A healthy (and fun!) guide to June: Why yoga and the strawberry moon should be on your to-do list

Photo illustration of objects like a flamingo float, a Pride flag, peaches, a kettlebell, a yoga mat and a June 1 calendar page amid a splash of water.
Here are some healthy ways to kick off your summer. (Photo illustration: Katie Martin for Yahoo News; photos: Getty Images)

Welcome to June — month of Pride, Juneteenth, Father’s Day and the official start of summer. You’ve probably got a lot already planned for the weeks ahead — beach vacations, summer cookouts with your nearest and dearest, tickets to see that big blockbuster in an air-conditioned movie theater — but allow us to share a few more suggestions for wellness-boosting ways to spend this time.

Here’s our guide to enjoying summer’s simple pleasures (perfectly ripe tomatoes! vitamin D! switching your out-of-office email responder on!) while doing some good and keeping your health top of mind.

🦐 Upgrade your diet. Unless you're part of the 1.58% of American adults who have an ideal diet, you could stand for some improvement. One way to get started: Look into the Mediterranean diet, which research shows has lots of health benefits. Here's what groceries to stock up on and what a meal plan looks like.

🚶‍♀️Try mall walking. It's got A/C ... and an Abercrombie. If you want to keep up your daily step count without subjecting yourself to triple-digit temperatures, consider escaping to your local mall. Mall walking is free (no gym fees), accessible (great for all ages and no pesky hills or uneven sidewalks) and air conditioned. If you simply want to beat the heat, here's a guide to other public places where you can cool down this summer.

🍒 Visit a farmers’ market. June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, and it’s a great excuse to skip the grocery store checkout lines and instead see what local producers have on offer. Summer cookouts call for recipes featuring the best in seasonal ingredients — think cherries, berries, peaches, corn, tomatoes, summer squash, green beans and more — so grab a tote bag and stock up. (But watch out for those summer fruit injuries.)

⛑️ Take a CPR class. June 1 to 7 marks National CPR and AED Awareness Week. Recent research shows that lifesaving AEDs (or automated external defibrillators) are rarely used in cases of cardiac arrest occurring outside of a hospital setting, even though experts say they are pretty simple to use. And just last week a survey from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found that only about half of Americans feel they could perform CPR in an emergency. If you’re not one of them, take time to sign up for a course through the American Red Cross (or brush up on your training with these tips).

🩺 Time to see the doc, dude. Fellas, it’s Men’s Health Month — an important reminder to follow through on any delayed checkups (like getting to the bottom of that pesky twinge in your knee you’ve been brushing off as “no big deal”) or kick-start any wellness goals you might have. Sign up for a gym membership trial. Improve your mood by making plans with that buddy you haven’t seen in forever. Make like Guy Fieri and work out with a weighted vest. The sky’s the limit!

🩸 Donate blood. June 14 is World Blood Donor Day. If you’re able, roll up your sleeve and do your part. Bonus: It’s good for your health.

🍣 Roll with it, baby. June 18 is International Sushi Day. If you plan to celebrate with a bento box order for lunch, read up on the health benefits (and not-as-healthy aspects) associated with the Japanese dish. In short: Go easy on the rice, fried dishes (shrimp tempura, we're looking at you) and sauces (especially if they're mayo-based or high in sodium); choose low-mercury fish like salmon and crab; and add a side of protein-packed edamame.

🧴 Consider an international sunscreen. There's a lot of buzz surrounding international sunscreens, which are subject to different guidelines and have SPF filters not yet approved in the U.S. Here's what dermatologists told us about their appeal and whether it's worth swapping out your usual sunscreen stash.

☀️ Embrace the summer solstice. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, the summer solstice — as in, the official start of summer and the longest day of the year — falls on Thursday, June 20. Some experts associate the solstice with improved moods, though it’s unclear whether that’s because of the extra sunshine it brings or the effect on circadian rhythms and sleep cycles. Either way, the sky has another trick up its sleeve that week that might also lift your spirits. On Friday, June 21, there will be a strawberry moon — so named by Native American tribes because it coincides with the peak of summer harvesting season and is not a reference to its color — shortly after sunset.

🧘🏽‍♀️ Strike a pose. The dog days of summer are calling for some downward dog. June 21 is the International Day of Yoga, a United Nations-recognized observance that encourages people the world over to try the practice. Research shows that yoga offers a number of mental and physical benefits (including increased flexibility and strength), so roll out your mat and get started with some simple poses.

🧠 Boost your brain health. June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, so look for opportunities to keep your mind sharp. As Yahoo Life recently reported, that could include starting your day with Wordle or some other type of brain teaser, picking up a new skill that challenges you or just focusing on healthy habits like sleep, diet and hydration.

🏊 Find a pool. In a perfect world, you’d have an Olympic-size pool in the backyard to keep you cool. In reality, you’re sticking your ankles in a plastic kiddie pool you picked up at Walmart. But a refreshing splash is more attainable than you think. If your community’s public pool doesn’t appeal to you, look into buying a day pass at a local hotel or resort, where you can enjoy poolside perks without being a registered guest. Services like Swimply also serve as an Airbnb of sorts for privately owned pools, with rates charged by the hour. It’s definitely something to consider when temperatures climb and the risk of heat illness gets very real. Just make sure you’re following water safety rules, especially if kids are around.