.Seasonal Health and Wellness

Seven tips to Cruz into Summer

Santa Cruz and summer go together like surfboards and Sex Wax. The blend of beach vibes, outdoor adventures and community spirit makes this the perfect destination for soaking up the sunny days.

But too much of a good thing can leave you washed up and dried out without the right stopgaps in place. These simple wellness tips will keep the good vibes going.

Sun-Savvy Skincare

Slather on the right sunscreen before heading outdoors, no matter how much or little time you plan to be there. All the anti-aging products on the market can’t stand up to this one daily habit for maintaining skin health. Be sure to reapply every couple of hours, especially after a swim or workout.

One more note about sunscreen: Many popular brands contain chemicals that should be avoided. In fact, only about one in four products meet Environmental Working Group standards for adequate sun protection and avoid ingredients linked to “known health harms.” Check ewg.org for the best options or stop by Staff of Life or New Leaf for local expertise.

Don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat and shades to protect the face and eyes. With so many great boutiques like the Hat Company on Pacific, Kickback in Capitola and Bunny’s in Aptos, it’s easy to greet summer in sun-savvy style.

Hydrate Like a Pro

Staying hydrated is key to keeping energy levels up and moistening skin from within. Keep a reusable water bottle close and stay hydrated with local tap or filtered water. Not a fan of plain old H2O? Add a squeeze of lemon or a slice of cucumber for a refreshing twist.

A word about plastic water bottles: microplastics. Plastic bottles are as bad for the environment as they are for our health. Rather than buying bottled water, switch to tap water. Research shows that over 96 percent of U.S. community water systems meet government standards for drinkability, and our community is no exception.

Eat Fresh and Local

Hit up your favorite farmers markets for the freshest fruits and veggies; this time of year the markets are in full swing. At the Saturday Aptos Farmers Market, don’t miss the Cabrillo College farm stand and its stellar selection of hydroponically grown greens. Or treat yourself to fresh strawberries from Pinnacle Farm, perfect for snacking, short caking and slicing into salads.

Visit Dirty Girl Produce at the Wednesday downtown or Sunday Live Oak markets for fresh leeks and green onions just now in season or choose from an array of heirloom produce. Wander the Scotts Valley or Westside Saturday markets in search of tender asparagus for steaming or grilling while the season is hot. Or check out the Felton market on Tuesday evenings and try something new.

Move Your Body

Embrace the great outdoors with activities like surfing, paddleboarding, hiking or biking. Whether you’re catching waves at Steamer Lane or hiking the trails at Nisene Marks, keep your body active and your spirits high.

Mindful Moments

Find time to relax and recharge. Practice yoga on the beach, meditate by the waves or simply take a quiet walk through the redwoods at Land of the Medicine Buddha. These moments of mindfulness will keep you grounded and stress-free no matter what comes your way.

Eco-Friendly Habits

Reduce your environmental footprint by bringing reusable bags, avoiding single-use plastics and supporting local eco-friendly businesses. Let’s keep Santa Cruz beautiful for generations to come. Visit Ethos in Capitola Village for ethically sourced and sustainable products to help live a waste-free life.

Stay Connected

Spend quality time with friends and family. Plan a beach bonfire at New Brighton, Twin Lakes or Seabright. Picnic in any of our local parks. Or throw a backyard potluck BBQ. Strengthening connections and creating lasting friendships are key to health and wellness all year round.

Make the most of this sun-kissed season. Here’s to a happy, healthy and unforgettable Santa Cruz summer.


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