The heat is on and summer is in full swing. As your calendar fills up with happy hours alfresco and weekends spent grazing at neighborhood block parties and barbecue buffets, don’t let go of your summer health and fitness routine.
To keep yourself on track both at home and while traveling these summer months, here are my top tips for staying committed to a healthier, happier you this summer.
Keep a Food Log
Research shows that recording what you eat is one of the best ways to stay on track and achieve your diet and fitness goals. With so many helpful mobile apps and online trackers, that food log is always in reach and it’s now easier than ever. I’m a fan of the USDA’s SuperTracker, which provides customized nutrition guidance to help people make smarter choices. MyFitnessPal is another favorite. Keep track of your daily intake no matter where you are this summer.
Make the Time
Though we are typically more active in the summertime don’t confuse activity with exercise. Carve out time in your busy summer schedule to schedule a workout. Even 20-30 minutes a day can make a huge impact – increasing your overall productivity and energy levels. Plus, making exercise a daily part of your daily routine reduces stress and keeps you relaxed.
Commit to your exercise routine ahead of time and opt to get out there early when it’s cooler…or late. Try to avoid getting out in the middle of the day – between 11 am and 4 pm when the sun is pounding the pavement, too. And on these days when it’s too hot to be exercise outdoors, don’t just forgo your day’s exercise routine. Rather, hit the pool or plan to work out indoors. Staying on a schedule will also give you a chance to evaluate what is working and what is not in your fitness routine. Summer is a fun time to try to a boot camp, water exercise class, water-walking or biking in your neighborhood or a new bike trail. Family or neighborhood volleyball or badminton games, bowling and hikes also add summer fun.
Indulge in Summer Veggies and Fruits of the Season
Throughout the year it’s easy to fall back on a few key fruits and vegetables, but summertime brings fresh choices. Give your body a nutritious kick by incorporating summer’s bounty of in-season, colorful fruits and vegetables. From red tomatoes and yellow sweet corn to dark green kale, there are so many options to choose from. Indulge in chilled watermelon, sweet cantaloupe, juicy grapes, refreshing pineapple and plump cherries this season. These also make perfectly sweet desserts. Use summer fruits and vegetables for snacks – keep them sliced up and ready to go in the refrigerator. Smoothies are great snacks and desserts, too.
Find a Buddy
Being accountable makes all the difference. Find a partner that keeps you committed – and that also makes plotting out your diet and fitness goals more fun. Plan morning exercises together – running, walking, biking or hitting the gym – and swap healthy recipes. Buddying up is a great way to stay accountable and also celebrate your achievements when you hit your goals.
For more ideas on healthy eating, calcium and fiber sources, and anti-osteoporosis exercises, check out The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution: Step Up to the Plate (2009). My guidebook of tips makes healthy eating more enjoyable and more manageable. Connect with me online at @GeorgiaKostas and Facebook/Georgia KostasNutrition and visit:http://www.georgiakostas.com.
This nutrition information does not address individual health conditions. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian to meet specific health and dietary needs.
*Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.com.
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