10 ways to practice wellness this summer
June 1, 2023
Longer days, warmer weather, and more sunshine than you saw all winter—it's summer in Canada!
With the sun's return, you might feel your mood improve, and energy levels increase. It's the perfect time to start making changes to boost your wellness. And with these ten summer-specific suggestions, you'll not only enjoy everything summer has to offer, but you'll also take steps toward living a healthier life.
In Canada, we have a short window of weather that allows us to get outside and soak up the sun. So when the summer months roll around, it is time to take advantage and get outside! Try moving some of the things you usually do indoors to outdoors. Think about yoga or fitness in the park, walking a trail instead of a treadmill, eating dinner outside, and even entertaining guests in your backyard.
If you're ready to take it further, try sleeping under the stars! If you love camping—or you're open to exploring it! —summer is the best time to grab a tent and enjoy the sights and sounds of a night spent outside.
Be sun safe
Yes, it is essential to get outside and soak up all the vitamin D you can in the summer months. But it would be best if you did it safely. That means applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 fifteen minutes before you go outside and every 2 hours while in the sun. It also means limiting your time in the sun, especially during the peak hours of 11 am and 3 pm, and covering up with a hat, sunglasses, and long sleeves when the sun is at its strongest.
Drink lots of water
Canadians do things to the extreme when it comes to weather. We've got extreme cold in the winter, so it makes sense that we have some scorching weather in the summer months. This makes it especially important to drink enough water during the summer. How much water?
Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day and consider adding fruit, veggies, and herbs to your water to keep it interesting—because what is more refreshing than a cucumber or mint-infused water on a hot day?
Looking for strategies to incorporate water into your daily routine? Read 10 strategies to get you drinking more water every day.
Eat all the seasonal fruits and vegetables
There's no better time to indulge in seasonal, local fruit and vegetables than the summer. Peaches, strawberries, cucumber, radishes, watermelon, rapini… There are so many wonderful choices for local, seasonal fruit and veggies during the summer. Head to your local farmer's market to pick up fresh-from-the-farm produce, or look for fruit and vegetables grown locally while at your grocery store.
Start a garden
If you are looking for a way to get outdoors and up your seasonal veggie intake, growing your own garden might be the perfect solution! There are many excellent health and wellness benefits to planting a garden, from moving your body and relieving stress to saving money on produce and eating healthier.
How do you start your own vegetable garden? Read How to start a vegetable garden at home for a step-by-step starter guide.
Maintain healthy sleep hygiene
It's easy to get caught up in all that sunshine and stay up later. And while it is entirely understandable to enjoy those summer nights, don't throw all of your healthy sleep habits out the window. You should be aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. During the summer months, consider adding blackout blinds to your bedroom to ensure you have a dark space to sleep. For more sleep hygiene tips, read How much sleep should you get each night as you age?
Whether grabbing a book to read outside, hitting up an antique market, painting a sunset, or playing your guitar, dedicate time to your hobbies this summer. Hobbies are a great way to reduce stress—they let your mind escape your routine while doing something that sparks creativity, physical, cerebral, or community-oriented. The extra sunshine also makes summer a great time to learn a new hobby while feeling renewed and energized. Why not try out a hiking trail, start photographing nature, learn about bird calls and take up bird watching, or get adventurous and learn how to rollerskate!
Take some time off
Whether taking a couple of weeks, a couple of days, or even just a couple of hours here and there, take some time for yourself this summer. Booking time off from work during the summer is a great way to enjoy the weather and make time for some of your favourite summer activities.
Try a new summer recipe
Remember all those fantastic seasonal fruits and veggies you're packing into your diet? Try finding a new recipe that incorporates some of your favourite seasonal ingredients. You can find a recipe by simply Googling "[ingredient] [meal] recipe." So if you want to use zucchini for breakfast, try Googling "zucchini breakfast recipe"—trust us, you won't be disappointed!
Join a summer sports league
What could be more fun than reliving your days at summer sports camp? The competition, the camaraderie, the fun! A local sports league is just what you need to help you work up a summer sweat with a smile. From beach volleyball and baseball to soccer and basketball, check out what leagues your city has to offer—there's sure to be something that gets you excited to join a team!
Other resources you may be interested in:
- Episode 1: Better than drinking from the fountain of youth (podcast)
- Episode 2: Is sleep the key to living a long life? (podcast)
- Episode 3: Can physical activity slow the decline of aging? (podcast)
- Episode 5: The power and science of building healthy habits (podcast)
- Episode 6: What does it mean to live a long, healthy life? (podcast)