The key to staying fit and healthy throughout the summer is to take advantage of the season with these summer fit tips!
The summer months are finally upon us, which means parties and cookouts, but also outdoor workouts and endless amount of natural Vitamin D (which helps to break down fat more efficiently!). Life is all about balance, and that is exactly what will get you through summer looking and feeling your best. With longer and warmer days, you are likely moving more than you were in the colder months without even realizing it. Not only will you be more active, but you will also be getting a natural mood boost from the sun and blooming flowers. Happiness and health are correlated with an optimal, well-rounded lifestyle.
With summer comes many in-season fruits and vegetables. Incorporating watermelon, berries, and non-starchy vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini is a great start. Fresh produce will keep you feeling light and hydrated, so opt for raw fruits and vegetables as a snack instead of any salty or processed foods. Each day, try your best to work a nutritious salad or smoothie into your diet. Although fruits and vegetables contain water, during the warm summer months, it is imperative to drink enough water to counteract humidity and to fuel you through outdoor activities. If you are someone who hates drinking water, try adding in some freshly squeezed lemon juice, or slicing up some lime or berries to mix into your water for added flavor. Making your own fruit-infused waters is always ideal over store-bought options as those usually contain added sugars and salt. Coconut water is also a great option to replenish electrolytes; just look for a brand that is preferably organic and raw.
Use the nice weather as an excuse to take your yoga practice or treadmill sweat session outdoors to a local bike path or hiking trail. Swimming is a great workout, but if that doesn’t spark your interest, try water aerobics. There are more and more fitness centers offering group water aerobics classes, and if you have a pool, your own backyard is always a great option! If you live near the water or are on vacation, going for a walk or run on the beach is great because the sand is lower impact compared to other surfaces. Not only is running in the sand easier on the joints, but it also requires other, smaller muscle groups that you might normally be forgetting to work harder on a different surface. Enjoy the outdoors, and never underestimate the power of walking or stretching. Mountaintop yoga anyone?
Some people think that if you didn't take a hardcore workout class or spend hours in the gym that you aren’t getting in a "good" workout. Although a more intense workout might be ideal, the truth is that there is no "bad" workout. Moving your body is the key to seeing improvement, and consistency is the most important factor.
If you are on vacation (or preparing for a beach day), these are some great exercises to do as a circuit in your hotel room or at home, so you can enjoy a fun day ahead or feel more confident when it’s time for your trip!
- Jumping Jacks
- Mountain Climbers
- Triceps Dips
- Bicep Curls
- Push Ups
- Punching (think cardio kickboxing)
Try doing 2–4 sets of 12–15 reps each
When I am traveling, I try to keep leg weights and light dumbbells with me. Depending on your strength and how much room you have in your travel bag, anywhere from 2–5 lb. weights are good. These can be purchased in stores such as Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or online.
While you’re enjoying more time outdoors, be sure to prep your skin accordingly. Keep an eye out for a non-toxic, paraben free sunscreen, or an SPF moisturizer, so you’re always protected from the sun. Read the ingredient list on your sunscreen well, because some brands use harmful chemicals which can cause cancer themselves.
Whatever your summer plans or goals include, listen to your body and enjoy the weather and those around you!