We are about halfway through the summer season, and it’s been a beautiful one here in the Pacific Northwest. As we move through the season, I encourage you to consider lifestyle changes that go beyond updating your diet to seasonal fruits and veggies – and enjoying more red fruits like watermelon, tomatoes, and strawberries. If you’d like to find out more about the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) summertime diet, be sure to look at our past article on the topic.
TCM Summertime Health Tips
Summer is the season of the heart and heart health. That’s why it’s a great season to reactivate your inner fire, keep your blood pumping, and find joy in the little things. If you’re ready to summer in good health, be sure to follow these summertime tips:
Embrace the heat
Summer is hot, and it feels as if it’s only going to get hotter, the later we get into the season. This extra heat can be good or bad for your health – depending on whether or not you usually run hot or cold.
If you often run cold, then your hands and feet are likely still chilly – even though the temperatures outdoors are running 90 degrees and higher. Keep your extremities warm with socks, shoes, fingerless gloves or anything else that seems cozy this summer. Allowing things to stay cold can cause Qi to stagnate, causing fertility and liver issues in the long term.
If you run hot, be sure to choose a cooling diet full of watery fruits and veggies like melons, tomatoes, cucumber, and more. You can also try adding cooling plants like aloe vera, chrysanthemum, and dried lily bulb to your favorite recipes.
Your body is attuned to the summer’s heat, and it knows that, when things heat up, it’s time to take a break. Even if you aren’t outside, take advantage of those legally mandated work breaks. Stand up, get some water, enjoy the summer from the vantage of a shady deck or outdoor space, and find a way to connect with nature if possible. Giving yourself a chance to enjoy the summer throughout your workday will give you a little time to reset and refocus before carrying on with your work.
Think about how you shower
Some people enjoy cool showers in summer, and others stick to the warm water. If you run cold, you should try staying warm in the shower. If that’s not an option because you are just so hot – at least give your hands and feet a blast of warm water before jumping out.
If you run hot, by all means, take a cooler shower. No matter what water temperature you enjoy, be sure to dry off thoroughly and rapidly. Sitting in cooling water can cause an internal dampness that can later develop into fertility or menstrual difficulties.
Don’t shy away from sweaty exercise
When we reach the “dog days” of summer, it can be hard to get motivated to work up a sweat. However, it’s important to fire up your insides with heart-healthy activities like exercise. So, remember to hit the gym this summer and – once again – be sure to dry off completely after you’ve worked out and showered. Don’t sit in damp clothes.
Find things that bring you joy
We concentration on the health of the heart in summer – both your physical heart and your emotions. With the heat and all the greasy foods we usually eat in the summertime, it’s easy to let your emotions get the better of you. Before you get too fired up or too low, find things that bring you joy and incorporate them into your day or week. For example, if spending time in nature warms your heart, find a park near your office that you can sit in for lunch. If enjoying the company of loved ones is what makes you smile, be sure to visit family and friends this summer.
There are many things you can do to enjoy summer more fully. If you are ready to make a change for better wellness, book an appointment today. We can discuss your health needs and find the right Traditional Chinese Medicine solution to increase your well-being.