7 Tips for Changing Up Your Summer Routine
Emily G Samuels, MS, RD, LDN
Bariatric Registered Dietitian at BIDMC
There is something magical about the sun and warmer weather in New England. Relaxing sunsets, reading new books, going out of town with friends and family. The summer offers endless opportunities that are only available a few months a year. It is a great time to try new things, get in touch with your adventurous side and be closer to nature.
So, how about setting some new goals this summer? Here are some ideas for breaking out of your daily routine.
- Explore your surroundings:
With more daylight hours in the summer, there is more time for fun and exploring. Add more steps in your day by visiting new places or revisiting places you don't go often enough. If you live near Boston and haven’t taken advantage of the city’s scenic parks and trails, this is the summer to explore the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. Take in the beauty of the seven miles and over 1,000 acres of landscaped architecture. Tip: Nature walks or other forms of exercise can be enjoyed at any time of day. If your work schedule permits, take an extra-long lunch to fit exercise in mid-day. Otherwise, get out before or after work before the heat kicks in.
Searching for a more interactive location? Try the Lawn on D in the Waterfront District for a family-friendly place offering fun activities, free music and food and beverage concessions. (Remember to make healthy food choices!) The atmosphere is inviting and social. Check out the local daily calendar for special attractions.
- Try new (locally grown) foods:
Visit a local farmer’s market. The warmer weather guarantees increased availability of locally grown fresh produce. While there, familiarize yourself with foods appearing in a more natural state, or learn about foods that are less familiar to you. Ask the vendors questions since they have a wealth of knowledge. Set a goal to try a new fruit or vegetable each week. Remember that you may need to try a food a handful of times to get used to it. Find a farmer’s market near your home, work or school.
https://www.boston.gov/departments/food-access/farmers-markets-boston and https://www.tripsavvy.com/guide-to-boston-farmers-markets-418605
- Step out of your comfort zone:
And step, walk, dance, run and throw. That's right. It may be time to try a new sport! There are many local club sports available to try. Not only does it get you moving, but it’s a great way to meet new people AND keep you accountable for coming back for more. There’s nothing greater than being a part of a team.
- Get cooking:
Tired of making the same meals or trying to save money on eating out? Get inspired in the kitchen this summer. If you’ve never been comfortable in the kitchen, maybe this is the perfect summer goal for you. Search for local cooking classes to help enhance your daily meals.
- Start now:
We used to think that establishing new habits takes between three and four weeks. More updated research shows that forming new habits can take much longer. We need at least two to eight months of practicing new habits in order for them to be integrated as part of our routine. The summer time is a perfect period to begin! Use this summer to commit to new healthy lifestyle behaviors so they become part of your regular living. Tip: Stay connected and join our monthly support groups.
- Be prepared:
Nourish yourself while taking advantage of all the summer has to offer. If food options while on-the-go are less ideal than what you can make at home, plan ahead. Tip: Check out menus online in advance and bring lots of water with you.
- Don't forget:
Setting smaller goals will have a greater and longer impact on your weight loss. Break out of your daily routine and get active in different ways. Try a new sport. Visit a new place. Experiment with cooking. Why wait for January 1st to get motivated? Take advantage of trying something new in the beautiful weather. Summer is a great time to stay active, try new foods, and re-commit to weight loss goals.
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