Summer is finally here, which means warmer weather and more daylight hours. It’s also a great time to skip the gym and opt instead to spend time outside in the fresh air, (rather than jumping back on that treadmill.)
The summer season is a good time to take advantage of good weather, become more active, and implement a healthier lifestyle. Following are five ways to improve your health this summer:
Instead of the rich foods of winter, which are carb and protein-heavy for those colder months, try recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. This is a great time of year to incorporate fruits like berries (blueberries and strawberries are filled with antioxidants and minerals), mangos, potassium-rich bananas and leafy greens like spinach and kale into your smoothies and salads. You can also put your outdoor grill to work and cook some roasted veggies or sweet potato fries. And for an afternoon snack, cut up some red peppers and carrots to keep in the fridge, which are great for dipping (instead of crackers). There are endless options for summer fruits and veggies, so stock up!
Get outside (instead of the gym).
Have you been wanting to try kayaking, since the lake is only an hour away? Or maybe you want to hike after work, or go for a run in the warm night air? Instead of your usual gym routine which can get tired, take advantage by mixing things up and going outdoors for exercise. Fresh air is good motivation.
Optimize your lunch breaks.
Instead of eating at the sandwich shop near your office again, try bringing your lunch and going for a walk outside during your lunch break. Or try a yoga class near your work – many studios offer lunchtime classes that are shorter than the normal evening classes to fit into your lunch hour. Recent research has found that sitting at your desk for eight hours a day isn’t so great for your health, so aim to move more.
Has running been hard on your joints? Or is it unbearably hot where you live? Swimming is a great exercise for your whole body, because it gives you a workout, builds your endurance, and there’s little danger of injuring yourself. If you are hesitant to try swimming laps, join a water aerobics class at your neighborhood pool.
Take a walk after dinner.
Sitting in traffic and sitting at your desk all day can take a toll on your body and mind. Sometimes we eat dinner and are unable to sleep because we feel so restless and full. Taking a walk around your neighborhood after dinner helps your food digest better, and releases the tension from traffic and the office. Summer is the perfect time to become more active – it stays lighter longer, and you can enjoy the outdoors.