If you’re worried about your health right now, you’re far from alone. The COVID-19 pandemic shook up American life, and even if you didn’t become sick, you probably know someone affected.
In these trying times, a healthy body is vital to tackling the new reality. You might find yourself dealing with changes in your career or living arrangements, and you need a clear head to make the right choices. Here are eight ways you can boost your health this summer so that you can rise to meet any challenge.
1. Declare Adult Nap Time
Your 2-year-old might try to convince you that naps are the devil, but pay them no mind for your health’s sake. Researchers discovered that inflammatory markers increase with sleep deprivation, which indicates susceptibility to disease. Your body produces cytokines, crucial immune system proteins, while you sleep. Too few can leave you ripe for infection.
How long should you sleep? Let your body guide you. Many people find they feel significantly refreshed and focused after a 30-minute nap, while longer or shorter sessions leave them groggy. However, you’ll need to experiment to see what works for you.
2. Eat More Garlic
Germs may as well be vampires when it comes to garlic. This bulb contains a potent phytonutrient called allicin, which can do anything from lowering cholesterol to reducing muscle soreness. Consider it another good reason to add pizza and pasta to the menu.
Garlic is also one of your best weapons against infectious diseases. The blood of people who eat garlic can kill bacteria, and even the vapour can kill bugs 20 centimetres away. Maybe Van Helsing was onto something after all.
3. Love Your Garden
When it comes to phytonutrients, these fabulous plant-based chemicals come in more than one colour. Eating foods in a variety of hues ensures an adequate intake of these nutrients. If you’re one of the many who embraced gardening during the spring shutdown, now is the time to harvest and make a rainbow-coloured salad.
When it comes to your health, no supplement can replace the benefits of healthy eating. Plus, the veggies and fruits you grow at home meet the most stringent standards for organic production and nutrient content, which will of course boost your health the most.
4. Fill Your Cup
Have you ever experimented with swapping some of your daily coffee for tea? If not, why not make this summer the time to try. Herbal teas offer numerous health benefits, and some varieties, like green tea, also contain caffeine to revive you. You can also use herbs like valerian and passionflower to help you unwind and sleep well.
5. Take A Hike
Both exercise and getting outdoors helps to improve your health, but when you combine the two, you get a mood-boosting powerhouse. Sunshine naturally increases serotonin levels, a neurotransmitter implicated in depression. Plus, hiking or biking makes you feel like you’re playing, not working out, which encourages you to keep going.
You also increase your exercise intensity by taking your workouts outdoors. The varied surface of a trail engages more muscle groups than those you use on a treadmill. If you have hit a fitness or weight loss plateau, heading to the great outdoors might be your ticket.
6. Explore Modern Therapy
Do you shy away from therapy because you don’t have the inclination — or the time — to spend an hour on a stranger’s couch? You no longer have that excuse to neglect your mental health. You can find hordes of therapy apps that let you access counseling from the comfort of your couch. Many offer unlimited text and phone support with a licensed therapist for a low monthly fee. Some even take insurance.
What if you lost your job and insurance during the pandemic? You can find free mental health channels run by professionals on YouTube that will help boost your health. While these videos are no substitutes for one-on-one care, they offer valuable insights and information if you don’t have any other resources.
7. Make A New Friend
Are you feeling isolated? Many people are — you might be among those understandably hesitant to venture out to social gatherings. Fortunately, technology provides safe means. You can Facetime to chat with distant friends and relatives.
People need social interaction to protect their health. Researchers found a 32% increase in stroke risk among those who felt socially isolated. Your chances of heart disease and depression likewise climb the longer you go without talking to anyone. Reach out and touch someone today.
8. Do Some Good
Did you ever stop to hand someone with a cardboard sign your spare change and drive off feeling awesome? That’s because practicing acts of kindness increases your oxytocin and vasopressin levels — two brain chemicals that make you feel upbeat. Volunteering also takes your mind off your troubles and empowers you to become the change you hope to see.
You don’t have to venture outdoors if you feel nervous. It’s an election year, and you can phone bank or text from home if you fervently support a candidate. If you’re not political, many charitable organizations need people to help with fundraising and administrative tasks.
Boost Your Health This Summer With These Eight Tips
If you want to get healthier this summer, the eight tips above will set you on your course. Improve your wellbeing before September and enjoy the rosy glow of health.