Have Fun While Staying Fit This Summer
By Melanie Baker, MS, RD, LDN
Bariatric Registered Dietitian at BIDMC
The summer months bring warmth and sunshine, which can be a relief after the long winter. It’s also the time of year for vacations and other events that can disrupt the most well-established of healthy habits. But it’s not impossible to keep fit and still enjoy your summer! Here are a few strategies to help you stay on track.
Walk Before You Fly
If you are flying as a part of your summer vacation, walk away your time while waiting for your flight to board. Spend your layover exploring the airport; many airports have art exhibits or museums so your mind will stay active, too.
Plan an Active Vacation
Plan a trip specifically to bicycle through mountains, ride horses through the countryside, or surf on a tropical island. Tour companies specialize in providing all the arrangements for you. Your only job will be to have fun. Find out if your destination has a bicycle path, then rent bikes and get a closer look at the area while pedaling. For a slower pace, ask if your vacation spot has a self-guided walking tour.
Try Something New
Whether you're traveling or staying closer to home, try something new. How about stand-up paddling or kite-surfing? Ever wanted to learn ballroom dancing? Now is the perfect time. You'll always remember this summer as the time you ventured outside your comfort zone.
Packing healthy food options is a great habit to get into, no matter what time of year it is. Make sure you have a protein or nut bar, fruits, or a sandwich in your bag when you leave the house, in case you find yourself out and about for hours. When you leave this simple task undone, it can leave you hungry and more apt to reach for junk. Choose foods that you can eat anytime, anywhere, to keep yourself energized.
Drink More Water
Stay hydrated while you're out having fun. Drinking water during your summer activities will assure a healthy, balanced body and mind. Try different water infusions to add variety.
Work Out in the Morning
Scheduling time to exercise in the summer can be tricky. The longer you leave it in the day, the less likely it is to happen, especially when the heat starts to build. So set your alarm a bit earlier and get your workout done first thing in the morning. It will rev up your metabolism for the rest of the day, get those happy endorphins flowing and set the tone for an awesome day ahead.
Grill All the Veggies
Barbecue season does not have to mean burgers, ribs and hot dogs. Grilling veggies gives them so much flavor and can help you fill up your plate with goodness. You can throw vegetables directly onto the grill or into a grilling basket. Toss in a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season however you like, and enjoy!
Always Contribute Something Healthy
Invited to someone else's place? Try to always bring a healthier option to the food table. Nothing tastes better than summer produce. Peaches, nectarines, tomatoes ... they all taste better when fresh! Find your nearest farmer's market or fruit stand and grab whatever catches your eye.
Try to enjoy all the beauty summer has to offer and don't stress. So often we look at eating healthy as a chore, and this can be so harmful to our mental health. Celebrate your healthy habits instead of looking at them as an obligation. Take time to remind yourself that you are making decisions that will move you closer to where you want to be. Summer is short and life is good - soak it up!
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