Summer is a great time to re-evaluate or even change old habits—whether it’s over a long holiday weekend or during a full-on two-week vacation, the act of breaking your everyday routine opens your eyes to new opportunities and possibilities. Get into these five new habits this summer, and you’ll stay healthier all year.
1. Become A Farmers’ Market Regular
Get your fill of the summer’s healthiest offerings by making weekly trips to your local farmers’ market. Buying your fruits and veggies at a farmers’ market can save you money, supports local businesses, and it helps the environment by requiring less packaging and less transportation energy. But the biggest reason, of course, is the nothing-else-quite-like-it, fresh-picked flavor of produce grown within a couple of minutes or hours from the farmstand. Plan your family’s meals around your farmers’ market finds, or seek out produce to make any of these farmers’ market-inspired recipes.
2. Protect Your Eyes in Style
More than just a summer fashion statement, sunglasses protect your eyes and the surrounding area against damaging summer rays. Wear sunglasses every time you leave the house to protect against photokeratitis—a (very painful) eye sunburn—and to avoid serious long-term health issues, such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and skin cancer. Another benefit of wearing sunglasses during the day? They help your eyes maintain the ability to adjust to darkness, which is especially important for nighttime driving. Find sunglasses that fit your face shape with this guide.
3. BYOB (Bring Your Own Breeze)
When it comes to summer outerwear, just keep the two L’s in mind: Loose and Light-Colored. Loose clothing leaves room for air to move around the skin, which helps with the evaporation of sweat. And light-colored clothing reflects the sun, providing a cooling yet still protective layer against UV rays. Just as important, though, is what you wear underneath. Fruit of the Loom’s Breathable Boy Shorts and Breathable Bikinis are made of micro-mesh, which allows ventilation and sweat evaporation through tiny holes in the fabric. And since micro-mesh is designed for better air flow, it dries even faster than cotton too. Feeling cool and dry… we bet that’s on your agenda this summer!
4. Start a Summer Fitness Plan
Even if you didn’t get around to sculpting your perfect beach body before the season began, don’t give up on the idea altogether! Incorporate four to five 30-minute exercise sessions into your week. During the summer months, relegate your outdoor workouts to the early morning or evening hours, when the temperature is lowest and the sun is less harmful to your skin. And on those days when a major summer thunderstorm makes an appearance, don’t skip your workout—try one of these indoor routines, which are all the rage this year.
5. The Dog Days of Summer
Even though your dog’s life seems like one long vacation (those naps alone!), he could use some help staying cool during his summer, too. Just like with your own workouts, save long stretches of outdoor time with your dog for morning or early evening. When the temperature spikes, let Fido get his exercise in air-conditioned comfort by trying an indoor “doggie fitness” class. Also: keep your pup’s paws from scorching by walking him on grass instead of asphalt whenever possible, or outfit him in a pair of paw boots (yes, you read that right!) for burn protection. Finally, get in the habit of checking your dog for ticks daily, especially after you go on nature walks. And be sure to check yourself too!