(This article was one I originally wrote for The American Word)
The days of sleeping in, working to earn money, and staying up late to watch Netflix are upon us. Summer is rapidly approaching and your life slowly will start to become less chaotic. That is exactly why summer is the perfect time to maintain, and maybe even improve, your health. Here are a few ways to make your summer as healthy as possible.
1. Protect yourself from UVA rays.
A little bit of sunlight can be good for you. It provides Vitamin D and can also enhance your mood. But too much UV radiation can be harmful for your body. To protect yourself, apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 even if its a cloudy, overcast day to avoid getting burnt. Also to prevent getting burnt, don’t sit in the sun between the peak hours of 10am and 4pm. If you are planning to be out in the sun for a long period of time, reapply sunscreen every two to three hours.
2. Drink plenty of water.
During these hot summer months, the heat combined with your sweat can leave your body dehydrated. Therefore, it is incredibly important to maintain a healthy balance by drinking at least eight to nine glasses of water a day.
3. Protect your hair.
While you might not think about it, your hair suffers a lot during the summer between the constant sun, humidity, and chlorine damage. If you plan to swim a lot, use an anti-chlorine shampoo afterwards to help neutralize the chlorine from your hair. Also, minimizing your use of hairdryers, straighteners, and other heating products will help keep your natural, beachy waves intact.
4. Exfoliate your skin.
Summer leads to an increase of dead skin cell which causes your face to look dull and dry. For this reason, exfoliating your skin is extremely important. If you exfoliate one to three times a week, you will be able to maintain healthy, glowing summer skin.
5. Don’t just sit around, go out and exercise.
As college kids, this is probably the hardest for us to accomplish. We would definitely prefer to sit on the couch inside in our air conditioned rooms with our Netflix queue then to go outside and be active. However, engaging in some physical activities would be the healthier option. Start an exercise program or even go outside for some hiking or swimming. Not only is it healthy for your body, but it benefits your mind as well.