by Alicia Capellan
Summer time means the world to many! Summer is filled with family time, vacations, exploring, beaches, cook outs, and gatherings. The long, hot days can take a toll on your health if you are not aware of the endless hours laying around in the air conditioning. Before you know it, summer will be behind us, not knowing where the time went! Keeping busy with social events can be such a highlight to making summer memorable. We can also make this the best summer of all by focusing your efforts into making it a healthier one!
Take a few steps in the right direction this summer...
- Stick to your daily workout routine
- It can be chaotic with a new schedule with children out of school or even on the weekends filled with activities. Sticking to your daily workout routine can give you a sense of motivation for the next day. It is easy to fall off the wagon and stop working out altogether. Choose a new activity with friends and family- go out for a swim, hike, cycle, play around the park, or even dance around. Keeping active during the summer is important; do not let the heat get to you.
- Pack your lunch
- Many of us love spending summer days on the beach. The beaches offer fried, fast foods along with ice creams and sugary drinks. To avoid the temptations, pack a balanced snack or a meal filled with protein to keep full. Keep an extra water in a cooler to stay hydrated from running around in the hot summer sun. With a little bit of preparation, you will feel more accomplished and your body will thank you too.
- Eat before leaving your home
- You could be going out for a whole day of shopping, to the beach, visiting family and friends, or a cook out- take your time before you leave your house to eat a nutritious meal. While you are out, there are many fast food locations that seem, at the time, very convenient and you may be tempted to stop. Eating before you leave will keep you full and your glucose levels balanced. To avoid temptations and to prevent unnecessary snacking or making bad choices at cook outs, eat before hand! If you go hungry to a cook out, your eyes could do all the choosing instead of choosing what your body really needs. Remember, food is fuel for your body.
- Stay organized
- Being away from your home for long periods of time is common during the long summer days. Keep your home stocked with nutritious foods so you won't feel the need to rush around and get take out.
- Stay hydrated
- 64oz., 8 glasses, of water is the recommended daily intake of water. The human body is made up of 70% water. Every time we lose water through feces, urine, or sweat we must replace the water in our bodies to maintain optimal function. Water helps with transporting nutrients, minerals, and trace elements to our cells for healing and growth. When we workout, we must keep hydrated because our muscles severely need it through strenuous exercise.
- Eat breakfast
- Make sure you eat breakfast during the summer time...well, all the time. We have heard it before, over and over again, that it is the most important meal of the day to start up your metabolism. Remembering to eat breakfast during the summer can be a task because most people have a change in their schedules or become so busy with children, they forget to make sure their bodies are nourished!
- Join a support group
- A community group likely has several ideas and information to share on tips to stay healthy over the summer. A group can help you redefine your goals and give you support when you need it most. Check out our Summer Nutrition Workshop Series!
- Get sleep
- Sleep is important to your health and may be particularly important to your summer goals. Resting your body and getting enough sleep can be crucial to your next day. Studies have shown that people who sleep 4 hours or less a night had difficulty digesting carbohydrates. A tired body will not burn as many calories.
- Get up and get moving
- Summer is known for its longer days and beautiful weather. Use this to your advantage! Who cares if you miss your favorite show? It's 2014, we can DRV the show. Go out for a walk, run, jog, or sprint the neighborhood at night, its cool enough to do so.
- Eat seasonally
- It’s easy to fill your meals with fresh nutritional items that grow in your own garden. Making a small garden with leafy greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. can set endless possibilities. It also could be something fun for children to be part of and learn something new to take with them into adulthood. If you do not have a garden, visit your local farmers markets and venture out to see what your local vendors have to offer!