Stay prepared with this Go-To Kit for Active Canadians!
By Wellness Expert, Kyle Buchanan
Summertime is here! And after a winter of snow, and a spring filled with showers, I think I can speak for many Canadians when I say a big, loud, YAY!
Like many Canadians, I try to make the most of the long summer days, whether I’m swimming, taking road trips, hiking or even just taking longer walks around my neighbourhood and soaking up the sun. Although I don’t play sports (which would come as no surprise if you ever saw me try to kick a soccer ball), I do consider myself to be an active individual, and get as much physical activity as I can.
We all agree it’s important to get out there and have fun, but it’s also important to be prepared, and support your system so you’re able to enjoy summer to its fullest.
As a wellness enthusiast, I’m a big fan of being prepared with tool kits, a set of items and tools I can use to support my system for a variety of needs. Skincare kits, anxiety kits, digestion kits – they all have their time and place. But today I want to share the Go-To Kit I use and recommend when it comes to summertime, and all of the adventures that come along with it.
So find a shady spot and settle in with a cool glass of lemonade – here’s what goes into my Summer Go-to Kit (also known as my summer backpack!). From hydration to injury, here are some support tools, ready and waiting!
Best way to stay hydrated? Add a pinch of sea salt to your water!
We know hydration is important, but it’s especially important when we’re being active, losing water and electrolytes through our sweat1. An essential part of the summer Go-To kit is, of course, a trusted reusable water bottle, but I also add one extra tool for hydration support: Himalayan sea salt!
I keep a small container of Himalayan sea salt in my kit, and add a pinch to my water. The sea salt contains naturally occurring electrolytes like sodium and potassium (along with other trace minerals) that can help replenish what you lose through sweat.2
I find it also helps give an extra energy boost! This salt hack is a wonderful tool, especially if you find you get light-headed or fatigued mid-day or after activity.
Pack the right fuel for sustained energy
When we’re out and about, we want to make sure that our fuel serves us – and gives us adequate, sustained energy that allows us to feel our best. I always make sure my kit includes snacks that are blood-sugar supportive, providing energy that won’t crash me a few hours later. For example, if all I packed was a candy bar – that candy bar would taste great in the moment as my blood sugar quickly rises, but would subsequently have an energy-draining effect when my blood sugar quickly drops.
This isn’t to say that sugar is bad; in fact, the right sugars can be a useful tool when it comes to active days. We just want to ensure the sugars are combined with some protein and/or fat to help slow down the rate the sugar hits our system.
My ideal combo is a homemade trail mix featuring equal parts: almonds, pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, dark chocolate chips and my favourite summer energy fruit – dates!! Dates provide naturally occurring sugars, in addition to B-vitamins (which helps provide energy), potassium and magnesium.3 The combination of dates and the other nuts and seeds make for a fantastic combo that will help fuel your system!
Pack some of my favourite Boiron picks
I always make sure that my go-to-kit includes Boiron’s homeopathic medicines. Here are some of my favourites:
- The Arnicare line* to relieve muscle and joint pain and little everyday bruises
Being active is wonderful, but it does increase the risk of injuries. I always make sure my kit includes some form of Arnicare medicine, my go-to homeopathic for relief of muscle and joint pain. For myself, I normally include both the Arnicare Gel, to be used topically, as well as the Arnicare tablets to take internally. Although both are great on their own, I personally recommend the combination to my clients should an injury occur.
Depending on your preference, Boiron makes a whole line of Arnicare solutions to suit your needs. I’d suggest checking them out and judging what would work best for you and your kit.
- Arnicare Gel and Arnicare Cream (which are non-greasy, and paraben & fragrance-free, which I love): these are to be used topically for the relief of muscle and joint pain, and help ease resorption of bruises and inflammatory oedema caused by falls, blows or blunt injury.
- If bruise-support is especially important for you, I’d suggest looking into Boiron’s Arnicare Bruise.
- When it comes to tablets, I’d recommend either the Arnicare tablets , or if you are very active or play a lot of sports, Arnicare Sport, which is used for relief of muscular soreness, cramping, and fatigue following a physical workout or overexertion.
- Cocculine* for Motion-sickness support
Summertime is the time for road trips and boat rides! But if you tend to suffer from motion sickness, or travel with someone who does, it can take the fun right out of the trip. If this is the case for you, I’d recommend putting Cocculine in your kit. Cocculine is a homeopathic medicine used for the relief of motion sickness symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and cold sweats.
If you or someone you know suffers from motion sickness, here’s the Cocculine protocol I recommend before a long trip, car ride or boat trip. Pre-transportation preparation: Take 2 tablets on the eve of travel and take 1 tablet on the day of travel. If symptoms do occur, take 2 tablets every hour up to 6 times per day. Reduce as symptoms improve.
- Dapis Gel* and Calendula Cream* for insect bites and rashes
Two things can happen when spending time outdoors in the wonderful summer heat: insect bites and skin rashes. When it comes to insect bites, my kit always includes Dapis Gel, which is a topical homeopathic used to alleviate the pain, itching, and hives resulting from insect bites. It also promotes healing! Should I get a bite, I simply apply the gel on the affected area for relief.
And if you are one to typically deal with skin irritations like dry patches, cracked or chapped skin in the summer months, I’d also recommend including Calendula Cream, which can be useful with irritated skin when you get home after an active day!
Furthermore, don’t forget to:
Protect yourself from the Sun, naturally
A little bit of sun is great, but a lot of sun can cause damage. So if you are spending a prolonged time in the sun, a natural sunscreen is something that can come in handy and is worth keeping in the kit. Rather than chemical sunscreens which use ingredients that absorb UV rays and typically contain fragrances and other potential skin-irritants, I recommend what is known as a barrier sunscreen, which contains ingredients like zinc oxide that act as a physical or mechanical barrier to block UV rays from penetrating skin cells.4 These natural sunscreens are also typically free of fragrances and other chemicals found in conventional sunscreens.
Lastly, one very important techno tip: pack a backup charger!
An essential part of my own Go-To kit is a portable charger for my phone. Getting one of these has truly been a game changer and a huge convenience! Portable chargers can be bought online, and normally hold one to three complete charges which come in handy when you’re out in nature all day. The last thing you want is to have your phone die on you when you need it most!!
Being prepared is the best way to feel proud of yourself all day long. Having resources at your disposal is a surefire way to support not only your own system, but the system and health of those around you.
So grab a hat and some fabulous sunglasses and get out there! Wishing you a wonderful, active and prepared summer ahead, filled with good health and amazing stories!
*These homeopathic medicines may not be suitable for everyone. Always read and follow the label.
About the author:
Kyle Buchanan is a registered nutritionist, speaker, actor, and the Resident Wellness Expert on Canada’s Global TV, “The Morning Show.” He has a passion for spreading holistic health and wellness advice to as many as possible; from television audiences and conference attendees to online readers and video watchers. He also has his own private practice, working with clients worldwide on their journey to feeling their absolute best. For more information, check out www.kylebuchanan.ca or his Instagram page!