7 Ways to Stay Healthy This Summer
Summer’s just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to have fun without compromising your health! Whether you’re planning on lounging poolside at your friend’s house or spending a week on the beach with your family, following these seven tips will help you stay fit and healthy this summer. #1 – Don’t go overboard with the sun exposure! While some sun exposure is good, too much of it can cause serious damage to your skin and increase your risk of developing skin cancer later in life.
1) Take Regular Breaks
Sitting for extended periods of time can be extremely unhealthy, so set a timer to remind yourself every 30 minutes or so that it’s time to get up and walk around. Try strolling outside, taking a lap around your office, or simply standing up at your desk and stretching. Even something as simple as squeezing in 10–15 minutes of walking each day can have huge health benefits. In fact, a recent study published in PLOS One found that adults who walked 6 days per week were 38% less likely to experience early death compared with non-exercisers. That’s just one reason why it’s important to take breaks while working! Sitting can quickly lead to various problems such as backaches, neck pain, fatigue and mental stress.
2) Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated during summer heat is important, but it’s also an easy way to slip in an extra 250 calories a day without realizing it. To stay hydrated and cut back on empty calories, you can sip on zero-calorie water or indulge in low-cal beverages like homemade lemonade. Limit your consumption of juices and sweetened teas. They’re high in sugar and won’t keep you full for long. Instead, opt for plain or sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice mixed in. You could even add fresh mint leaves or berries for a hint of flavor with none of the added sugar!
When you’re in a rush to leave work, it can be easy to tell yourself that you’ll squeeze in a workout later. But instead of scheduling workouts when they fit into your schedule, consider working out first thing—you may even get more done at work! The key is committing: Schedule time each day for exercise and stick with it; plan on working out before meals or meetings so you won’t feel tempted to skip out. If you exercise in the morning, aim for 30 minutes, but remember that 20 minutes is just as beneficial. And if possible, try strength training two or three times per week—it can make a big difference. Strength training helps build lean muscle tissue and boost your metabolism for days after your workout ends.
4) Eat Healthily
You can’t afford not to. During summer, it can be difficult to hit all your nutritional targets, but staying healthy is no excuse for missing out on everything you love about summertime. After all, who wants a vacation from their vacation? Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, enjoy seasonally available seafood and try new recipes with lean proteins like beans or fish. And don’t forget about fiber-rich whole grains that keep your digestive system humming along—without weighing you down. Whether you choose whole wheat couscous or barley for dinner or pack in some extra veggies at lunch, every little bit counts. As does getting plenty of water throughout the day—for hydration and also so your body functions properly. Which brings us to…
5) Avoid Going Hungry
If you’re not hungry, you’re less likely to binge on junk food, and if you don’t binge on junk food, then those harmful pounds won’t sneak up on you. Similarly, we tend to eat more when surrounded by other people than when we dine alone. When dining with a friend or loved one, use it as an opportunity for a healthy chat about your diet; if nothing else, it’ll help keep both of your calories in check.
6) Avoid Over-Exercising
It’s great that you are eating well and getting a lot of exercise, but too much too soon can leave you feeling pretty crappy. Exercise is hard on your body—especially if you’re doing something new, like running. If you overdo it, soreness and exhaustion will set in. Instead of exercising more than two days a week, ease into an exercise routine that works for your body so you can stay healthy all summer long.
7) Enjoy Yourself Without Guilt
Swimming is a great way to get your daily exercise in and cool off during summer. But did you know that swimming can help burn as many calories as running? Though it’s hard to measure how many calories a swimmer burns, our best guess is that swimmers typically burn around 500-700 calories per hour. So, if you spend an hour swimming laps in a pool, it’s safe to say you burned over 1,000 calories. If you haven’t been working out and are just starting, aim for just 15 minutes of exercise a day at first; eventually work up to an hour or more.