July is here and things are heating up. Blue Cross Blue Shield has provided a few tips to help you sail through the month in a healthy way:

Sleepy summer - Summer routines can vary and we need to be aware of our sleeping habits.  Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night and utilize techniques to help you sleep better in the summer heat including pulling the shades down and keeping your room cooler.

Stay hydrated - In the summer months we need to not only get our recommended intake of water but even more so.  We lose more water through our everyday activities now that we're perspiring more and we need to replenish.  Aim for more than your standard 8 glasses a day and try to choose snacks that have a higher water content including watermelon, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Get your hands dirty with a hobby - It's been shown that having hobbies can really lower the amount of stress that you have.  What better hobby to take up in the summer - gardening.  Whether it is a flower garden or a fruit and vegetable garden it's been shown this hobby is "grounding."  Start small with a few potted plants and then take it from there.

Don't forget to eat - Sometimes when it's hot outside our appetite can decrease. Make sure you have "lighter" snack options at home like fresh fruits and vegetables that are easy grab and go foods.  Don't forget to eat breakfast even on the hotter days as this helps balance your blood sugar, keep dehydration risks low, and heighten your energy for the day.  Shoot for higher protein and fiber breakfast choices.

Drink responsibly - Warmer temperatures can lead to an increase in alcohol consumption and there are a few things to be aware of.  Alcohol does not replenish your water stores and actually can dehydrate your body faster.  Drinking in moderation is the easiest way to control this.  If you are choosing to have a drink or two make sure to have a glass of water in between your drinks to stay hydrated.  Drink responsibly.