Indian summers are associated with scorching heat and hot winds. Starting from March and lasting till June, these months are filled with sweaty afternoons and lazy days. While students and children may love the season for its vacations and free time, adults too use this time to travel and enjoy long and lazy days. However, summer comes with its own set of health risks. The excessive heat leads to ailments such as dehydration, upset stomach, bacterial infections and heat stroke.
There are various dietary changes, lifestyle alterations and skin care routines that you can implement to protect yourself from the harsh weather. It is important to care for each aspect of your health to ensure holistic wellness. Here are the top 15 tips that you can adopt during the summer season.
Adopt A Healthy Diet
Poor summer diets can lead to dehydration and indigestion. Adopt seasonal diets to ensure that you stay healthy and happy all year round. Consider the following modifications to your diet.
Eat Seasonal Fruits And Veggies
Freshly harvested foods and seasonal crops offer the best benefits. Stock your pantry with a variety of seasonal greens, fruits and vegetables. The best foods to buy during this season include mangoes, tomatoes, berries, watermelon, oranges, and more. Antioxidants from the fruits and vegetables protect your cells from free radicals, which helps to boost overall health. The fibres from greens and vegetables also help in regulating cholesterol and blood sugar.
The digestive system takes longer to process foods during the summer season. It is therefore advised to have lighter meals, especially at night. Smaller meals spread out during the day helps you to stay active and fresh as opposed to heavy meals that may make you feel drowsy. Fill up with nutrient-rich foods like whole grains and protein rich products like rice.
Stay Cool And Hydrated
It is common to feel thirsty and tired during this season. While it is necessary to drink loads of water, consuming the right foods can also provide health benefits along with helping you stay hydrated. There are great benefits to consuming cooling and hydrating foods such as watermelon, coconut water, berries and other fruit juices. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients and can help maintain the pH balance in the body. Juices also detoxify the body, helping you to stay active and energetic despite the sweltering heat.
Enjoy Spicy Food
Spicy food has long been eaten in hotter regions to combat the hot weather. A lesser-known fact is that spicy foods can help your body cool down faster. Spicy foods raise your internal temperature and increase blood circulation, causing you to sweat while you eat. This, in turn, cools your body and regulates the body temperature in relation to the outside temperature.
Switch To Lighter Snacks
While you may love your vadas, samosas and bhajias, eating too many fried items during the summer can be bad for you. Fat has a thermal effect that leads to adverse effects on the body. Consider eating snacks like nuts, fruits and seeds that are more nutritious and easier to digest. They fulfil your hunger cravings without increasing the body temperature.
Modify Your Lifestyle
This is the best time of year to explore and exercise. However, you must maintain the right lifestyle to help your body to adapt to the change in temperature. The heat can often leave you feeling tired and drained. Incorporating the following lifestyle changes can help you maintain your health while still having fun.
Fun activities such as swimming and nature treks can help you stay cool while also helping you stay fit. Regular exercise helps to improve your health, reduce pain and decrease stress. Losing weight through regular exercise also helps to reduce the ill effects of heat on the body. You can unclog your pores and maintain your skin through regular exercise. Exercise causes you to release sweat and this, in turn, regulates the body temperature.
Resist the urge to stay up late during the summer season. Getting a full night’s sleep of 7-9 hours improves you body’s ability to absorb nutrients and regulate its temperature. Contrary to popular belief sleeping during the afternoon does not help you restore your energy. It only works if you make it a point to get an afternoon nap on a daily basis. Maintain a fixed sleeping schedule for the best health benefits.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Consuming alcohol leads to a rise in body temperature. The liver is responsible for maintaining the smooth flow of energy throughout the body. Large quantities of alcohol lead to adverse effects on the liver. This, in turn, causes poor mobility and higher body temperatures. Opt for lighter drinks or chilled drinks. Ensure that there is at least a two-hour gap between the time you drink and the time you go to sleep.
Protect Your Head
Direct exposure to sunlight for long durations can have adverse effects on your health. Make it a point to wear a hat or stay in shady spots when you go out. Avoid going out during the afternoons when the heat and UV radiations are at its peak. Don’t forget to protect your eyes from the radiation. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses that you can wear every time you step out.
Adapt To The Heat
The best way to survive the heat is to stay comfortable. Opt to wear natural fabric such as cotton, silk, and linen. Synthetic fabrics are likely to leave you feeling hot and sweaty. Another factor to consider is the high risk of infections during the summer season. Avoid old food or eating from places that look unhygienic. Similarly, it is advised to take showers once or twice a day to wash away dirt and reduce the chances of infection. Regular baths also helps to keep your skin fresh and combat the lethargy.
Take Care Of Your Skin
Indian summers can be quite harsh for the skin. Modify your skincare routine to adapt to the change in weather. Excess exposure to sunrays can cause pimples and premature ageing. Those with dry skin may experience excessive dryness and similarly, those with oily skin may experience excessive oiliness. Consider the following changes to your skincare routine to ensure your skin stays soft and fresh.
Cleanse Your Face Regularly
Be sure to rinse your face twice a day. The excessive heat and humidity or sweating can cause your face to look oily. Washing it regularly will wash off the excess sweat and keep your face looking fresh and soft. Based on skin type, choose the best foam or gel based face wash to clean your face every morning right after you wake up and at night before bed. Those who apply makeup should make it a point to do a thorough facial cleanse every night.
Invest in a good quality sunscreen lotion to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Extended exposure to direct sunlight can lead to problems like wrinkles, skin burns and premature ageing. Consider buying a sunscreen lotion that also works as a light moisturiser. This keeps your skin fresh and hydrated despite excessive sweating. For best results, pick a sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 and apply it 20-30 minutes before you head out into the sun.
Regular exposure to direct sunlight can suck the moisture and nourishment out of your skin. Moisturising before sleep will give your skin the time to replenish and renew. Opt for light, non-greasy moisturisers for the summer. Don’t forget to moisturise your feet as well. Due to the heat absorbed by the ground, the soles of your feet often get dry and begin cracking. Prevent this by moisturising regularly.
Use Appropriate Products
The same skin-care products that you use during the winter cannot be used during the summer. Buy lighter creams that allow your skin breathe naturally. Winter creams can leave your skin feeling sticky and unhealthy when used all year round. Consider investing in a toner to keep your face oil-free and clean. People with oily skin should try gel-based skin care products whereas those with normal to dry skin should use water-based products.
Remember To Exfoliate
Exfoliate your skin twice a week in order to keep it healthy. Exfoliation helps to scrub away the dead skin cells and renew and refresh the skin. Natural scrubs that are made using ingredients such as coffee, sea salts, sugar and more also provide additional health benefits for your skin. Choose the type of scrub based on your skin type. Take care not to over-exfoliate your skin as that can cause damage in the long term.
Summer is the time for travel, adventure and exploration. For the best experience, it is imperative that you alter your lifestyle to adapt to the changing weather. The right health regime includes the perfect mix of lifestyle and dietary changes and the right skin care routine. Restore physical health, replenish your skin and follow a healthy diet to not only survive the sweltering heat but also enjoy it to its fullest.