How to Improve Your Mental Health this Summer

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How to Improve Your Health This Summer

When the weather warms up, health is suddenly at the top or bottom of our list. Summer is when we look to relax. We either bask in or escape from the hot sunshine. Whether you're an indoor summer person or an outdoor summer person, this is the ideal season to improve your health. In fact, it's easier to get a little healthier during the summer because it's easier to 'warm up' when it's already hot.

You don't have to take up running or sports to get healthy this summer. All you really need to do is find healthy ways to enjoy the sun-drenched months.

Take Advantage of the Fresh Air

Summer is the best time to go outdoors and enjoy a warm afternoon somewhere lovely. Where that somewhere is your backyard or a nearby National Park, breathing a little extra oxygen is good for everyone. Find a place with many trees or bushes. Surround yourself with greenery and take a few deep breaths. Heck, take a nap under a tree. The extra oxygen you absorb - and the peace -of-mind from sun-dappled greenery - are both physical and mental health boosters.  

Soak Up *Just Enough* Sunshine

Sunshine generates the production of Vitamin D in your body, and it feels wonderful on your skin stepping out of an air-conditioned building. Go for a walk each day, or just lounge on your porch and soak up a few sunbeams. Let your body generate natural Vitamin D instead of getting it all through fortified milk products. But don't stay out there too long without sunscreen. The closer your home is to the equator, the stronger the sunshine will be. Warm your skin, but don't toast yourself with a sunburn.

Pick Up a Water Bottle Habit

Anyone who's tried to drink 8 glasses of water every day can attest: it's hard work to stay hydrated. Constantly going for water takes a ton of time. So become a water bottle person instead. Find a refillable water bottle with a filter in the top. Keep it full when you're near a sink or fountain, then drink from it casually all day. You'll get more hydrated with the ever-filling bottle than most people can with glasses of water.

Find a Fun Excuse to Sweat

Sweating is good for you on a number of levels. That's why both running and saunas are considered healthful. Sweating clears your pores and is a sign that your body's inner temperature is hot enough to burn calories. That's why it's easier to get healthy in the summer. So find a fun way to sweat. Take up bicycling around the block, backyard soccer, or regular water gun fights with the kids. Whatever gets your heart pounding and works up a sweat.

Get Into Fresh Fruit and Salads

Just like soup is best in the winter, salads always taste best in the summer. There's something about the contrast between cool, crisp produce and a hot day. Fresh fruit, maybe chilled, is delicious on a summer afternoon. Chicken Caesar salads or egg-adorned Chef salads make a great lunch when you want protein without firing up the stove. Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter or in the fridge. Pick up salads for lunch or keep salad ingredients prepped in your fridge.

Take On a Summer Project

Finally, one of the best ways to get healthy this summer is to get involved in a challenging project. Build a deck, plant a garden, or reinstall the kitchen cabinet doors. Challenge your mind and body together and you'll dive into the work with more enthusiasm than generic exercise routines. A summer project is something you can do solo, as a fun bonding activity, or a summer for the whole family.

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