7 Reasons Why Summer is Good for Your Body
Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st. However, the warm weather has officially arrived!
The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming. We can finally shed those winter layers.
For many, the summer months mean holiday time, outdoor activities, and more opportunities for social get-togethers. Generally, people are happier, and it is no secret why.
The summer season has many positive effects on our bodies. We tend to eat more fruit, get more active, have improved sleeping patterns, up our water intake, and spend more time with loved ones.
So, why not get outside a little more this summer? Put your health first. Throw that winter shovel to the back of the shed. Make room for those positive summer vibes!
Here are 7 reasons why summer is good for you and your body.
1. There is More Fruit in Season
With more sunshine and warmer weather comes growing season. The flowers start to bloom, and fruit begins to grow. In the summer months, there are almost 3 times more types of fruit available to choose from and indulge in! Fresh blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, pears, plums, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon are a few of the fruits that you can find at your local farmer’s market throughout the summer months.
Most of these fruits are jam-packed (pun intended) with healthy vitamins and minerals. For example, strawberries and blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone health. Vitamin C aids in the growth and repair of body tissues. Blueberries, also, contain high levels of antioxidants that help protect your body from damage due to chemicals, pollution, radiation, or smoking.
Many fruits are further rich in fiber which helps promote a healthy digestive system.
Canada’s Food Guide recommends 7-8 servings of fruits and veggies per day. Load up on fruit snacks throughout your day, or add fruit to your yogurt for a delicious dessert-style treat.
On a hot day, fruit can serve as that nice and refreshing afternoon snack you need. Give your body what it craves. Put your health first and fill up with nutrient-rich fruits this summer.
2. We are More Active in the Summertime
With the nice weather, we tend to get outside more, which usually means we are more active. More people are running and biking. Many escape to their lakeside cottages and participate in swimming or outdoor games with their families.
There are more opportunities to move. With the summertime labeled as ‘bikini season,’ it also motivates many to get back in shape. Walking to that shop that is 20 minutes away seems much more feasible in nicer weather.
With endless amounts of studies done on the benefits of exercise, we know movement is good for us and our bodies. Physical activity increases strength, reduces pains and aches, improves cardiovascular and lung health, improves our mood, helps us sleep better, and boosts our energy levels. Increased movement burns more calories, which is associated with an improved metabolic rate. A higher metabolic rate is linked to good health and well being.
Take a health-first approach and take advantage of clearer skies throughout the summer months. Move a little more outside and feel a little better on the inside.
3. Sunlight Helps Regulate Sleeping Patterns
Increased sun exposure can lead to improved sleep quality. The sun regulates our sleep-wake cycle. More specifically, it helps to turn on and off our body’s melatonin production. In the darkness, the pineal gland releases melatonin. This lets our body know that it is time to sleep and reset. When we are exposed to sunlight, the production of melatonin turns off. This helps us wake up and get ready for our day.
Sun exposure in the morning also boosts our serotonin levels contributing to an elevated mood. Rise and sleep with the sun if you can, or at least get outside for even 15 minutes first thing in the morning. You’ll feel more awake and ready to tackle your day, and get a better sleep come nighttime.
4. Vacation Time Helps Reduce Stress
With the kids off from school, many use the summer to take their vacation time. Vacations provide a much-needed break from the daily grind. They can help you reset and refresh by lowering stress hormones, such as cortisol. Cortisol in high amounts for long durations of time can wreak havoc on your body. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and a risk of heart disease.
A vacation may be just what your body needs to take a break from work-related (and life-related) stressors. Many report the positive benefits from their vacation for up to 2 months after their return to work. Avoid burnout and take a break. Then, ride that vacation high upon your return. Not only will you be putting your physical health first, but your mental health will also reap the benefits.
5. Summer Heat Leads to Increased Water Consumption
Your body is made up of about 60% water. In the heat, we tend to lose more water through sweat as our bodies work rapidly to cool us down. Not surprisingly, many people increase their water intake in the summer months in response. Keep a bottle of water close by during your summer activities to prevent dehydration. Eating more fruit can also contribute to increased water intake because most fruit is high in water content. With so many fruits in season, it’s easy to keep them handy and ready for snacking on throughout your day.
Water has many benefits including:
- Controls and maintains a healthy weight.
- Maintains balance throughout the body. Many of the body’s regular processes need water to function properly. It’s needed for digestion, circulation, body temperature regulation, and transporting nutrients.
- It can re-energize you. Fatigue is a major sign of dehydration. Have you hit that afternoon funk? Grab some water. You may be slightly dehydrated.
- Keeps your skin clear and fresh. Water helps flush toxins from the skin, preventing acne and blemishes.
- Helps with kidney function by helping to flush waste and toxins from the body.
6. Summer is Good for Your Skin
The ultraviolet rays, or UV rays, from the sun suppress the immune system. Many experts believe that skin disorders, such as psoriasis and acne, are caused by an overactive immune system. The sun can help lessen these effects, which is why many dermatologists recommend tanning to help individuals deal with these disorders.
However, too much sun can have seriously harmful effects. Make sure always to wear sunscreen! It is not worth the damage to your skin or the possibility of skin cancer.
7. People Have Fewer Heart Attacks in the Summer
Heart attack rates peak in the winter months. Researchers believe that the increased production of vitamin D in the summertime contributes to lower cholesterol levels. Why? Cholesterol is necessary for the production of vitamin D in the skin. Ultraviolet light from the sun triggers this process.
Lower levels of cholesterol mean that it’s less likely your arteries will get clogged. This can significantly lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Further, vitamin D can help reduce your risk of bone-related diseases, such as osteoporosis.
Put Your Health First
Get outside this summer and gain the benefits that this season has to offer. Summer does wonders for our bodies. Eat more fruit. Drink more water. Get active. Sleep better. Take that vacation. Enjoy clearer skin and the benefits that the sun can have on reducing heart and bone diseases.
Enjoy every moment this summer. Take in those rays of sunshine. Plan that backyard BBQ you keep talking about. Live for right now and appreciate this summer season with all the wonderful benefits it brings.