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Home > Newsletters > August 2007 > Sage Summer Advice

Sage Summer Advice

By Dr. Maoshing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., Ph.D.

Play it Cool in Summertime

During the hot season, keep a cool head: choose exercise activities that wonít overheat your body. In summer your exercise routine should consist of swimming, ice-skating, working out in air-conditioned gyms, and practicing yoga and tai chi. Studies show that the risk of stroke is three times higher on warmer days than on colder ones. In fact, the peak months for stroke are June, July, and August. So in summertime make sure to drink plenty of water and exercise in a cool environment. Donít let the heat get to your head.

Summer: Later to Bed

Summer is the season of tremendous growth and heat. Heat causes extreme expansion and promotes dehydration, which destabilizes the nervous system, lowers production of digestive juices, slows intestinal movement, and can lead to food poisoning and dysentery. Chinese medicine says the heart and small intestines are most active during the summer months. The Yellow Emperorís advice: early to rise and later to bed, rest during midday, prevent over-heating during physical activities, drink plenty of fluids, add pungent flavors to the diet, refrain from anger, and maintain equanimity in order to prevent summer ills.

The Sun: Friend or Foe

Many centenarians understand the power of the sun. They rise at dawn, and sundown is their bedtime. Sunlight, as we know, can be either helpful or destructive to our health, depending on our exposure level. The ultraviolet rays of the sun are a natural sterilizer, killing bacteria and fungus on the skin as well as promoting the production of vitamin D, a substance essential for bone health. It can also stimulate the immune system, raising the levels of natural killer cell activity. Too much sun exposure, however, can cause skin damage and more serious conditions such as skin cancer, heat stroke, dehydration, and suppressed immune function. To maximize benefit from the sun, limit direct exposure to thirty minutes or less daily, within two hours of sunrise or sunset.

Excerpts from Dr. Maoshing Ni's book, Secrets of Longevity Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100





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