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How to Improve Your Health This Summer

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By Kari Oakley

Millions of people want to improve their health but don't know where to start. With summer upon us, though, now is the perfect time to reevaluate your lifestyle. By making a few changes, you can improve your health this summer. And while you'll notice the positive effects of these changes almost immediately, they'll continue longer after the summer season has come to an end.

#1) Take a Vacation
With its warm and sunny weather, summer is the perfect time of year to take a vacation. It allows you to relax without the stresses of your everyday life. Studies have even shown that people who take vacations are healthier than those who don't. A three- or five-day vacation can reduce your stress levels and blood pressure, and it can even lower your risk of heart disease.

#2) Eat More Fruit
It is recommended that you should be consuming two or more servings of fruit daily. If you fall short of this recommendation, try adding more fruit to your diet this summer. From blueberries and blackberries to avocados and mangoes, countless delicious fruits are in season during the summer. Therefore, they not only feature the perfect flavor and consistency; they are also packed with vitamins and nutrients. You can eat fruit alone, or you can pulverize the juice out of it to create all-natural fruit juice.

#3) Protect Your Skin
Don't forget to protect your skin from sun damage this summer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Each year, more than 5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with this potentially deadly disease. You can lower your risk of skin cancer by taking the appropriate safeguards to protect your skin from sun damage. Ultraviolet (UV) sunlight damages skin on a cellular level. To enjoy the summer sun without exposing your skin to dangerous levels of UV light, wear sunscreen lotion.

#4) Take Up a New Sport
Tired of sitting around the house with nothing to do? Perhaps you should take up a new sport this summer. Running is an easy and rewarding sport that's sure to a have a positive impact on your health. It helps you maintain a healthy weight, builds muscle mass, reduces the risk of chronic disease and more. Swimming, however, is arguably even more beneficial. It offers many of these same benefits, but it doesn't place stress or pressure on your joints. This is why doctors often recommend swimming to patients suffering from arthritis or back pain. And if you don't have the funds to purchase a pool, there are swimming pool financing companies that can help.

#5) Hydrate With Water
Whether you spend the summer at the beach or at your home, it's important that you hydrate yourself with water. Our bodies do a pretty good job at staying cool by sweating. When your body temperature rises beyond 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit -- the generally accepted normal temperature for the human body -- you'll begin to sweat to lower your temperature. During summer, however, sweating isn't always enough to stay cool. Spending just a few hours under the hot summer sun can leave you dehydrated. And when you're dehydrated, your body won't be able to release heat by sweating. Stay hydrated this summer by drinking plenty of water to protect against overheating.

Following these five tips can help you achieve better health this summer. However, you should apply these tips throughout other seasons as well. By taking care of your body, you'll achieve a stronger immune system while lowering your risk of disease in the process.

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