buoyancy of the water takes stress off the joints. Also, it helps improve back and core muscles.
Do STRENGTH TRAINING. Although it may appear counterintuitive, lifting weights can indeed aid in a healthy back. Building back strength and developing those muscles will help to keep your spine moving correctly. (Just remember to keep good form!).
Do RELAX. It may sometimes feel impossible to relax from the stresses of life, but this could be exactly what is putting a kink in your back. When you’re bogged down, stressed out and a complete worry-wort, this is what may be causing you to adversely tense your muscles, hence, shooting aches and pains. Breath in, breath out, and learn to take things in stride!
Do THERAPY. Physical therapy, that is. Massage, chiropractic and/or physio. Either one will help to work out the kinks, bringing movement and flexibility back into your back!
Do SOAK IT UP. Submerge yourself into a warm bath filled with EPSON SALTS! It helps to relieve the pain and inflammation of joints and muscles, which it true of back pain. Throw in a cup or two, depending on the size of your tub and dive in!
Specific, Superpower, Overworked
Six simple ways to step on the gas and get you moving one step closer to achieving your dream:
- Fly with eagles – get inspired and motivated by surrounding yourself with those who are living “your” dream or can direct you as to how to achieve your goal. If you want to reach a higher level and gain the knowledge to make your dream reality, start moving with the right crowd.
- Write it down – jot down a note in your planner or set a reminder to get your ‘to do list’ checked off! Whether it’s finally signing up to the course you’ve been pondering over or committing to a date as to when you’ll start your exercise regimen, scribble it down. A funny thing happens when you write something down…it can stick to your memory like glue!
- Team up – find a partner to get moving with like-minded intentions or help chase your dreams with you. Whether it be teaming up to lose some extra pounds or simply meeting with a friend to edit copy of your writing, having someone by your side can give inspired momentum and make the experience much more exciting.
- Research, research, research – whatever it is you’re chasing, get more educated about it. The more knowledge you have, the more power you gain; which will give you the graceful tenacity to achieve your goals!
- Commit to it – do whatever it takes to commit to that something you’re striving to achieve. It’s been said, it takes approximately 21 days to create a routine. If you stick to a plan, for at least this amount of time, there is a good chance you’ll actually create a routine. Here’s the key though…you MUST wholeheartedly see it through. If it’s vowing to go the gym every Mon and Wed between 4-6pm, you’d better not make plans on those days! And, when you just don’t feel like going, drive there; you’ll have to get out cause, “geez, I’m here already!”
- Fake it – ever heard of the phrase, “you need to fake it to make it”? Well, there is some truth to that. When you actually start to act, think and talk like you’ve achieved the dream, there’s a magical feeling that takes place deep inside; a feeling of fortitude and inspiration! Half the battle is in the mind, the other have is in the action. So, “fake it to make it”, and get a move on it. Put action behind your thoughts and words, and turn fiction into a matter of fact!
Graceful, Nostalgia, Transformation