Summer is a time when you just want to focus on having a good time (especially if you’ve been cooped up all winter in Minnesota). But on top of having fun, its the perfect time of year to live a more healthy and active lifestyle. Adopting these habits early in the summer is the best way to maximize your results. Use the sun’s energy and make a change in your life!
Here are some places to start:
1. Set some goals. When you have an idea of what you want to accomplish this summer, whether it be losing weight, running a marathon, or going vegan, write it down and post it on your refrigerator. Or at least put it somewhere it will be looking you in the face, especially when you don’t want to see it. Read my post about making New Year’s Resolutions for tips on making effective & reachable goals.
2. Stay hydrated. Drinking water is more important than you can imagine. It may seem impossible to keep up with the required amount of daily water intake (about six to eight 8oz glasses), but there are a few easy ways to work it into your day easily. One of the best ways to get hydrated for the day is to drink tea in the morning instead of coffee. I was addicted to coffee and after about two weeks of drinking green tea with ginseng in the morning, I no longer craved coffee and felt a million times better. My head didn’t get foggy in middle of the day and I didn’t have as many headaches. Green tea also helps kick-start your metabolism for the day, so it’s pretty much a win-win. Another method I adopted was investing in a Brita pitcher. This way I know my tap water is filtered & the it tastes much better than bottled water. Plus, it’s more Earth-friendly.
3. Eat healthier. For a lot of places, it’s hard to get good quality produce during the winter months. That means this is your time to get your body stocked up with all the wonderful nutrients and vitamins. Also, buy organic anytime that you have it available to you and can afford it. The amount of chemicals on regular fruits and veggies is alarming. If you’re interested in dieting, I recommend the Paleo Diet (explained here), and for the less dedicated, try Weight Watchers. Both “diets” have great results in not only weight loss, but all around better health.
4. Walk or ride your bike instead of driving. If you live in an area where you can travel by foot to the store or park, opt out of driving. Not only do you get to spend more time outside, but it is an easy way to get some physical activity and better for the environment, too. If you don’t live in walking distance to your errand destinations, try getting out for evening strolls or taking the dog on longer walks.
5. Limit alcohol. It’s no secret that alcohol can make you fat. Why do you think they call it a “beer gut”? One tip my grandma once told me was, “Beer makes you fat, drink wine instead.” I guess you can’t really argue with that. However, regardless of what kind it is, alcohol slows down your metabolism – which in turn will increase weight gain. So limiting alcohol as a whole is the best choice for staying healthy and losing weight.
6. Take up active hobbies. Probably the best way to get your exercise in, is doing fun things that also require physical activity. My favorite hobbies are hiking, camping, canoeing & swimming. While you’re doing these things you tend to be distracted and don’t realize how much exercise you are getting – and this is good for people who don’t necessarily like “working out”. I also find it a lot more rewarding to climb to the top of a waterfall or canoe down a peaceful river than running on a mind-numbing treadmill.
7. Detox. There are many different ways to clean out your system. There are detox teas, smoothies, and vitamins. But my favorite is a homemade infused water concoction.
Here is the recipe:
2 Liters of water (go buy a special jug to keep in your fridge)
1 Lemon sliced
1/2 Cucumber sliced
10 – 13 Fresh Mint Leaves
3 – 5 Fresh Basil Leaves
Dump it all together and let refrigerate overnight to allow the nutrients to infuse into the water. Drink it up in the next few days and your body will naturally clean itself out and replace toxins with nutrients.
And Viola! Good luck!
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha