By Dr. Susan Mitchell, Mitchell Family Chiropractic
I’m sure everyone is excited to know that summer is almost here! We just feel better when it’s warm and sunny! Nice weather makes it much easier to be active — whether it’s kids in summer sports, gardening in the yard, running on the trail, or golfing. Here are six tips to take care of your body and keep you and your family in the best possible health this summer.
- Get your alignment checked by your chiropractor. Being more active is great for your health, but if you are not functioning well, this added activity can actually backfire and cause your body to break down even faster. Many people say, “oh — I overdid my activity, so it’s normal to be in pain,” but pain is never normal and it’s crucial that we don’t ignore any sort of pain or try to cover it up with medication. If you are having any symptoms or sometimes just feeling “off,” get in to see your chiropractor and get checked. It’s much better to take care of minor misalignments before they become bigger and more problematic. You don’t want to ruin your summer fun!
- Get your Vitamin D. Take healthy advantage of the sunlight. People in the Midwest are commonly deficient in Vitamin D because Vitamin D is made in the skin from exposure to sunlight. Summer is the time of year to build vitamin D levels without having to take a supplement. Adequate amounts of Vitamin D affect many aspects of health, from the immune system to bone health, to preventing cancer and fighting depression. It has also been shown to help stop inflammation. Sunscreen will prevent the skin from making Vitamin D, but you only need 15 to 20 minutes a day of sunlight during midday to get the optimal dose. If you are out for long periods of time, then use a chemical-free brand of sunscreen. We have natural sunscreens in our office, as the chemical-filled brands can be more dangerous to your health than the sun. If you are unable to tolerate the sun, supplementation of 5,000 to 10,000 IUs are recommended.
- Move your body! Fresh air and moving are necessary for good health. Moving helps us physically and emotionally. Everyone can get out and walk every day — and walking can be done alone, with your partner, or the whole family. Start with 10 minutes if you are just beginning. Increase your time and pace to get your heart rate up, your blood pumping, and your body sweating!
- Shop the farmers markets. We are lucky to have a fantastic Farmers Market in Bloomington. They are fun and packed full of so many locally grown foods. You can talk to the farmers and get some great ideas for new foods to try or new ways to prepare foods. Research shows that eating locally grown and organic foods can positively impact your health.
- Be sure to hydrate. Everyone knows how important water is. Aim for half your body weight in water in ounces per day. You’ll need more on hot days or when sweating. Despite what you may have heard, tea, coffee, and diet soda do not count; coffee and tea are very dehydrating! Many experts recommend avoiding any and all artificial sweeteners. So water, water, water.
- Use essential oils. There are many good, quality oils that we recommend for summer skincare and health, including protection from sunburn, bug repellants, and symptom relief without all the dangerous chemicals. Do your research and always try to find natural, non-toxic replacements for chemical-laden products.
I find it much easier to take care of my body in the summer. I hope this is true for you too. There are many health benefits that can be gained by consulting with a wellness-oriented chiropractor. It truly is an essential part of overall function and wellbeing. Start now to make this your healthiest summer yet. One of my favorite sayings is, “If you do not take care of your body, where will you live?”
For more information on health and wellness or to schedule a consultation, you may contact Mitchell Family Chiropractic at 309-828-6200, or visit them online at MitchellFamilyChiro.com. They are located at 1210 Towanda Ave, Ste. 17 in Bloomington. They are committed to helping you and your family reach your health goals with safe and effective natural care.