How to stay happy and healthy during the summer
By JustBe Croydon
Most people’s favourite season is finally here. It’s true, people really do seem to be healthier and happier during the summer!
According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, our immune systems fluctuate throughout the seasons, and summertime is when they’re at their best. Although, a stronger immune system isn’t the only reason we feel invigorated during the summer months.
We’ve listed several reasons why summer is good for both your mental and physical wellbeing, as well as a few tips on how you can make the most of its health-boosting properties.
Eat plenty of delicious summer produce
There’s a lot to love about summer, particularly when it comes to food. Even though fruit and vegetables are available all year-round, there’s just no fruit like fresh, colourful summer fruit. Strawberries, watermelon, pineapples and cherries are a small selection of the yummy produce you can get your hands on this time of year, there’s really no excuse not to enjoy a fruit salad that’s as good for your health as it is on your taste buds. The light, unprocessed meals we tend to prefer during the summer, such as leafy salads or wraps, are better for both our health and waistlines - check out our tips for improving your diet.
Feel alert for summer
Not only do the clocks go forward for the summer, giving us that beloved extra hour of rest, there are other reasons why we sleep better during this time. Exposure to sunlight affects the amount of melatonin your brain produces, also known as the chemical that tells your body when it’s time to sleep. More sunlight means melatonin is produced later in the day, so you’re more likely to feel awake for longer and get more done.
Take advantage of the warm weather and exercise outdoors
Power-walking through the wind and rain or repetitive jogging on the treadmill can be a motivator for some people, but feeling the sun on your face is just one of the many benefits of exercising outdoors during the summer. Our Live Well physical activity finder provides a variety of free and low-cost opportunities for outdoor activities, indoor sessions, or sport for you to take advantage of throughout summer and beyond. Just remember to stay hydrated while exercising, which may require drinking more than the standard eight glasses of water a day during warmer months.
Make the most of the sun
Of the many benefits of summer, the sun is top of the list. Along with improving the quality of sleep, it’s a natural mood-booster, making people feel happier and more energetic. This is because it increases the levels of serotonin, a chemical that contributes to wellbeing and happiness, in the body. The sun is also vital for maintaining Vitamin D levels, with just 15 minutes of sun exposure a day needed to sustain the recommended level – but do remember to wear sunscreen! The NHS recommends factor 30 or above and at least 4-star UVA protection. You can find out more here.
For more advice on staying happy and healthy this summer, check out our quick tips for DIY happiness!