6 Tips For a Healthy Summer
#1. Move More, Sit Less
Physical activity has so many benefits including decreased stress, better sleep, increased confidence, not to mention better weight management. During the summer we should aim to be active 3-5x each week. This can look like a brisk walk for 30-60 minutes on day 1, swimming another day, and getting into the gym to lift weights on another day. Be sure to ease into your new routine if you have not been consistent with your exercise and find ways to make it enjoyable.
When things excite us it is easier to stay consistent.
#2. Keep Cool in Extreme Heat
Extreme heat doesn’t only stop us from hitting our workouts but it can be dangerous, especially for those with chronic medical conditions. The CDC stated that hospitals see increased admissions due to heat-related illness as well as cardiovascular and respiratory disorders. This is why it is crucial to our healthy summer to keep cool
Find areas that provide cooler temperatures like near a fan or in conditioned areas.
Additionally staying hydrated can also help us to better regulate our body temperature keeping us from overheating.
Lastly, check the weather before deciding on an outdoor activity to make the most informed choice.
#3. Eat a Balanced Diet
Instead of the crash diet that ends in a rebound- TRY THE PLATE METHOD.
It is the easiest way to reshape your plate to include the foods you love in a balance that helps you to feel your best. My favorite part about this is you can do this ANYWHERE. At your friends BBQ, your kids birthday party, the normal family meal you sit down to consume, or even while out to eat.
Fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies and eat those first. Next, fill ¼ of your plate with lean protein to eat next, and save the last ¼ of your plate for the starchy carbs. Stay mindful with fats and if you feel hungry- go back for more veggies!
#4. Rethink Your Drink
Many studies have found a correlation between increased added sugar consumption and weight gain in the summer which is why we really need to consider rethinking what we are drinking!
Did you know a glass of lemonade has 6 and ¼ teaspoons of sugar? A coke has 10 and ¼ teaspoons. A Starbucks frappe has 20 teaspoons of sugar!
The AHA recommends no more than 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 for men.
In addition to sugar-sweetened beverages, we also know alcohol adds to the problem at hand. Did you know that when you consume alcoholic beverages, your body starts to prioritize its metabolism over protein, carbs, and fat?
So, what does that mean for you? Drinking is an easy way to tell your body to store the calories you are taking in rather than using it for energy which can increase fat stores in the body. Studies also show that alcohol will affect your appetite and choices!
Rather than choosing whole foods that help you feel better, you are more likely to choose the high calories and tasty foods that are often paired or found in the same places as those alcoholic beverages!
#5. Find an Accountability Partner
Find a person who will keep you honest and motivated. Find the person who helps make your movement more enjoyable. Talk with them about your goals, create a scheduled time to workout together, or find a way to stay accountable virtually through apps, watches, or a simple text check-in.
#6. Don’t Forget to Sleep
Sleep experts recommend that children get at least 9 hours of sleep each night, teenagers should get between 8 and 10 hours, and adults need at least 7 hours of sleep.
This may seem like only a dream but here are 4 tips to help you sleep for success:
Set your sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
Put the screens away from the screens, especially around bedtime. We know that blue light from our electronics can decrease our melatonin thus decreasing our quality of sleep.
Create a cool and relaxing environment that helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Temperature and environment at more important than we think when it comes to sleep. About 68 degrees is recommended. This is why the hot temps in the summer can alter our sleep.
Lastly, eat a balanced diet! Sugar at night like ice cream causes your blood sugar to be high all night and decreases the quality of sleep. When we sleep badly, our fasting blood sugar is increased in the morning. We should aim to maintain a balanced diet throughout the day to help with sleep.
*Focus on lean proteins, non-starchy veggies, lower glycemic carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Be mindful of your sugar and alcohol intake as it will decrease the quality of sleep.
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