Ways to Keep Your Healthy Lifestyle Journey in Check
It can be a challenge to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle journey throughout the winter. In fact, most of us are thrilled to welcome in the New Year. This is fresh start and allows us to get back into the swing of things with consistent training and a healthy diet after the holidays. Let’s be honest, with a flurry of holiday parties, family feasts, and well-intentioned neighbors bringing so many homemade goodies you cannot see your countertop, the struggle is real.
But perhaps even more a challenge is when the summer months hit and warmer temperatures, vacations (where calories don’t count), cookouts, and out-of-school schedules rule the days and nights. The excuse to skip a workout or spend a week eating frivolously can be tempting. Let’s discuss some tips for sticking to your health and fitness goals over the summer months.
JUST KEEP MOVING…WALK, SWIM, BIKE!
You don’t need to be indoors or at the gym everyday get regular exercise. Savor the lovely summertime weather and enjoy the outdoor recreation options. Swimming is a low-impact way to burn calories and stay cool. The season is also perfect to try a new sport like tennis or beach volleyball. Traveling or vacationing? You can still squeeze a few minutes of physical exercise into the day. Wake up a little earlier and take a brisk walk or jog. Consider a bike ride with friends or family to start or end the day. 30 minutes is recommended but if this a challenge, break it up into 10-minute intervals throughout the day!
Don’t skip meals to hold out for late afternoon or evening events, which can lead you to overeating and feeling bloated and miserable. Instead, arrange your day around the meals you might want to consume later in the day or night. Consider lighter meals for breakfast and lunch that have more protein. Or break up the larger meals into 4-5 smaller ones. Balance is key to enjoying all your favorite foods and beverages, while staying on track with your daily calorie intake.
BE MINDFUL OF BOOZE AND HYDRATE
For many people, drinking tends to increase throughout the summer, between parties and other events. Alcoholic beverages are referred to as “empty calories,” so be careful how much you consume. Vodka, gin, or tequila with soda or water are recommended as they have fewer calories and sugar than other spirits. Champagne and Riesling, or wine spritzers are also excellent calorie-wise choices. Be sure with the warmer temps to stay hydrated and track your ounces of water. Enjoy, and remember to drink responsibly!
INDULGENCES ARE ALLOWED
When you’re surrounded by mouthwatering summer fare, temptations and desires are inevitable. Absolutely treat yourself to certain meals that you don’t regularly consume and give into your cravings on occasion. Avoiding restriction and deprivation lowers your risk of binge eating and completely straying from your summer health goals.
PLAN & PREP
In the busy summer months, it’s easy to hit the drive-thru when you’re on the go or in a hurry. Prepare ahead to enjoy healthy snacks and meals on the road. Pack a small cooler with water and other drinks, fresh fruit, sandwiches, and other healthy (but easy to eat on the go) options. If you are hosting or attending a potluck or BBQ, prepare healthy options to share with the crowd. Also consider meal prep to avoid snacking and overeating on down-days or times when you are just hanging at home. Being prepared makes it simpler to make decisions that support your fitness and health objectives.
Maintaining your fitness and health goals doesn’t have to feel burdensome, unachievable, or restricting. By planning ahead and balancing your indulgences with healthy options, you may take full advantage of everything the summer has to offer. Keep in mind that you are creating a lifestyle, so go with what works for you and yours and embrace the season. Fall is right around the corner!