Five Tips for Staying Healthy During Summer Break

When the stress of the college year comes to an end and summer rolls around, it’s tempting to take advantage of your freedom by lying on the couch and watching episodes of your new favorite show. While this is okay once in a while, it’s important to spend time doing things that keep you physically and mentally healthy. Here are 5 tips for staying healthy during the summer months.

Tip 1: Exercise
Exercise doesn’t have to be an intense workout. As little as 10 minutes of exercise three times a week does a lot for your well-being. Some summer-friendly exercise ideas include:
• Walking, biking, or jogging on local trails
• Swimming in your local lake or pool
• Playing volleyball
• Playing Frisbee

Tip 2: Stay hydrated
Hydration is key during the summer months, especially if you follow our advice above. It’s easy to become dehydrated, even if you think you aren’t doing anything to cause you to lose water. Buy a refillable water bottle so you don’t have so much plastic waste. It’s easy to stay hydrated when you have your water bottle with you most of the time! According to the Mayo Clinic website, < http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256> you need 9-13 cups (2-3 liters) of water per day (depending on your gender, males typically need more). Of course this can vary per person, depending on your level of physical activity and weather conditions.

Tip 3: Protect your skin
Now it’s easier than ever to apply sunblock. Many brands offer spray-on sunscreen, which takes less than a minute to cover your entire body. Plus, you can usually still get a tan through your sunblock; the sunblock just protects you against those rays that can cause sunburn, wrinkles, and skin cancer.
SPF 15 is generally the lowest SPF you should use. Reapply sunblock often, especially if you’re swimming or exercising, because water and sweat can wash that sunscreen right off.
For more information about choosing the best sunblock for you, visit The American Melanoma Foundation Website.

Tip 4: Keep a little structure in your life
When summer starts, most college students just want to relax. The semester was stressful and you want to be lazy. However, without the structure that school offers, you may get a little bored.
A part-time job is one way to keep structure in your life. Lots of places are hiring for seasonal work in May and early June. Even if it’s a few hours a week, it’s still something to do, plus you’re making some extra spending money for yourself.
Volunteering is another way to add structure. It’s a great way to help out in your community. This could be something that you enjoy doing, such as volunteering at a local Humane Society or a thrift store. You could even find something that goes with your major. For example, many pre-med and nursing students volunteer at a local hospital to get some experience. There are a lot of options, so do some research to find what works for you.
Another benefit of keeping a regular schedule in the summer? It will make it easier to get up in the morning once you go back to school.

Tip 5: Eat well
Summer is the perfect time of the year to start – or even continue – your health kick. You have more time on your hands (and in some cases, more food options in your parents’ house) to cook some tasty, healthy food. Summer is a great time to finally try out those Pinterest recipes that you’ve pinned throughout the school year.
Check out your local farmer’s market for fresh fruits and veggies. The markets are fun and you can get healthy food for a low price, without all the nasty preservatives that are in ramen noodles. Find a farmer’s market near you on <http://www.localharvest.org/>.