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10 Healthy Choices to Make This Summer

10 Healthy Choices to Make This Summer

Improving your life doesn’t need to mean making radical changes. There’s no need to train for a marathon or embark on a strict paleo-vegan diet. Little, everyday choices can have a hefty long-term impact.

What kinds of little resolutions can you make to improve your well-being this season? Here are 10 healthy choices to make this summer.

1. Adopt Meatless Monday

Did you know the World Health Organization (WHO) made the decision to classify processed and red meats as a carcinogen, and a likely carcinogen, respectively? Hot dogs have their merits, but they’re hardly worth risking cancer for – at least beyond the occasional camping trip.

Conversely, adopting a plant-based diet has oodles of health benefits. You’ll increase your antioxidant intake and probably lose weight without even trying. Plus, you might discover a whole new world of flavor.

2. Wear Sunscreen

Do you think you can go without sunscreen if you rarely burn? Please think again. Ozone depletion due to climate change has made today’s UV rays more likely to damage your skin than ever.

Even if you aren’t worried about cancer, Botox is expensive. Instead, protect your complexion with a mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

3. Clean Your Air

If you struggle with pollen allergies, now is the time to refresh the air in your home to start breathing easier. Make sure to replace any air filters in your home that might have collected dust and pollen over the past few months.

You should also clean any air vents in your home. Use a damp towel to wipe down inside the vent, then use a soap or chemical cleaner to remove dust from vent covers. That way, your air conditioning will not be blowing any dust buildup into the room.

4. Visit the Farmer’s Market

Summer is the season for the freshest produce. However, you won’t find the best products at your grocery store. If it’s home-grown organic goodness at the right price you seek, head to your local farmer’s market.

Be strategic. Many vendors would rather give you a discount than transport goods home at day’s end to rot before the next market day. Strike up conversations with your favorites and see if you can’t snag some bargain tomatoes.

5. Bike to Work

The warm weather makes biking to work possible and potentially even pleasurable – so why not combine your workout and your commute? You’ll have one less thing to manage in your day and arrive at the office feeling accomplished.

Does sweat make you hesitate? Consider investing in one of today’s electric bikes. You’ll still burn calories while keeping your armpits dry.

6. Take a Hike

Are you bored to tears of your nightly neighborhood walk? Why not take to the trail for breathtaking views and a new challenge for your workout?

Hiking can benefit your health by doing more than toning your legs and getting your heart pumping. Research on forest bathers in Japan indicates that spending time in wooded areas increases your immune function. The magic lies in phytoncides, which are chemicals plants emit for defense that kick up human resistance when inhaled.

7. Meditate

Did you know that meditation can change your brain? That’s good news if you’re one of the many struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental disorders. You can even rewire your default mode network and change some of the maladaptive thoughts and behaviors you engage in without consciously realizing you’re hurting yourself.

If you’ve never meditated before, start with only two minutes or so – it can seem like an eternity to sit quietly that long if you’re unaccustomed to it. Gradually, you’ll add more time to your practice. You can also find guided meditations on YouTube if you struggle to sit in silence.

8. Go on Vacation

American workers face a humanitarian crisis. Despite the multiple benefits of taking regular breaks, the majority still lack paid leave, which puts their health at risk.

If you are one of the lucky ones with vacation time, please take it. Your productivity (and boss) will thank you when you return and you’ll give your brain the downtime it craves.

9. Drink More Tea

All tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. However, you can prepare it dozens of ways. Sun tea, anyone? How about matcha?

It doesn’t matter how you prepare it. Tea imparts significant health benefits. Research shows that women who drink the equivalent of two cups per day considerably increase their lifespans.

10. Get Some Zzz’s

How well do you sleep? It’s natural to stay up a little longer during the summer, but skimping on slumber can harm your health.

Make your bedroom more conducive to sleep by keeping electronics out of that space. Why not create a charging station where you plug in your devices each night and keep them elsewhere, like in the kitchen? Indulge in plenty of comforts – lots of pillows, cozy throws, and perhaps some lavender aromatherapy to help you fall under.

Healthy Choices to Make This Summer

You don’t have to go to extremes to improve your well-being. There’s no marathon training necessary. A true inner glow comes not from achieving temporary goals but from making smarter decisions each day. Make these 10 healthy choices – and find some of your own! – this summer and feel your best.

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