10 Healthy Ways to Kick-Start Your Summer

Be Healthier and Happier This Summer

by Christiane Northrup, M.D.

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 swimsuit.

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.

10 Ways You Can Become Healthier (and Happier) This Summer 

  1. 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.  
  1. 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.)   
  1. 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, Apple Watch or whatever device you may be tempted to wear because focusing on a device can take you out of your experience. (And frankly we now know that the data being collected isn’t just for your own benefit!) So just remove it and 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.   
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. Try sun gazing. Sun gazing is simply the practice of gazing directly at the sun for a short period of time so that the sunlight enters your eyes. It’s important to do this during the hours when the UV rays are lowest, so you won’t harm your retinas. Sun gazing is claimed to have positive and healing effects on many aspects of our health, including regulating circadian rhythm, relieving stress, and even reducing hunger pangs.

 

Last Updated: May 22, 2024

Christiane Northrup, M.D.

Christiane Northrup, M.D., is a visionary pioneer and a leading authority in the field of women’s health and wellness. Recognizing the unity of body, mind, and spirit, she empowers women to trust their inner wisdom, their connection with Source, and their ability to truly flourish.

Comments

Add comment
  1. Julia Tully
    3 days ago

    Wow, great advice! Thank you, Dr. N!

  2. Chelle
    5 years ago

    Wondering how often the partner dancing should be undertaken to receive the benefit?

  3. Carol
    5 years ago

    I just had ACL reconstruction and a torn meniscus repaired in my right knee. I am learning to walk again…so as I walk with my cane slowly on our farm…I take notice of everything. My healthy habits include drinking lots of filtered water, deep breathing as I do my PT and eating as organically as possible. I appreciate your encouragement Dr. Northrup 🙂

  4. Jean S.
    5 years ago

    I love being and working in my garden barefoot. I also love walking through the woods or sleeping in a wooded area. It all is so peaceful. I go barefoot as much as possibly in the summer….it makes me feel better and sleep better. Soaking up all that great sunshine too…..Love it!!!! Gazing at the stars and moon…..luckily you can do that all year long. Thank you for the great article!!!

  5. Teresa
    5 years ago

    First off, thank you. I really love connecting with your insights. You are a Teacher from the Heart. This summer blog speaks to me in oh so many levels. I love you and I am so grateful to Life for YOU.

  6. Christine
    7 years ago

    I want to fully enjoy Summer by going on Nature walks and Swimming in the Lake and relishing in breathtaking Sunsets

  7. Michelle
    7 years ago

    We will definitely be taking up the Argentine Tango! Really great video and lots of important information. Thanks so much Dr. N!

  8. Angie Beckh
    7 years ago

    I am trying to “be the light”. I am lucky enough to live in Italy, surrounded by the Alps, where the food is fresh and local, the sun shines all day and eating out and doing things “out” is part of normal daily life. So, to enhance this even more, I am experimenting with the idea of trying to “embody the light”- by this I mean making a conscious effort to take my patience, my smile and gratitude with me everywhere I go, no matter what I have to do, and sharing it with whoever I meet – be it in a long heated queue dealing with frustrating bureaucracy, a doctor’s surgery, the supermarket, crossing the road or simply sharing expresso with friends. It’s great for feeling good and perhaps I can make someone else feel better too 🙂

  9. Jacqueline
    7 years ago

    I love to swim but had given it up for more than a year due to business!
    I have recently joined an Aerobic Swim group. It might save my life and
    I so enjoy it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *