Updates from SkillGate's training system.
Summer is a great time for maximising your wellbeing.
Sunny skies and long hours of daylight enable us to better regulate our bodily processes while motivating us to get outdoors.
Click on the parasols in the image below to discover eight reasons summer is good for our wellbeing.
The warmth provided by the sun helps to reduce arthritic pain and increase agility.
Sunlight also encourages us to exercise more, while the ability to wear fewer and looser clothes, incentivises some of us to get in shape.
20 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as swimming or brisk walking, three times a week burns excess calories, helps to improve the flow of oxygen to the brain, lowers stress, and improves concentration.
Exposure to UV light has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on particular skin conditions, such as dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis.
Take care not to burn as the best effects take place before the skin turns red.
Always wear factor 30+ sunscreen and walk around in the sun rather than sitting still in it for long periods of time.
Sunlight helps to regulate our internal body clock, so exposure to the early morning light can help people who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia.
Improve your sleep by going to sleep in a dark room to increase the production of melatonin which induces sleep, and get out into the sun for an hour between 7 and 9am.
Canadian research suggests there is a link between muggy weather and migraines.
Clear, sunny, dry weather may reduce migraine attacks - providing sufferers with an opportunity to get outdoors.
Warm weather improves blood flow as the blood vessels enlarge.
This could help people who suffer with pulmonary embolism or thrombosis.
Less risk of chronic illness
With greater exposure to sunlight during the summer comes an increase in the production of vitamin D, which lowers cholesterol and plays a role in protecting us against heart disease and stroke.
Some studies also suggest that sunlight can help to slow the development of breast, ovarian, and colon cancers.
Prevention of hip fractures
Sunshine may help to prevent the occurrence of hip fractures since Vitamin D helps us to absorb calcium, which is needed to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Studies show that 50% of postmenopausal women with hip fractures were suffering from vitamin D deficiency when admitted to hospital.
Other sources of vitamin D are butter, margarine, milk, cream, cheese, fortified cereal, fish, and oysters.
Less insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) appears to be linked to climate fluctuations.
Statistics show that this type of diabetes is more common in cooler climates due to less daylight, which seems to either influence insulin production or action.
Furthermore, people generally tend to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables in the summer, which has an effect on insulin levels.
Britain is notorious for its changeable weather, but our summer provides a window of opportunity to achieve a healthy, outdoorsy lifestyle.
Click on the letters in the image below to explore six ways to make the most of the summer for your wellbeing.
Water is necessary for many of our bodily functions, from digestion to the regulation of body temperature.
The heat tends to make us feel inclined to drink more cold fluids and it is essential that we do so to stay hydrated.
Drink approx. 2 litres (8 glasses) of water every day and take regular sips to help your kidneys to flush toxins away.
Increase the appeal by adding berries or sliced lemon or cucumber.
Up your vitamin D
Make the most of the extended sunlight hours by soaking up the rays to increase your levels of vitamin D.
All you need is 15-30 minutes in the sun, but do remember to apply sunscreen to reduce the risk of burning.
Make the most of the outdoors
Fresh air and natural greenery is great for our mental wellbeing, so while the weather is good, get outdoors and take part in all the activities you normally put off due to the cold and wet.
Do some gardening, take a walk, go to the park, head to the beach, or simply take a book outside and read.
Make a wellness schedule
While it may be easy to keep to a wellness routine during the warmer months, it's easy to let it slip once it grows cold again.
Use this time to create a wellness schedule for the whole year so that you know what activities you will do during different months.
Maybe you are doing yoga in the park at the moment, but is there an indoor class you can join once the winter draws in?
This way, your wellness routine doesn't have to stop just because the summer has ended.
If you're not one for hiking, biking, or jogging, try to find something that you can do outdoors to get fit.
Try a new class like tai chi or Zumba in the park, or join a social walking group.
Even small changes can make a difference.
Walk to the shops instead of driving or get off one stop sooner than normal and walk the rest of the way.
Ramp up the fruit and veg
Warmer weather makes the consumption of fruit and vegetables more appealing, not to mention increased availability of seasonal goodies.
Summer berries, such as strawberries and blackberries are high in vitamin C as well as phytochemicals that help to prevent chronic diseases, boost your immune system, and help with weight loss.
If you have green fingers, grow or pick your own fruit and veg, or enjoy a day at your local farmer's market.
Locally grown produce has a lower carbon footprint, meaning that you can help the environment as well as providing your body with nourishing nutrients.
Warm weather and sunshine not only make us feel happier, they also provide many benefits for our health and wellbeing.
Make the most of your summer by incorporating a few positive changes that may just continue to impact the rest of your year.