Functional Medicine Tips for a Healthy Summer 2023
Summers in Dallas might be hot and humid, but that doesn’t stop millions of people from spending time outdoors (and indoors) living their healthiest lives. In this article, we’re not just talking about exercise. Health is a holistic concept that incorporates all areas of activity.
By incorporating functional medicine tips into our summer routines, we can feel great, do the things we love, and spend time with friends and family. Functional medicine, with its focus on addressing the root causes of imbalances, offers valuable insights and practical strategies to help us stay healthy and thrive during the summer months. Here are Tennant Integrative’s top functional medicine tips for summer 2023.
1. Hydration and Electrolyte Balance
Staying hydrated is so important during summer when the heat can lead to increased perspiration and fluid loss. If you’re in 100-degree weather, you could lose up to one and a half quarts of fluids each hour through sweat. Functional medicine emphasizes the importance of hydration for optimal bodily function. Besides water, electrolytes are crucial to replenish minerals lost through sweating. Consider consuming natural electrolyte-rich beverages such as coconut water or making your own electrolyte-rich drink by adding a pinch of sea salt, lemon juice, and a touch of honey to your water.
Functional medicine doctors in summer 2023 also recommend that to retain more water, you should avoid being active during the hottest parts of the day.
2. Nutrient-Dense, Seasonal Foods
Functional medicine practitioners encourage the consumption of fresh, seasonal foods to provide our bodies with essential nutrients. Summer is the time for delicious fruits and vegetables, making it easier to obtain a diverse array of nutrients. Eat colorful produce such as berries, watermelon, leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. These foods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, supporting overall health and strengthening the immune system. This summer 2023, follow functional medicine advice for how to improve your diet and consequently your health.
3. Clean HVAC
Air conditioners and ducts can collect dust, mold, and other toxins. In Dallas, air conditioning is a must-have for many people. But if you spend over 12 hours a day breathing in toxins, you may experience negative side effects. The Tennant Institute is able to help reset your body and flush out those toxins. If you’re looking for functional medicine assistance this summer 2023, before you come see us, be sure to regularly have your HVAC system cleaned.
4. Sun Protection
While sunshine has been shown to provide benefits such as mood boosts and vitamin D, don’t end up with excessive UV exposure. Functional medicine acknowledges the importance of maintaining a delicate balance between sun exposure and skin protection. Aim for moderate sun exposure during safe hours (early morning or late afternoon), gradually increasing your time in the sun to allow your skin to adapt. Use natural, non-toxic sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and seek shade when the sun is at its strongest.
5. Sleep Priorities
Quality sleep is a pillar of optimal health, so we can’t overlook it as a functional medicine tip. During summer, longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures can disrupt sleep patterns. Create a cool, dark, and quiet sleeping environment to promote restful sleep. Consider using blackout curtains, a fan, or an air conditioner to maintain a comfortable temperature.
A consistent sleep routine also helps. Allow yourself enough time to wind down before bed and limit exposure to electronic devices that emit blue light. Some meditation or yoga can also help.
6. Mind-Body Connection
Functional medicine emphasizes the interconnectedness of the mind and body. Summer provides an ideal opportunity to engage in stress-reducing activities that promote mental and emotional well-being. Follow this functional medicine tip for summer 2023 by practicing mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to stay grounded and calm. Engage in outdoor activities that bring joy, such as swimming, hiking, or gardening, fostering a sense of connection with nature and promoting mental clarity.
7. Movement and Exercise
Everyone should maintain an active lifestyle no matter the season since movement is a powerful tool for optimizing health. Take advantage of cool mornings and warm evenings to engage in outdoor activities that you enjoy. Whether it’s swimming, cycling, yoga in the park, sand volleyball, or even walking around North Park for an afternoon, find activities that align with your preferences and fitness level. Remember to listen to your body and pace yourself, allowing for rest and recovery as needed.
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Summer invites us to embrace the beauty of nature and the joys of outdoor living. By integrating functional medicine principles into summer 2023 routines, we can support our health, well-being, and vitality. Prioritizing hydration, consuming seasonal nutrient-dense foods, practicing sun protection, prioritizing sleep, nurturing the mind-body connection, and staying active will contribute to a healthy and balanced summer experience. Functional medicine encourages us to take a holistic approach, addressing the underlying causes of imbalances rather than simply treating symptoms. By incorporating these principles, we can make informed choices that promote overall health and vitality.
Remember that individual needs may vary, and it’s always beneficial to consult with a healthcare practitioner or functional medicine specialist who can provide personalized guidance based on your unique circumstances. Embrace summer 2023 with a functional medicine focus on nourishing your body, mind, and soul, and enjoy the abundance of health and wellness it has to offer.