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How to Stay Healthy All Summer Long Without Leaving Your Backyard

While winter is the season usually associated with getting sick, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect your health the other months of the year. After all, it’s impossible to enjoy the warmest and sunniest time of year if you are feeling -- for lack of a better term -- under the weather.

Taking care of your health looks a little different in the summer than it does other months of the year. Here are 5 tips to help you stay healthy all summer long. The best part? None of these require you to leave your backyard!

1. Drink plenty of water

Water isn’t just for swimming in your pools! Staying hydrated helps prevent illness and keeps your mind and body functioning properly. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water a day to stay totally hydrated during the warm months. Experiment with infusing different fruits and herbs into your water for unique and delicious combinations that quench your thirst.

2. Enjoy summer produce

 Summer means fresh fruit and veggies at your local farmer’s market or supermarket. When you are spending time in your backyard and looking for something to snack on, fill a plate with cold melon, frozen oranges, or fresh cucumber. These are not only filling and refreshing, they are also packed with vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy and fueled. Challenge yourself and your family to make the most colorful combinations -- the more colors on your plate, the more variety of nutrients you’ll be getting!

3. Turn fun into fitness

 Being active during the summer isn’t limited to hitting the gym or going for a run. In fact, your backyard is all you need to stay fit. Take some laps around your pool, play an active game with your family, or come up with creative ways to use what’s in your backyard as workout equipment. Do some air squats on the lawn, tricep dips off your patio chair, and hurdle jumps over some household items. Finish up with some refreshing laps in your pool to get that heart rate pumping and enjoy the refreshing water at the same time.

4. Make SPF your BFF

 We all love the summer sun, but nobody loves sunburn. Not only is it painful, but it’s also dangerous. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to dehydration and, in the long term, skin conditions like melanoma. Be sure to generously apply a high-SPF sunscreen before you plan to spend time in your backyard. Additionally, wear a hat and sunglasses to protect sensitive areas like your face and eyes from sun damage. If possible, invest in some large umbrellas for your backyard so you always have a shady oasis to enjoy your yard.

5. Plan a staycation

 One of the best ways to stay healthy is to manage and reduce stress whenever possible. What’s a better stress relief than a vacation? Unfortunately, our busy lives and extensive responsibilities make planning a vacation nearly impossible. Luckily, your backyard can have everything you need for a get-away right from home! Put on your favorite music, disconnect from your phone for a while, and spend time with your family and friends just relaxing poolside, or even throw a pool party. You will get all of the stress-relieving benefits of a vacation without worrying about any of the logistics!

Your health is something that you should be taking seriously all year round. Just because it’s not flu season doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to improve your health during the summer. Keep these tips in mind to make this summer the healthiest one yet!