Many women spend their entire spring trying to “get in shape” for summer. Much of this has to do with the media’s emphasis on how your body is supposed to look in a swimsuit. But, the truth is if you already have healthy habits, such as eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and a little lean protein, and you have been moving your body in a way that you love, then you are ready to enjoy and become healthier and happier this summer — and all of the seasons — regardless of how you look in a bathing suit.
Now, if you feel like you want to get a little more out of your health routine this summer, then go for it. There are plenty of things you can do that are not about depriving yourself. Remember, this season is not about the number on your scale, or how you look in a certain outfit. It’s all about bringing summer into every cell in your body.
9 Ways You Can Become Healthier This Summer
- Try grounding. Grounding, or earthing, is an easy way to create health daily. You simply put your bare feet on the earth and walk around barefoot for 20 minutes. Or, just stand or sit on the ground. If you can’t walk barefoot where you live, just get out and touch the trees.
- Take a road trip. I travel on planes a lot. About 70 percent of the time I encountered delays and cancellations. So in the summer, I like to make my travels all about the journey, not just the destination. For example, one summer I took a road trip back to my childhood home and brought along a friend to share the experience. We had a blast. (I also had an independent witness to keep me in check in case I slipped back into my old familial patterns.)
- Act like a child. If you have ever watched children in the summer, you’ve probably noticed that they are constantly moving just for the fun of it. Whether they are running as fast as they can, splashing in the pool, lake, ocean, or mud puddle, or playing games and sports, it’s all about pleasure. Somewhere along the line, many people lose this playfulness. But, summer is all about bringing that back. So, ride your bike, swim with your children or grandchildren, or play on the monkey bars. (Supported hanging is good for your joints!) And, while you are doing this, be sure to take off your FitBit. I ordered one a while back and soon found that I couldn’t stand the thing because focusing on the device took me out of my own experience. But, even if you love your FitBit, try removing it and then don’t worry about how many calories you are burning, or the number of steps you are taking. Just let your body enjoy the activity.
- Eat outside. In many cultures, people eat outside all year. There is something so relaxing about long lunches where you can just watch people or the clouds go by. And, this relaxed state actually lowers cortisol and enhances your digestion. Plus, if you spend a lot of time in an office with artificial light, eating outdoors in the sunshine is a great way to enhance your mood. Try a picnic in the park or simply move your family dinner out to the porch.
- Bathe in the moonlight. My friend and colleague, medical medium Anthony William, says that reconnecting with the moon removes venom from your body and your heart. To reconnect with the moon simply go outside every night – or as many nights as you can – and gaze at the moon for 5 minutes. As you appreciate the moon, it’s magnetic force works to help you heal and hold more light. Bring into your consciousness the belief that the moon is clearing toxic thoughts and emotions, and allowing you to resume living with faith, trust, and compassion.
- Play a musical instrument. Playing a musical instrument can improve your health in a number of ways. Primarily, it reduces the effects of stress. Plus, studies show playing an instrument as a child keeps your mind sharper as you grow older. And, there are benefits to starting an instrument later in life too, such as improved blood pressure and heart rate, enhanced immunity, and cognitive improvements. You don’t have to be a budding Mozart to play an instrument. I play my harp to the birds and flowers.
- Soak up some Vitamin D. I always recommend getting natural Vitamin D from sunlight whenever you can. Now, that does not mean I want to you go bake in the sun. But, try to get 30 minutes of sunlight on your skin before 10 am or after 3-4 pm. I place a cloth over my face, then I allow the sunlight to penetrate the rest of my cells.
- Withdraw from mainstream media. The best way to be healthy this summer, and any time of year, is to pay attention to what’s in front of you. Watching the news — or TV in general — allows you to get distracted by something that is happening halfway around the world. It can also negatively influence your spending habits, suck you dry of your mental energy, and in the case of excessive TV watching, can lead to obesity.
- Meditate. A daily meditation practice can improve your health significantly. Most people think of meditation as a stress-reduction technique. It’s true! And, any health condition that is worsened by stress (which is all of them!) can be helped with meditation. Regular meditation is associated with reduced cortisol levels, weight loss, decreased anxiety, lower heart rate, and even less pain. You don’t need to go to a fancy retreat or a yoga studio to mediate. And, your practice does not have to be a long or involved ritual. Just sit with your eyes closed and focus on your breath for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes before you go to bed. This will benefit your health.
Additional Resources for Keeping Your Brain Sharp
What are some of the ways you are becoming healthier and happier this summer? I’d love to hear from you in the Comments section below.