It’s finally summer! Many Grand Cayman residents typically use this time to attempt to jump-start their health and fitness goals because of the increased sunshine, involvement in summer sports leagues and joining the kids in their various summer activities.
However, a lot of best-laid plans get thwarted due to stomach ailments. Exercising and eating well aren’t usually a priority when dealing with nausea, digestive upset and irritable bowels.
The resultant physiological effects of an out-of-balance stomach (blood sugar imbalance, low energy, etc.) can also lead to decreased mental well-being. We rely on our digestive system not only for physical, but also emotional, support. When digestion is regular, energy levels stay high and our emotional state is calm and comfortable.
Here are some ways to make your stomach a priority this summer:
Eat the rainbow
— Visit the local farmers market and stock up on seasonal, locally sourced produce. Pick up a variety of fruits and veggies and plan your meals for the week based on what’s available. Try giving up meat for a day, or if you’re feeling ambitious, try it for a week. Your stomach will thank you.
— Hydration is always important, but it’s even more important during hot summer months because we tend to sweat more due to increased ambient temperature. Replacing lost fluids is critical to prevent dehydration. Try drinking eight ounces of water first thing in the morning and then try to sip throughout the day. Also, remember that pre-exercise hydration is just as important as post-exercise hydration, especially if you plan to work out outside.
Connect with nature
— This may seem odd because it doesn’t appear to directly relate to the stomach. However, all the systems in the body are interconnected so emotions such as worry and anxiety can indirectly affect your stomach and the rest of the digestive system. Summer is a great time to take an evening walk since the sun sets later. While you walk, listen to the birds singing and the wind blowing or take note of the feeling of the ground beneath your feet.
Connect to nature and allow that feeling to flow through you.
To find out more about how to achieve your rehabilitation goals, contact a healthcare professional at Align.
Kristina Maxwell is a doctor of physiotherapy at Align, a wellness studio with an integrated approach to physical rehabilitative treatments and preventative care.