By mid-July, summer has truly heated up! Sometimes, we have a tendency to take summer to the extremes; either overdoing it on sun exposure and activities or letting laziness take over while sitting beside the air conditioning vent. For a healthy, fun summer that keeps you motivated and happy, we suggest these 5 tips!

1. Be Active

When intense humidity hits, it can be hard to enjoy the outdoors. Instead of totally forgoing outdoor exercise until autumn rolls around, try to adjust your schedule. Walking early in the morning or in the evenings will give you more comfortable conditions. Try swimming laps at your neighborhood pool on days that are too hot to exercise outdoors. The important part is to keep moving!

2. Stay Hydrated

It is often a challenge to drink the recommended 8 cups per day, but especially in the summer! We recommend finding a reusable water bottle that is easy to carry around and have with you at all times. When cool, refreshing water is readily available, you’ll find yourself reaching for it more often throughout the day. Also, don’t forget the high water content in healthy fruits and vegetables – that counts toward your daily hydration!

3. Protect Yourself from the Sun

Harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun pose a great risk during the warmer months. Typically, we remember to apply sunscreen during beach or pool visits, but don’t forget to also wear sunscreen for all outdoor activities such as hiking or camping! We recommend an SPF of 30 or more, applied throughout the day. No sunscreen is waterproof or sweatproof, so reapplication is key. It helps to also adjust your wardrobe; long-sleeved tops in breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton and linen will help to block the sun while keeping you cool. Sun hats and sunglasses also serve to protect you.

4. Eat Fresh

Summer is such a great time to focus on healthy variety in your diet! The bounty of in-season produce makes it easy to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables every day. Picnics and cookouts often include a great balance of healthy proteins and various sides to enjoy in moderation. Of course, nothing beats an ice cream cone in the summertime- so, everything in moderation!

5. Involve the Whole Family

Seasonal activities are best enjoyed together! Exercise or activities like pickleball, tennis, hiking, and biking that are done as a group are both fun and motivating. Swimming as a family (with proper sun protection) is both incredibly fun and a great workout! Think outside the box. Not every workout is a “workout”- it could be as simple as walking to your favorite local restaurant after the sun goes down or setting up the badminton net on a shady patch of your lawn. Get creative!

Summer always flies by, so we want to make sure that you are enjoying it and staying healthy. Be watchful for signs that you’re dehydrated or overexposed to the sun, and take precautions to protect yourself from the elements. Here’s to a happy, healthy summer in Siouxland!

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