Updated: Mar 28
Advice from our Camden Osteopaths on how to stay healthy during the summer.
With the warmer weather and longer days, most of us tend to be more active in the summertime. While this is great for our health, new and different activities can increase the risk of injury even for those of us with a regular movement routine.
Whether your summer is jam packed with trips and activities, or you’re simply taking some time to slow down and enjoy the weather with long walks and dinners alfresco, it’s always a good idea to take care of your musculoskeletal health, to prevent pain and injuries further down the line. We asked our team of Osteopaths at our Camden clinic for their top tips to keep healthy and well this summer.
Hydration is important at any time of the year, but especially when the weather is warmer and we’re spending more time in the sun. The bones of your spine are cushioned by spongy discs, and proper hydration helps these discs to function at their best and give your spine optimal support, as well as improving muscle function.
How much water you should drink per day varies depending on your activity level but aiming for 6-8 glasses a day is a good general guideline. Keeping a water bottle close by is a great reminder and will help to make hydration a habit.
Enjoy outdoor activities
Summer is a great time to explore some new activities, and the warm, sunny days make it much more appealing to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Physical activity outside will keep your body in good health, get lots of fresh oxygen to your brain, and give you a Vitamin D hit from the sunshine as well!
If you have the outdoor space, taking your regular exercise routine outside is a great place to start, or try cycling, hiking, or even just an evening stroll around your neighbourhood to enjoy the setting sun.
Soaring summer temperatures see our clients wearing sandals and flipflops daily, and while it’s great to free our feet from restrictive shoes and give our toes some room to spread, wearing shoes without arch support puts added strain on the knees and hips. Completely flat footwear doesn’t encourage correct posture, and this puts added strain on the spine.
This isn’t to say that you have to avoid sandals altogether when choosing your summer footwear, but opt for shoes that have firm arch support, good grip and a thick sole.
Beware of heavy luggage
Summer holidays mean more time relaxing - but before we reach our destination, this also means more time lugging heavy bags through the airport. While it can be tempting to overpack for that long-awaited trip, carting heavy bags around can put a serious strain on our spine. To keep your back safe in transit, opt for wheeled suitcases wherever possible, make use of luggage carts, and try to maintain good posture as much as possible while sitting on planes and buses.
Going on a hike this summer? Walking is a great activity for your physical and mental health, but take care not to overload your pack. Invest in a good quality backpack with wide, comfortable straps, and only take the essentials with you.
Stick to your usual wellness routine
Although summer is, for most of us, a time for holidays, that doesn’t mean you should take a holiday from your health. Consistency is key when it comes to promoting optimal health in your body, so if you already have an established treatment plan with your Osteopath, try to keep up with it over the summer.
if you’re missing any regular appointments due to holidays, your Osteopath can set you up with exercises you can do yourself anywhere, so that you can keep up with your routine while you’re on the move.
Stress can cause tension in your upper back and shoulder muscles, so take advantage of the extra time this summer to focus on relaxing your mind and body. For some of us, the summer can be a very busy time - more trips, more days out, more socialising during the longer evenings. While this is all great fun, it’s important to take some time out to reset and reconnect.
Make time for whatever it is that makes you feel soothed and relaxed - yoga, meditation, reading a book or listening to music. Even just sitting quietly in nature for a few minutes can work wonders.