Summer Health the Natural Way: 10 Tips From Dr. Kathy Gruver
Santa Barbara, California May 14, 2014 Lifestyle News(PRLEAP.COM) Hot weather is here! Before you rush outside and start having fun, natural health expert and author Dr. Kathy Gruver says, "Whoa! Before you leave the house, count to ten. Follow these tips and say yes to a healthy summer." Gruver, a sought-after speaker, is author of the award-winning books "Conquer Your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques" and "The Alternative Medicine Cabinet."
1. Go Slow. If you haven't done that outside exercise/sport/activity since last year, warm up and go into it slowly. Many people go at the softball game as if they've been playing for years, when they haven't thrown a ball in nine months. I see them in my therapeutic massage practice! Go gently back to activity, even if it's just gardening.
2. Sun Protection. And speaking of gardening, do protect yourself from the sun. I'm not a huge fan of lathering chemicals on our bodies. Choose a natural sunscreen, wear a hat and long sleeves. Protect your eyes with polarized sunglasses.
3. Stay Hydrated. Make sure you're getting enough water during the hot summer months. It's easy to get engaged in an activity and forget to drink. We need to stay hydrated for good skin, circulation, mood, muscle health, heart health. And don't forget that when we sweat, we are losing minerals as well. Magnesium is my favorite mineral, good for mood, sleep, headaches, muscle cramps, menstrual cramps and constipation. Beware of sugary and artificial sports drinks; there are some great electrolyte powders available to just mix with water.
4. Make wise food choices. Avoid soda, artificial sweetener, high fructose corn syrup and packaged and processed foods for the best chance at good energy and a healthy weight. Do eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. It's such a pleasure this time of year when so many are in season. With seasonal grilling, go easy on the heavy meats; try roasted or grilled veggies.
5. Uh oh, bikini season. This time of year everyone starts to get concerned about bikini season and wants to lose weight. Be smart about weight loss. Any program that promises huge losses is unrealistic and probably temporary. There is no quick fix. It basically comes down to calories in/calories out. There are other variables, sure, but paying attention to good healthy food choices and keeping your activity level high is key!
6. Avoid sunburn. But if you do stay out too long, try natural remedies such as black tea and aloe.
7. Let's talk about activity. The key: Choose things that make you happy. If you don't like running, don't force yourself to run. If you like to dance, find a dance class. Just because all your friends do yoga, you don't have to. For fun and exercise, I do hip-hop and flying trapeze. They bring me joy and keep me in amazing shape.
8. Stress less. Summer travel can be stressful waiting in lines, flight delays, traffic, fussy kids. Stress depletes the immune system. Try "mini meditations." Anyone can do these at any time. Try this: On the inhale, say, "I am " and on the exhale, say, " at peace." Repeat. There. Isn't that better?
9. Avoid summer colds. Do wash your hands often, but don't get too paranoid: Over-sanitization isn't good either. Do take vitamins and minerals.
10. Be prepared! Before any outing boating, beach, hiking, camping, swimming prepare first. Make sure you have everything you'll need so your day won't be spoiled by insect bites, sunburn, or blisters. Gather up all necessary items such as sunscreen, hats or visors, bug spray, band-aids, antiseptic, hand sanitizer.
Have a great summer!
Kathy Gruver, PhD, is a health and wellness expert specializing in stress. Her latest book, Conquer your Stress with Mind/Body Techniques, is a 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award winner and finalist, USA Best Book Awards. The Alternative Medicine Cabinet was a 2013 Beverly Hills Books Award winner. It will be a series on OTV, hosted by the author. Gruver maintains a natural health and therapeutic massage practice in Santa Barbara, Calif. She is a sought-after speaker and has been quoted on Yahoo.com, Ladies Home Journal, fox.com, people.com, BostonCBS.com, SkyNewsLondon.com and dozens more.