A 5-Point Prescription for Midsummer Health
As we reach the midpoint of summer, here’s a quick reminder that healthy habits are within our reach.
Water: It does a body good
The body is made up of 60% water. Proper hydration of cells in your body means higher nerve conductivity in your cells, better circulation, and improved release of toxins from your tissues. Proper hydration helps to suppress appetite, aiding weight loss. It nourishes your skin, especially important when you’re spending all day in the sun.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables—they’re high in water content. Make refreshing infused waters with your favorite fruits and vegetables, such as cucumber and watermelon slices.
Exercise: Just keep moving
Choose the exercise that you like to do and stay consistent. Swim, walk, strength train, practice tai chi, jump on a trampoline! There is no perfect exercise prescription for everyone. Exercising consistently will boost feel-good endorphins and alleviate stress. It also improves blood circulation, especially in joints to help lymphatics. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and lower disease risk. Who wouldn’t want that?
Eat refreshing, cooling foods
In Chinese medicine, nutrition plays a key role in keeping you healthy. Foods that have a cooling energy can help you replenish lost fluids and keep you hydrated. Examples of cooling foods are vegetables like spinach, cauliflower and lettuces and fruits like watermelon, oranges and papayas. Green and black teas are cooling, too.
Try some acupuncture
With insertion of fine needles to stimulate acupoints, acupuncture regulates the autonomic nervous system, reduces inflammation and rebalances the body. It’s great for acute and chronic conditions, and excellent for preventative care when you feel you need a tune-up. And don’t forget to ask your practitioner about cupping! It relaxes muscles, stimulates blood flow, and assists the lymphatic system in reducing buildup of toxins.
Breathe: You are alive!
Check in with your body. How deeply are you breathing? Are you breathing from your chest or your abdomen? Ideally, take an inhalation while gently pushing your abdomen outward. On the exhalation, pull your abdomen inward. Become conscious of your breathing from time to time throughout the day.
Taking a deep breath or two resets your body and mind and allows you to respond calmly to everyday, nonthreatening stresses. It improves mood, increases clarity of thought, and ensures more restful sleep.
Summer can be a very busy time for people—camps, vacations, family reunions, sports, gardening and other hobbies—but incorporating these healthy habits in your activities may make them even more enjoyable. Please let us know if we can support you in any way!