With the summer comes beautiful weather, spending time outdoors and holiday spirits are in full swing. While summer is a great time to be outdoors to spend time with family, nothing can spoil the mood faster than sickness or a nagging injury. Here are some tips to stay happy and healthy over the summer holiday period.
While it’s important not to overeat holiday foods, it’s also relaxing to let yourself indulge a little. It is the holidays after all! One way to avoid overeating unhealthy foods is replacing unhealthy staples with healthy substitutes. For example, replace starchy carbs like rice and potato with riced or pureed cauliflower and try adding more salads and vegetables to the menu. If you’re having family and friends over for a meal in the summer, try and put lots of vegetables like sweet potato or corn on the grill. These are great substitutes for traditional but unhealthier options. Grilled veggies like corn, sweet potato and pumpkin are also a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre.
Replacing fizzy drinks with fruit infused water is also a great way to decorate the table and avoid ingesting unhealthy and artificial drinks. Some great summer fruits to use for this include strawberries and blueberries, pineapple, orange slices, cucumber, ginger or lemon for added detoxification!
Summer in Melbourne can sometimes mean temperatures that soar above 30°C. Without proper nutrition and hydration, your body can become dehydrated and overexposed, leading to heat exhaustion. While this can be very severe, it can be prevented with proper hydration and nutrition. If you are active, eat breakfast to fuel your day and make sure you are ready for sport by drinking enough water.
It’s understandable that you may have a few more cocktails and alcoholic drinks in the summer and over the holiday period, making it all the more important that you rehydrate with water. Alcohol dehydrates the body through increased sweat and urine excretion, and it fails to replenish water in the body, so it’s important that you drink water in between alcoholic drinks. A good rule to follow, whether you are drinking alcohol or not, is to have at least one glass of water for every hour you spend in the sun. Rehydration is great for keeping your body in tip-top condition and helps to prevent hangovers if you are drinking!
Summer is a great time to get out and exercise! Regular exercise in the mornings is a great way to start your days as it encourages a healthier mindset for the rest of the day. Participating in or trying some new summer sports such as swimming, tennis, biking, jogging or volleyball is a great way to get active while having fun and enjoying the warm weather. Encouraging friends and family to join in can also make exercising more enjoyable. of hitting the bar to catch up with your friends over the holiday period, try suggesting activities like walking, yoga, indoor rock climbing or simply spending time outdoors. Keeping active is healthy!
While summer is a great time to have fun and spend time outdoors it is important to ensure that injuries are avoided! Injuries from twists, turns and falls can be lessened with the advice of a physiotherapist before you start a new activity. When playing sport or physical activities, it is essential to wear protective gear and equipment appropriate to the activity. Wearing helmets, gloves, the right shoes and shin pads can prevent injuries such as scrapes, bruises, ligament tears and even broken bones.
It’s also important to take time to ease into activities. Summer presents a tempting opportunity to jump head on into action, but if your muscles are still resting from the winter or your sedentary work, you may experience tears and injuries. Take time to warm up before activities by stretching muscles and joints or by doing gentle exercise such as a slow jog. Summer activities like gardening can also be dangerous to the body if not careful. Use a wheelbarrow to help carry heavy objects to avoid back injury and take regular breaks to do some stretches to avoid muscle pain and cramps.
Taking Time for Yourself
The holiday period can be extremely demanding with all the shopping, going out, seeing friends and family and caring for others happening all at once. It’s important to remember to give yourself a break and practise good self-care techniques. Remember not to punish yourself for eating foods that are unhealthy or skipping exercise, give yourself a break! Plan time for rest, allow yourself to wake up late some days or enjoy a lazy day in at home. Use the holiday to recharge your batteries so you will be ready for the new year to come!
Fairfield Physiotherapy will be open throughout the holiday period apart from the public holidays. Please make an appointment or book online if you would like assistance from one of our physiotherapists relating to that niggling injury or how to tackle a new exercise regime for 2019!