We might typically think of goal-setting and healthy resolutions as something reserved for New Year’s Eve, but summer is a great time to reset our priorities and take a closer look at our immune system, our health and wellness, and our general health. This changing of the seasons invites us into new routines — think beach days, outdoor workouts, and new in-season foods — and is the perfect time to check in with our summer goals and consider new routines, habits, and supplements for a healthier and more vibrant life.
Summer Goals: 4 Things to Try This Season
1. Try Earthing at the Beach
The earth, at its literal core, is a powerful electromagnetic entity. Similarly, so many of our body’s systems — including our immune system — are regulated and influenced by electrochemical processes. Published peer-reviewed research suggests that being in regular contact with the earth itself can help improve our health and wellness on numerous levels. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle is full of concrete and pavement and yes, insulated sneakers and shoes, which may interfere with our bodies’ need to reconnect with the earth’s energy.
“Emerging scientific research has revealed a surprisingly positive and overlooked environmental factor on health: direct physical contact with the vast supply of electrons on the surface of the Earth,” warns a report published in the Journal of Environmental Public Health. “Modern lifestyle separates humans from such contact. The research suggests that this disconnect may be a major contributor to physiological dysfunction and unwellness.”
While this field of study is relatively new, this has huge implications on our immune systems, too. “The scope of nature’s benefits is wide and varied,” reports Alive health magazine. “For example, a study found that beneficial bacteria in dirt may protect against stress and depression. Another study noted that although all exercise improves our mood, exercising in nature enhances these benefits. Other teams of researchers have found that spending time in nature hiking or camping increases the strength of our immune system, enhances our mental focus, and more.”
Because research focuses on the earth’s electrons, spending time in places with extra conductivity may amplify the elements of getting in contact with the ground. A prime example is the ocean: salt water is highly conductive. This summer, consider making a goal of spending more time at the beach with bare feet and bare skin in contact with the planet itself. If you walk away feeling rejuvenated and restored, scientific studies imply it’s not just your imagination.
2. Go on a Road Trip
Road trips are the quintessential activity of the summer. In fact, an estimated 80 per cent of Americans say they plan to take a road trip this summer.
While it’s a great way to sightsee and add a spark of creativity and exploration to your summer, it’s also a powerful way to improve brain health. Embarking on the proverbial road-less-traveled has been shown to bring numerous health benefits. A prime example is your brain health.
When we’re in our regular routines, it’s not uncommon to go on “auto-pilot” and simply get to your destination with very little active cognitive engagement. Taking new routes or traveling to new locales forces your brain into a higher level of activity, and it’s been shown to help boost your memory and ward of cognitive concerns like dementia. It’s also been shown to help you feel happier and more energized.
3. Rethink Your Supplements
As many people have increased their focus on health in the past couple of years, multiple reports show that consumers aim to keep taking supplements as both a preventative health measure and as a health treatment. Summer is a great opportunity to set summer goals to re-evaluate and re-consider what supplements you’re taking.
There are certain nutrients that serve you well all year long, and there are others that are better suited for the summer season. For example:
- Lycopene supplements may help protect against skin damage due to sun exposure
- Multiple animal-based trials show that vitamin C can help the body better manage heat stress (human trials still need to be conducted)
- Omega 3 supplements can help your skin stay hydrated and reduce signs of premature aging due to sun exposure, dehydration, etc.
Don’t forget that while we think colds are mostly a winter season illness, summer colds are rampant. Ensure your summer supplements include immunity-boosting vitamins, minerals, and compounds so you can enjoy the summer without having to take a sick day.
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4. Stay Hydrated
An estimated 3 out of 4 Americans have been found to be chronically dehydrated. Staying hydrated is critical for a strong immune system, affecting everything from your lymph nodes and lymph fluids to your blood volume and circulation.
The old adage about needing only eight cups of water a day is a bit outdated, and most people need:
- Women: 91 oz. of water a day
- Men: 125 oz. of water a day
Set summer goals to stay hydrated, and don’t worry: you can also eat your hydration! Many foods, such as cucumber, watermelon, and leafy greens, are extremely high in water. Approximately 80% of your fluid intake should be through water and other healthy beverages, while up to 20% of it can be via eating meals that are high in water.