With longer, brighter days and warmer weather comes the urge to get outside and enjoy the season. For many of us, summer means we’ll be spending more time outdoors exercising. Everywhere you look, people are walking, running, biking, gardening and swimming. With the increase in physical activity, there are some things you should do to help support an active summer lifestyle. Stay safe with these four important steps.
One of the best and simplest ways to thrive through the warmer months is to consciously increase your water intake. Especially when you’re spending time outside in the sun and heat, you are more prone to dehydration, which can lead to headaches and muscle cramping. Keep a water bottle handy at all times, so that you’re drinking water throughout the day.
2. Pace yourself
After you’ve found those abandoned running shoes at the bottom of the closet, it’s tempting to head out and run 6 miles “off the couch”, but your body will likely push back. To help avoid overuse injuries, start slow and build up your endurance. Alternating with a gentler exercise such as yoga can also help to provide balance to the higher intensity aerobic workouts.
If you’re feeling a bit sore after time in the garden or on the trails, an age old remedy is to take an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salts contain magnesium sulfate which can help relieve tension and stiffness in your muscles.
4. Try turmeric
The bright orange root of turmeric has a long and colorful history, and you may recognize it as a main ingredient in Indian curry. In fact, turmeric has been respected and ingested by people from all over the world for thousands of years. Today, it’s well known for its ability to maintain a healthy inflammatory response and help you bounce back from your workout.* Traditionally black pepper has been found along with turmeric in curry recipes, and black pepper is often incorporated in turmeric supplements, as it has been shown to synergistically facilitate absorption of health supportive phytonutrients.* A cousin to turmeric, ginger root is another plant that can support a healthy inflammatory response in the body.*
With the right lifestyle and a turmeric supplement strategy in place, you can be active all summer long, and enjoy these longer days of light to the fullest.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Article contributed by Erin Stokes, N.D., Medical Director at INNATE Response. Dr. Stokes received her naturopathic doctor degree from Bastyr University in 2001. Shortly afterwards she began to pursue her passion for educating others by teaching Western Pathology and Psychology of Healing at Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder, Colo. She combines her experience as a naturopathic doctor with an extensive background in the natural retail industry, most recently providing naturopathic consultations at an integrative pharmacy for over six years. Her personal mission is to empower people with the inspiration and tools to change their lives, and she is a frequent radio show and podcast guest. Dr. Stokes is a registered Naturopathic Doctor in Colorado, and lives with her family in Boulder, Colo.