Summer wellness isn’t just about getting our bodies bikini ready – it’s about focussing on a happy mind, body and soul. We need to consider how we move, what we put into our bodies, how we care for our skin, and how we can get enough sleep to keep us happy!
In this two part feature, Jo Fellows, shares her top tips to ensure you have some simple plans in place to keep you energised throughout the summer months.
The warmer weather, sun and blue skies give us plenty of opportunities to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Simply getting out into nature has been shown scientifically to lift our mood and wellbeing.
In summer most of us are naturally more active – it’s a natural complement to the winter hibernation. In yoga, most of the asanas (postures) possess either heating or cooling qualities, and as a yoga teacher, I always take this into account when I sequence my public classes. I put the more heating poses in the first half of the class and start the cooling down process during the second half.
If you feel the heat then exercise earlier in the day, or later in the evening when it’s cooler. Just remember that sweating is actually a good thing, it’s the natural way for us to regulate our body temperature.
Remember too that exercise isn’t just running, it can be gardening, playing tag, walking around an outdoor market or anything where the body is moving.
Hydrate and nourish
In summer it’s more important than ever to stay hydrated to keep your body in balanced homeostasis. The human body is roughly 60% water, so we can only function at our best when properly hydrated.
During the warmer months we can become dehydrated as we sweat more, this causes blood pressure to drop. An easy way to see if you are hydrated properly is to look at the colour of your urine. It should be a light yellow, almost clear colour. If it’s dark yellow, then you need to drink more water. Sticking with water (roughly 8-10 cups a day) is the best way to stay hydrated. If you’re tired of plain water, try cucumber water or coconut water as cooling alternatives. It’s best for our digestion to drink liquids at room temperature – as we have to regulate our internal temperature after sipping hot or cold drinks.
Make sure you receive the nutrients your body needs by mindfully eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh, local (to help save those food miles) seasonal fruit and vegetables. The more variety we have in our diet, the better it is for our digestive microbiome.
A good place to start is by upping your orange and red fruit and vegetable intake, as these contain beta-carotenes which help to protect your skin from the sun. Opt for brightly or darkly-coloured leafy vegetables too – such as watercress or rocket – which are full of antioxidants. If you’re looking for what’s in season or food that’s local to you, see https://www.lovebritishfood.co.uk