5 Ways to Stay Healthy This Summer

Stay safe and have fun!


Photo by: Paul Bradbury

Paul Bradbury

Although things may be a little different this year, you don’t have to slack on your health and wellness routine. In fact, it’s during times of stress and uncertainty that it’s even more important to stay healthy. From creative ways to get your workout in, to family activities that will foster health and bonding, here are five ways to stay healthy this summer.

Outdoor Family Fun

When it comes to exercise, movement is the name of the game. Playing outdoor family games is a great way to get everyone moving. Old-school games like hopscotch, jump rope, potato sack racing and hula hoops are not only fun but get the heart pumping.

Set up an obstacle course, use a timer and give everyone room to groove. The best part about this outdoor family fun is that it’s so fun, it doesn’t feel like exercise!


When it comes to summertime, one of the things that often gets overlooked is staying hydrated. But, it’s also one of the most important things that you and your family can do to stay healthy. Drinking water is more than just quenching thirst. Adequate hydration helps to facilitate weight loss, is energizing and helps to rid the body of damaging toxins.

There are a few options when it comes to calculating the amount of water one should drink. Using a method that is weight-based and takes into individual activity level is best. To find out how much water you should drink per day, multiply individual body weight by 2/3 or 67 percent. This will give you the amount of water you should drink a day in ounces. Next, factor in activity level and add 12 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise.

Spend Time in Nature

Studies show that there is a connection between spending time in nature and improved health. Research shows that just 120 minutes in nature a week can improve sleep, reduce inflammation, increase short term memory, reduce stress and improve immunity.

If you don’t know where to start, local trails and neighborhood parks are easily accessible and make for great family time. If you feel a bit more adventurous, try visiting open state and national parks. As an incentive to enjoy nature with your family, everykidsoutdoors.gov provides free passes to national parks for fourth graders and their families, lasting the entire school year. These passes are given out on Sept. 1. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a tasty retreat, finding an orchard or farm to pick summer fruit in is another way to enjoy nature.

Grow Some Stuff

Starting a family garden is a fun way to combine exercise, vitamin D and eating well into one family-friendly outing that packs a big punch. Activities like pulling weeds, planting flowers, digging, raking and picking fruits and vegetables has been said to burn anywhere from 200 to 400 calories per hour.

As an added benefit, growing some of your own food saves money, teaches kids where food comes from and creates delicious snacks.

Practice Sun Safety

No matter your complexion, sun safety is an important part of staying healthy for all shades and tones. One important part of summer sun safety is avoiding peak rays during 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, using sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection helps the skin avoid harmful rays. Excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays has been known to cause premature wrinkles, age spots, an uneven skin tone and skin cancer.

When applying sunscreen, don’t forget to cover sensitive areas like the tips of ears, the back of your neck, shaven heads and lips. Use a lip balm with at least SPF 15. After some fun in the water or the sun, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours.

Another way to protect your skin from the hot summer sun is by choosing the right clothing. Wear wide-brim hats, caps, UV-treated clothing and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes from the sun’s sometimes damaging effects.

Have a healthy and happy summer!

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