Tired of hearing about why summer is the best time of year and how everyone and everything is in bloom? Too bad. There’s plenty of good things about all the seasons, but summer is most people’s favorite because they take vacations, they’re off of school, they can go outside without a coat, and on and on. It’s true, summer has many benefits to our schedules and social lives, but summer is also a good season for our bodies.
Our bodies, like many other animals on our planet, especially mammals, respond to the change in seasons. In the winter, with fewer daylight hours and lower temperatures, our bodies naturally cycle into fat-storing mode. In the summer, our bodies are reinvigorated with energy, but that’s not the only reason why summer is the healthiest season.
These days, we can get plenty of healthy food all year round, but food that is in-seasondoesn’t need to be shipped as far, treated with as many chemicals, or supplemented in any way. Over the summer, you’ll see several sorts of fruits and vegetables go on sale at your local supermarket. Buy that produce up. Berries especially are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals over the summer. The health benefits of fresh vegetables and fruit are innumerable, and summer is when many of these delicious, healthy foods come into season.
Simply getting more sun on your skin has health benefits, too. Obviously, too much hot sun in the summer time can cause burns and worse, but if you’re careful, getting some sun exposure provides Vitamin D to your body and helps activate proteins your body needs. It’s well-known that sun exposure helps with mood and mental health, too.
The weather can be unpredictable in Colorado in all seasons, but one thing you can usually rely on is good days to exercise. I’m not one for jogging in subzero temperatures, in fact, if there’s even a hint of precipitation or low temperatures in the morning, I tend to stay in bed. But in the summer, there’s no excuse for not getting some exercise. Mornings are great for regular exercise in the summer because the sun rises early, eliminating the hazards of jogging in the dark, and it doesn’t get too hot. Going for wind sprints in the heat of the day can be dangerous and detrimental to your health, but a light jog in the morning when it’s still 60 degrees can work wonders. The great thing about exercise in the summer is that it mimics your body’s natural, evolved exercise rhythm. You’ll start to feel more energized throughout the day the more regularly you exercise.
I’ve only glossed over the mental benefits of summertime. Daylight is believed to be so powerful for mood and the lessening of depression-like symptoms that some people buy ‘happy lights,’ lights that imitate sunlight, to sit under during the winter when the dark days have them down.
Summer is also the ideal time to spruce up your house, inside and out.