You’ve likely already made plans to enjoy your upcoming summer, but you also have other things to do besides go to the beach or the pool.
Women often juggle multiple responsibilities between working, going to school and raising kids. It complicates your schedule and could distract you from taking care of yourself. These are a few health tips for women to keep in mind this summer, even when you’re busy.
- Get an Annual Checkup
Women need annual checkups with their OB-GYN and primary care physician. You’ll need wellness checks like colonoscopies and osteoporosis screenings, plus pelvic exams and mammograms. Your doctors will catch anything that needs further attention and provide essential preventative care as you age.
- Enjoy Your Sleep
The sun stays out longer in the summer, so many people go to bed later in the summer. It steals hours from your sleep routine and poses a few health risks. Researchers found that missing out on sleep increases your risk of developing conditions like:
- Heart disease
Get blackout curtains if the extended sunlight keeps you up during the summer months. If you continue to achieve around eight hours of sleep every night, your body can reset and protect you from experiencing certain diseases.
- Skip the Sugar
Most people would agree that sugar is terrible for you, but you may still rely on packaged products that include sugar or artificial sweeteners. Maybe you stock energy drinks in your fridge because your summer schedule keeps you on your feet. Even though the caffeine gives you a boost, the sweeteners weaken and destroy your enamel by encouraging bacteria growth that eats away around your teeth.
Opt for a sugar-free booster like green tea or unsweetened dark chocolate. You’ll get your second wind without damaging your dental health.
- Stay Physically Active
Hot weather makes an air-conditioned living room look much more appealing. The last thing you want to do is go outside for a jog and get covered in sweat, but exercising is equally important throughout the year.
Regular physical activity decreases the risk of disease in women of all ages. Strengthening your muscles and making your body stronger will help your long-term health. If it’s unsafe to exercise outdoors because of the heat, consider joining a gym or working out at home.
- Eat More Greens
Restaurants and cafes often change their menus when summer arrives. It’s the perfect time of year for salads and smoothies, so take advantage of seasonal additions by eating more leafy greens. They contain folic acid that improves life-sustaining cellular functions, so enjoy foods like:
- Green peas
Women who want to become pregnant will get an added benefit from consuming more folic acid. The nutrient can prevent birth defects like spina bifida by assisting with fetal development. Talk with your primary care physician or OB-GYN regarding any questions about your current intake and possible dosage changes through dietary changes.
- Reduce Your Stress
Summer should be a few months of fun in between cold weather seasons, but that’s not always the case. Your life may get busier during the summer if you pick up an extra job or have to shuttle your kids between day camps around town. Sitting with your stress hurts your body because it atrophies your brain’s mass, leading to loss of function and memory retention.
Focus on reducing your stress this summer by practicing mindfulness activities. Journal every day to track when you feel most anxious and why. Start a deep breathing exercise to lower your stress while you’re on the go and try going on evening walks as the air cools during sunset.
Trying different activities is the best way to learn what helps you let go of stress. Even the smallest act of self-care will support your overall health.
- Approach Diets Cautiously
Every spring, women hear that they should start working on their bikini bodies. The phrase pops up in commercials, ads and social media posts, but you approach diets cautiously. Weight loss fads aren’t always great for your health, especially if they’re an extreme lifestyle used for weeks or months on end..
The human body can’t function on celery juice or protein powder alone. You need every part of the food pyramid to get the many nutrients and vitamins you need to maintain your health. Call your doctor to ask about the pros and cons of a particular diet if one catches your eye. They’ll guide you to effective weight loss options that won’t be too extreme for your body.
- Apply Sunscreen Daily
If you’re not going to the beach this summer, should you still wear sunscreen? It’s always smart to apply it before going out in the sun. Rub it over exposed areas like your neck, arms, face and legs before starting yard work or going on a hike. Direct exposure increases your risk of burns and skin cancer, even if you’re only doing ordinary activities.
Keep These Health Tips in Mind
Women can keep these health tips in mind this summer to take care of themselves while having fun. Eat a healthy diet, wear sunscreen and think about how your actions affect your body. Something as simple as skipping sugar or relieving stress will help you feel better and maintain your excellent health.