Treat Your Body Right This Summer

On Monday we talked about what summer means to our bodies and hearts. And because we tend to have our best energy in the summer, our actions should support our increased vitality.

Of course, that means we’re most likely spending more time outside, getting fresh air, exercising, visiting with friends, watching the sun set. It’s important to embrace this time of year, because all of those things (among others) feed our Heart and creates joy.

Also, this is the time of year to focus on building up stamina and endurance, more so than any other time of the year. For example, this is a really great time to do longer periods of lifting with lighter weights. Aerobic activity will strengthen your heart. It’s a perfect time to train for a marathon or triathlon, or, if you’re like me, plan an adventure bike trip to Rockies.

But here’s the thing: It’s really important to balance activity with rest. You can’t be go-go-go all the time—we also need to relax. We don’t need as much rest as we do during the winter, but we don’t want to burned out and frazzled by end of the summer, either. Here are a few tips to keep you in tip-top shape!

Consider eating light, easy-to-digest food. Think: fish and steamed veggies, broth-based soups. This is obviously a great time to eat vegetables, as they are very nourishing. Eat more juicy fruits! They are very cooling and moistening in our hot summer, and so replenishing for when we’re outside for long periods. We can eat more raw fruits and veggies at this time of year, because our digestive fire gets extra energy from sun every day. You can even eat these foods several times per day, and still remain balanced and strong.

Cut back on eating heavy foods because those can weigh your energy down and make you feel less vital. Eat smaller amounts of food more often. This will help your energy flow more freely, so you’re not weighed down by huge, heavy meals. It may sound very appealing to eat a hamburger and French fries and top it off with a milkshake—been there!—but that meal is almost better suited for winter eating. At the very least, sub in grilled asparagus for fries, and drink iced tea instead.

Drink plenty of water in the summertime. You really need these replenishing fluids. Add lemon or lime to help your body absorb it. Pro tip: I actually prefer to eat watermelon, because it also tastes so good.

Meditation is great for summer. Meditate on opening your heart and feeling compassion. Contemplate kindness and feeling love—this will be especially beneficial, since summer is the time of the Heart.

Onwards to a beautiful, joyous, and loving summer!