7 Reasons Why Summer is Good for the Mind, Body and Soul.
Summer days are great for the soul. Sunny skies, warmer temperatures and long evenings do much more than make our environment more pleasant. When the hotter months come around, there are not only big changes in mood and general wellbeing, but also wonders for our health too.
1. We Drink More Water
There’s nothing better than enjoying a cooling summer drink during the hot summer days. We might start feeling as if we need to drink more when the weather is warmer which is because our fluid requirements increase. As much as 65% of our body consists of water and dehydration can have a huge impact on energy, concentration, and mood. Even if we’re a little bit dehydrated, it can cause a big drop in our productivity.
Research has concluded a lack of hydration can impair cognitive performance, especially for tasks that involve a lot of attention and concentration.
If you struggle with plain water, try cold-pressed fruit juice or iced tea.
2. We Eat More Fruit + Vegetables
Most of our fruit and vegetables come into season during the summer months which means they’re more juicy and tasty. What’s more, on hot sunny days we tend to reach for lighter meals like salads which can be more appealing than heavy comfort foods.
In-season summer foods include berries, aubergine, broccoli, cucumber, fennel, rhubarb, tomatoes and watercress which are refreshing options and contain a powerhouse of health-promoting nutrients.
3. Vitamin D From The Sun Exposure Is Good For Us
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin for good reason and it’s impossible to get enough of it during the winter months. During the spring and summer months, spending 15 to 20 minutes outdoors, each day can help to top up our levels.
Vitamin D plays a key role in bone health, immune function and even plays a role in our mood.
4. The Sun Helps Our Skin
Many people report that a bit of sun can do their skin wonders. This is particularly true for specific skin conditions such as psoriasis which can vastly improve during the warmer months.
Whilst it’s imperative to avoid the midday sun to minimise the risk of burning, a little exposure (always remembering SPF) could improve symptoms and help with our summer glow.
5. The Summer Regulates Our Sleep
Sunlight may actually help to improve our sleep, which will keep us feeling fresh and happy.
Our body has a natural time-keeping clock, which is known as our circadian rhythm, and we produce hormones which signal for our body to tell us when it’s time to sleep. Exposure to natural sunlight or bright light during the day can help keep the rhythm healthy and may improve sleep quality and duration.
One study has shown that day time bright light exposure reduced the time it took people suffering from insomnia to fall asleep by as much as 83%.
6. We Spend More Time Outdoors
Sunny days mean that we spend more time outdoors soaking up the sun’s rays. Research has shown that fresh air and nature are associated with greater vitality.
Exercising outdoors can also improve mood and even self-esteem. What’s more, exposure to sunlight can increase the production of our happy hormone serotonin.
7. We Sweat More and Sweating Is Good For Us
Sweating has benefits beyond temperature regulation; our skin is one large organ which may be a route for the elimination of toxic elements from the body.
Don’t fear to sweat in your gym class as it may do more than simply be a sign of a good workout.
Do you feel better in the summer months?
7 Summer Essentials
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Lily is a London Nutritionist who graduated from Newcastle University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Food and Human Nutrition (AfN accredited) where she was awarded the Sage Faculty for Excellence Scholarship on an annual basis. She then went on to complete a 2-year post-graduate Diploma in Nutritional Therapy and is currently working towards her MSc in Nutritional Medicine (AfN accredited) at the University of Surrey. Lily’s extensive knowledge of the science of food and health, enables her to regularly write for The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Women’s Health and Cosmopolitan.