Summer has always held significance as a time of supreme freedom — a time to ramp up the fun. It's your time to do what you want, where you want and with whomever you want. You feel uninhibited — no more beards, no more treadmills and no more indoor-mandatory dates with your significant other.
You want the grass and sand beneath your toes and the sun shining on your face.
Summer is the time you feel best about yourself. You're more confident. You're tan. You're hitting on every attractive thing that walks by you. You're the badass you've been waiting more than six months to be.
But it isn't just your attitude that improves in summer. You are actually a healthier and happier person in the summer months. Here´s how:
You're sleeping like a boss: The early bird gets the worm, but who wants to get out of bed when it's cold and gray outside? Waking up early in the summer is so much more inviting. The sun is shining, and the birds are chirping. And more than that, waking up to sunlight will help you have a more restful sleep at night.
Getting a half hour or more of daylight between 6 am and 8:30 am is an effective way to regulate your biological clock. As Dr. Virgil D. Wooten explains in an article for How Stuff Works, “You need to reset your clock each day, so that it stays compatible with the earth’s 24-hour daily rhythm — and with your daily schedule.” On a sexier note, the heat is also more likely to influence you to sleep naked to lower your body temperature, and sleeping naked has its own set of health benefits.
You´re swimming: There aren’t too many opportunities to take an outdoor swim during the other three seasons, and we plan to take full advantage. Swimming uses all the muscle groups with minimal impact and improves strength, since the water provides natural resistance, WebMD reported. People with joint pain or arthritis can often participate in water-based exercise more easily — and without worsening symptoms, according to the CDC. Swimming has also been shown to improve mood and alleviate depression. According to a study published in the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, swimmers even have a lower risk of death than runners and walkers.
Summer reduces chance of heart attacks: Research indicates that you are less likely to die of a heart attack in the summer than in the winter. In a study of almost 11,000 people who had heart attacks in the UK over a period of nine years, survival rate increased by 19 per cent if the attack occurred in the summer.
Higher levels of Vitamin D - which is synthesised by sunlight - are also thought to play a protective part in those who suffer heart attacks.
It's also good news for those with high cholesterol. Ultraviolet light converts cholesterol to Vitamin D. Therefore, getting out in the sun is a good way to lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Research has also shown that sunlight plays a vital role in fighting many chronic illnesses. A deficiency of Vitamin D - essential for the absorption of calcium - is associated with diseases such as osteoporosis. Several studies have also shown that ovarian, breast and colon cancers are slowed by exposure to sunlight.
Summer relieves skin complaints: Controlled exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays can have a therapeutic effect on skin complaints such as acne, psoriasis and dermatitis. Dr Ian White, consultant dermatologist at St Thomas's Hospital in London, says many skin disorders are caused by an over-sensitive immune system. UV rays reduce that sensitivity.
It is better to walk around in daylight rather than sitting directly exposed to the sun for any length of time because sunburn remains a key factor in causing skin cancer. The therapeutic effects of the sun occur just below the level of turning skin red. Most fair skins can tolerate up to 15 minutes of direct exposure before the skin turns pink.
Fruit abounds: Summer wouldn’t be complete without heaping helpings of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, watermelon — the list of in-season fruit goes on and on. The best news is these summer picks are as nutritious as they are delicious. All are loaded with antioxidants and vitamins (and flavor!), for very few calories. Blueberries have been linked to lower cholesterol and diabetes risk, raspberries and blackberries are excellent sources of fiber, cherries seem to speed recovery after exercise and curb pain and strawberries may slow cognitive decline with aging. Not to mention fruit is chock-full of water, helping you to stay hydrated on those hot, sweaty days.
It helps migraine sufferers: Canadian doctors running trials testing the link between weather and migraines have concluded that clear, sunny and dry weather reduces attacks of migraine. However, if the weather turns muggy, watch out because the symptoms may return.
Summer prevents diabetes: VITAMIN D may help to prevent the onset of diabetes. "A study in Finland found children given a vitamin D supplement for several years had an 80 per cent reduced risk of developing Type I diabetes as young adults," says Dr Holick. A deficiency in vitamin D is also thought to contribute to Type II diabetes, according to a recent study by Dr Barbara Boucher at St Bartholomew's and the Royal London Hospitals.
It increases our water consumption: Water is vital to thousands of chemical processes that take place in the body's cells to enable it to function. These include promoting digestion, regulating body temperature, improving the health and vitality of our skin and flushing toxins from the body. In the summer months we are more inclined to drink the recommended two litres of water a day needed for optimum health.
Prepared by | Luisa Fernanda Baez