It’s easy to rush through the Summer. Sometimes we get to the end of Summer and we think to ourselves, “wait, where did the past 3 months go. It’s already back to school again?” Summer creeps up on us, and just as quickly it creeps out.
Most individuals try to clean up their diet before Summer hits, because it’s bikini season and doesn’t everyone want to look good in a bathing suit and those short shorts? We might begin a new diet and more exercise to prepare for the skin baring attire of the Summer season. I have found that sometimes the best way to have a healthier Summer doesn’t involve a new fad diet.
It can be hard to stay healthy during the Summer, with all the great, but fat laden, Summer salads, barbeques and those ice cream stands that are abundant. Then there’s the great Summer produce at local farmers markers or in your own garden, making it easy to have fresh, healthy options always on hand.
There’s always room for a few ice cream trips though, but if you are looking for a healthier Summer here’s my tips for having one!!
- Drink More Water – Hydration is important all throughout the year, but it’s even more important when the temperatures rise and we tend to be outside. Not only do you risk heat stroke and dehydration if you don’t consume enough H2O, but water is important for flushing toxins and keeping the weight down. Drink a full glass before heading to your friend’s cook out or the festival with the food trucks. And bring water with you where ever you go. Most of the time we aren’t hungry, but more thirsty.
- Buy Local – Not only do you stimulate your local economy and help your local farmers, you save money and save your health. Most local fare at farmer’s markets has less pesticides and insecticides than the conventional produce in the grocery aisles. You’ll eat more fresh food, giving your body what it needs. Fruits and vegetables have more fiber, helping us to feel full longer and keep us regular. All great for losing weight or maintaining our weight.
- Skip the Drive Thrus – Why have fast food, when there’s great food at Farmers Markets or you can prepare a tasty meal in less than 20 minutes at home, saving both money and saving your health. Food at the drive thrus, although convenient, leaves your insides in distress, fills you with toxins and can contribute to weight gain and other health issues. The calories in fast food are also high, and the food is what I call, empty calories instead of calorie dense or nutrient dense.
- Get Outside – Go hiking, or a walk in the neighborhood, a family bike ride, a day at the beach. Summer is a great time to be active, and when you’re outside you’re bound to be moving around. You soak up some natural vitamin D and it does the soul good to be out in nature. You might even burn a few extra calories.
- Wake Up with the Sunrise – Just try it once!! Getting up with the sun and being alone for a few moments does the body, mind and soul good. You can appreciate the beauty all around you and start your day on a bright note, feeling less rushed and stressed. Having just a moment of peace is what our body, mind and soul need at times. It’s worth the early wake up call. Grab a warm cup of coffee or tea, a good book or the Word and enjoy some “me” time. Yes, “me” time is important to our health.
- Have a Few Weekends of Doing Nothing – We tend to want every weekend in the Summer to be full, as if we aren’t having fun if we aren’t doing something for our kids or with our kids. Sometimes it’s good for the whole family, or if you don’t have a family quite yet just you, to do absolutely nothing. We race around all year and than again all Summer, and sometimes what we really need is simply nothing. A weekend at home just enjoying each other’s presence and enjoying the “slow down.” That means no yard work, no gardening, no nothing!!
- Live on More Greens – Summer is a great time to try new fare, and why not try some new salads?! Produce is abundant and fresh, and exactly what the body needs. Eating more greens gives more nutrition to your diet, more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There’s great salad ideas all over Pinterest and Facebook. And who said greens had to be gross and boring? You can even try spinach ice cream. It’s actually great!!
- Ditch the Soda and Juice – These are high in calories and sugar, aiding weight gain and contributing to a variety of health conditions. Instead try iced tea and fruit infused water or Koombucha’s. I love sparkling water or mineral water, with a Nuun tablet. Iced tea with fresh fruit is great too!! The fruit will naturally sweeten the tea or water, giving it a less boring taste. My favorite is Peach Iced Tea, or cucumber and mint infused water.
- Be Sun Safe – I love the sunshine vitamin, and your body doesn’t absorb vitamin D if it’s slathered in sunscreen, but if it’s not we risk skin cancer and aging. However, I think a little sun is needed. It (vitamin D) helps to build strong bones, helps fight cancer, boosts the immune system, and lightens our spirits. Most sunscreens are toxic, and worse for our health then the actual sun. I suggest visiting EWG and learning about safer sunscreens and to get a list of some of their suggested sunscreens. Also, allow at least 15-30 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen while outside on occasion. This way you can reap some of the great benefits of the sun, while also being safe. There’s a healthy balance.
- Do at Least One New Thing This Summer – Stuck in a routine isn’t a bad thing, but Summer is a great time to try something new, take risks. Studies have shown that taking risks or stepping outside of your comfort zone is good for the mind and our health. We learn more about ourselves and may foster new friendships. It challenges you and boosts creativity. Try something new this Summer or maybe something you’ve always wanted to do, but never have.
Most importantly, have fun!! Do want you find fun and not what everyone else is doing for fun.
Until Next Time Be Whole and Be Fit
What are ways you stay healthy during the Summer?