These days it seems like we are bombarded by “Beach Body” messages telling us summer is the time to look better. Let’s get real!
Summer is the time to FEEL better. With ample sunshine, fresh fruits and vegetables aplenty, and longer days, summer is a great time to kick heart healthy habits into gear. Here are five simple strategies to feel better this summer.
Quit the Beach Body Baloney
Studies have shown images of ridiculously skinny (and most likely photoshopped) bodies is skimpy clothing do nothing to motivate us to exercise or eat right. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Rather than focusing on whether or not a bathing suit is in your future, this summer commit to having the energy to enjoy the season. What would you like to DO this season? Mow the lawn without being winded? Play ball with the kids? Haul the boat in and out? Pull out the tent and enjoy the outdoors? Picnic with folks you enjoy? Set your sights on the pleasure of the season.
See Also: That Picture On The Fridge Won’t Help
Fill The Plate With Color
Colorful foods are more nutritious. Now, we aren’t talking about green Jello or blue raspberry popsicles, but rather grow foods. If a something looks similar to what it did when it left the farm or ranch, it is a grow foods. Filling your plate with colorful fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to take advantage of the summer. Choose deeply colored fruits and vegetables to get the benefit of vital nutrients. For example, blue, purple and deep red in berries, eggplant, and red radishes come from nutrients that help keep your heart and brain healthy. Dark green vegetables, like broccoli, kale, and green cabbage are colored by compounds that help the liver clear toxins out of the body. Even light colored produce and reduce the risk of stroke. Including one fresh fruit or vegetable at each meal this summer is a small change that will make a big difference in your health. Plus, summer produce tastes great!
The average American spends more than 90% of life indoors. Our bodies weren’t built for that. You heart needs vitamin D to function properly, and the best way to get it is spending at least 15 minutes outside in the sun. Getting outside also lowers stress, boosts productivity, and can improve your immune system by allowing you to breath fresh air. Eat lunch outside. Meet a coworker for a stroll. Sit outside while you talk on the phone. Do what you can to get some sunshine and fresh air.
Embrace The Chores
Summertime provides so many great opportunities to get out and get moving. Why not take advantage of the summer chores? Mowing your lawn for 30 minutes is equivalent to any other type of moderately intense exercise. Of course, it doesn’t count on a riding lawn mower! Pulling weeds, planting, and other gardening activities are less intense, but if you do them for 60 minutes you still get the benefit of 30 minutes of moderately intense activity. Even washing the car counts in this way. Hauling mulch or other landscaping is more intense and just 20 minutes will fulfill your 30 minute goal. Don’t have a lawn to mow? Check around your neighborhood, there probably is an elderly neighbor who could use some help. Or find other activities to get you up and moving.
Share The Goal
Most of us need support and encouragement to stay committed to being more active and eating better. Get a friend or coworker on board to walk with you and eat a healthy lunch. You don’t even have to be in the same location to make a date to walk with someone. Talk on the phone while you walk, the solidarity is the same. Devices such as the FitBit offer opportunities to support and challenge each other. Knowing my sister or Aunt is hot on my trail in the Work Week Hustle certainly makes me up my step count, even though we all live in separate states! Find ways to connect and share the goal this summer.
Summer is a great time to cement healthy habits to feel great and enjoy life.