Summer has finally arrived! It’s time to whip out the BBQs, dig out those bikinis and jet off on holiday for some well-deserved relaxation on the beach.
However, for many of us, summer also brings the temptations of ice cream, overdoing the tan and forgetting the summer diet and exercise.
10 tips for a healthy summer…
Always apply suncream It is important to use a suncream lotion of at least SPF 30 in order to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. For sensitive skin, a mineral-based sunscreen is best. Don’t sit in the sun in peak hours between 10am and 4pm in order to minimize UV radiation. If you are planning to be out in the sun for a long period of time, reapply suncream every two to three hours.
Drink plenty of waterDuring the hot summer months, heat and sweat can leave your body dehydrated. A lack of water is harmful to your body and can also make you crave food when you’re not actually hungry. It is incredibly important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight to nine glasses of water a day. Bored of water? Add some low calorific flavoring to water such as a piece of fruit, or opt for healthy alternatives like green tea or coconut water.
Beware of ‘healthy’ smoothies Fruit smoothies are a great way to get your five-a-day and keep refreshed throughout the summer, but watch out for smoothies made with frozen yoghurts or ice cream as they can be extremely calorific.
A healthy smoothie should be made with fruit, juice, low fat-yoghurt and ice. Use any fruit you might have or have kept in the freezer, and throw it all in a blender to make a perfect summer drink.
Exfoliate Summer means an increase of dead skin cells so it is important to exfoliate your skin to keep it smooth and silky. You don’t need to buy any expensive products to achieve that summer glow; simply use a loafer for a light scrub or make your own exfoliation lotion using a handful of oatmeal, milk andyoghurt.
Keep up the exercise regime Before you hide those running shoes in the wardrobe, remember summer exercise doesn’t have to stop because of the rising temperatures. Instead of working out outside, change your exercise plan and take it indoors. Join a gym, take up a step class, or get a group of friends around for an afternoon of exercise DVDs.
Get wet Summer is the perfect time of year to get wet! Boring runs in the cold wintery weather can be swapped for a summer swim at your local pool or gym. Start by swimming for 10 minutes and increase the time over the following weeks by doing front crawl, breaststroke or backstroke to mix up your cardio workout. A 30 minute session of this full body workout will burn almost 400 calories! If swimming laps isn’t your thing, join a water aerobics class or create your own aerobic workout with jumping jacks, marching and jogging in water.
Olive oil Olive oil is a healthy fat which contains essential fatty acids that help skin resist UV damage. These fatty acids are also part of the cell membranes that keep in all that moisture your body loses through heat and sweat during the summer. In order to protect your skin and keep it supple, consume about 1 tablespoon of olive oil daily or add it to a healthy salad or fish dish in order to get all those essential fatty acids.
Protect your glossy locks Our hair suffers a lot during the summer. Constant heat, sun damage and chlorine takes a toll on our hair and can leave it feeling limp and dull after the holidays. If you’re planning on swimming a lot during the summer, it is advisable to use anti-chlorine shampoo and conditioner to help neutralize the chlorine from your hair. If possible, minimize the use of hairdryers, straighteners and other heating products. Towel dry your hair, apply a handful of mouse and revel in beachy summer waves.
Eat healthy by the pool When the sun is beating down, the idea of seeking out the nearest ice cream stand is seriously tempting. Stay strong by being prepared, and pack a cooler full of healthy snacks and juices. Fill your ice-box with ice, bottled water, sandwiches, vegetable sticks with hummus, yoghurts and endless amounts of fruit.
Take up a new hobby Summer is the perfect time to take up a new activity. Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and will actually help you burn some calories! Planting a herb garden is a fantastic way of getting your hands dirty, having quick access to some healthy flavours for your summer meals and, if you have kids, get them involved in playing outside.
If gardening isn’t your thing, get some inspiration from Wimbledon and try your hand at some tennis or golf. Pilates is the perfect alternative for some alone time in the garden. Roll out a towel and have some fun trying out planks and some breathing techniques in the sun.