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Take Advantage of the Rest of the Summer

Summer is almost over. I hope that you have taken some time for yourself to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of summer and that you are feeling relaxed and renewed! Below are four top tips to help you feel your best, so you can take advantage of the rest of the summer days. After all, “back to school” is right around the corner.

Four summer tips for feeling your best!

You may be surprised to learn that by making just a few modifications to your day-to-day lifestyle, you can improve your health and significantly improve the way you feel. Here are four top tips to help you be your best:

1. Hydrate! 
As the temperature rises, it’s more important than ever to stay well hydrated. 
Low energy, headaches, muscle cramps, constipation, cravings, and poor concentration can all be symptoms of dehydration. The hotter it is, the more we sweat and the more we need to replenish. So keep your water bottle filled and drink up! Check out the S’well water bottle to keep your water chilled all day long.

Experts recommend that you drink half your weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to drink at least 75 ounces of water. But your needs will also vary based on how much you exercise, what you eat and other individual characteristics. I work with my clients to help them find the right balance for them. What’s the right amount for you?

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink! Start hydrating when you wake up. Since you haven’t had water for 7 to 8 hours, your cells need replenishing. Drink a full glass of water before you eat or drink anything else.

Drinks such as coffee or soft drinks (or alcohol) do not count toward your healthy water intake; in fact, they can be dehydrating themselves. But water doesn’t have to be boring! Treat yourself as if you’re at a spa and add crushed berries, citrus, cucumber slices, or fresh mint to make drinking water more enticing for you. See my favorite seasonal water pairings in the Recipes section below.

2. Get Enough Sleep 
The long days of summer might make it tempting to stay up late, but if you don’t have the luxury of sleeping in it might be taking a toll on your energy level, food cravings, weight/body mass index (BMI), and overall health. Not only does our body heal and “detox” while we’re sleeping, but research shows that our appetite increases when we don’t get enough sleep. When we’re tired our body produces the hormone Ghrelin which tells us that we're hungry, causing us to crave sugar and caffeine for energy. And once you start down that path, you end up on a roller coaster of cravings and exhaustion. A good night’s sleep, on the other hand, increases the hormone Leptin, which tells our body that we’re satisfied. This is important because it helps us make better decisions about what and when to eat! So get your zzz’s and see how it makes you feel!

3. Beware of the Sugar “Habit Loop” 
For some of us, summer creates cravings for ice cream and S’mores. While a "sweet treat" on vacation or an occasional summer weekend might be fun, making it a habit can lead to weight gain, food-related symptoms and illness. It’s not just your imagination, sugar is addictive! Eating even a small amount of sugar can create a desire for more. Once you are on the “sugar rollercoaster” it can be difficult to get off.

If you feel you are “addicted” to sugar, you’re not alone -- and it’s not your fault. I can help you kick your sugar cravings. Check out my 14-Day Fall 2016 Detox Program.

4. Remember to Apply Sunscreen. 
Are you one of those people with the big hat and the sunscreen or one of those who forget to apply or re-apply? I’ll admit it, I need to be reminded! So I’m adding this to the list of healthy summer tips. Experts warn that if we don’t apply it today, in the not-too-distant future we will regret not wearing sunscreen. Studies also show that skin cancer rates are on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to decrease the risk. If that doesn’t encourage you to apply your sunscreen daily, think about the wrinkles and premature aging of your skin. So, if you’ve run out, it might be time to get more. Sunscreen is for every day – not just the long hot days of summer.

Click here to learn more about the best sunscreen for you. And remember, if you’re traveling by air, follow the TSA “3-1-1” rule: containers must be 3.4 ounces or less; stored in a 1 quart/liter zip-top bag; 1 zip-top bag per person, placed in the screening bin. Larger amounts must be placed in checked baggage. Also, The Environmental Working Group warns us to wear sunglasses, find shade or bring shade if you are going to be in the sun.