Summer is the perfect time to start these healthy habits

The sun’s out, the days are longer, and the weather is warm. The natural
“feel good” time of summer makes it the perfect season to make changes to
your health and begin new habits that you can embrace year-round.

If you want to make the most of this time, here are five habits you can
start today:

1. Hydration

Most people do not drink enough water each day.

This is especially true in the summer

when high temperatures make it easier to become dehydrated. The exact
amount of water needed depends on how much you lose throughout the day, but

Centers for Disease Control and Prevents recommends getting about three
quarts of water each day

In the summertime, challenge yourself to drink a certain amount of water
each day and then sustain that habit in the fall and winter.

2. Daily sunscreen

When you head outdoors on a summer day, one of the first things you should
do is apply a good dose of sunblock. While sunscreen is top-of-mind for an
afternoon on the beach, the sun’s rays are just as damaging to your skin
whenever you’re outside during the summer and at other times of the year.

Get into the habit of applying sunscreen each day
. Wearing protection of at least SPF 30 each day prevents damage to your
skin and can reduce your risk of skin cancer.

3. Swimming

Swimming in the pool, a lake, or the ocean isn’t just a great way to cool
off on a hot summer day;

it’s also amazing exercise
! Swimming promotes cardiovascular health, builds muscle mass, and is also
easy on your joints, which is great for people as they age. Once you build
the habit, consider joining a local club or gym with a pool so you can
continue swimming year-round!

4. Eat fresh produce

Summer is the best time to get fresh, local produce. Whether you’re

growing it in your own garden

or making a weekly trip to the farmer’s market, there are many seasonal
fresh fruits and vegetables available during the summer months.

Use the season as an opportunity to try new types of produce and integrate
them into your diet. While you may have to settle for non-local varieties
in the winter, the habit of eating fresh produce will benefit you

5. Dial back on the booze

An ice-cold beer may go well with your burger at a cookout, but if there’s
any time of the year to

cut back on drinking
, it’s summer. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes you dehydrated.
Summer days also bring more temptation to drink. So if you can embrace low-
or no-alcohol alternatives on a warm day out with friends, it will be even
easier to maintain that habit the rest of the year.

The natural energy that comes from summer weather can provide you with the

motivation you need to form new habits

and begin to change your health for the better. These five are the perfect
way to begin, so pour yourself a glass of water and get started today!

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