How to Stay on Track for the Summer
We have all fallen victim to the health and fitness failures of the summer months.
We have worked so hard during the winter and spring months to prepare for a summer of freedom. It is easy to take that freedom too far and get off track with where we want to be.
Whether the issue is rooted in losing your schedule and routine or because summer cuisine is often fat and calorie-laden the struggle to stay on track during the summer can be overwhelming. We can all benefit from a few tips on how to stay on track for the summer while still enjoying our break.
How-To’s – Diet Focus
There is a saying that abs are made in the kitchen and plenty of other catchy phrases that hint at the importance of diet when it comes to fitness. While it is true that diet may affect our outward health appearance, it equally and more importantly might impact our inward health like cholesterol and blood pressure.* So how can we stay on track with our diet during the summer?
Don’t Discount Hydration – We are made of nearly 60 percent water. Water is essential to life and we can only live a few short days without it. Staying hydrated is important to our fitness goals for many reasons. When we are not hydrated, the body may retain any water we give it to ensure enough for survival. This retention might lead to bloat. When we are dehydrated, it may also lead to feelings of hunger; when we are actually just thirsty, which might cause overeating and overindulging on high calorie foods when a simple glass of water would have been suffice.
Eat Smart – Summer months are full of barbecues, ice-cream outings, mindless snacking. These aren’t bad things, you’ve worked hard this year and should allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love. Finding a balance is important to stay on track with your health goals during these occasions. If you know ahead of time that you will be at a barbecue later in the day then choose a lighter breakfast or lunch. Be aware of your snacking habits by pre-portioning your favorite snacks to keep from overeating. If you are able to supply your own meat at the family cook-out then opt to bring chicken for the grill rather than a bacon cheeseburger. Simple swaps like this will add up and keep you on track.
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How-To’s – Fitness Focus
The summer months bring about their own fitness hindrances as with any season. Schedules are changed, vacations interrupt normal workout routines, and the heat may drive us inside to soak up the AC rather than getting active. Don’t allow this otherwise fun season to take control of your fitness goals.
Stay Active – Calories in and calories out may be the simplest way to make sure you keep on track with your fitness goals during the summer. During the summer, it can be tempting to relax more than we get active and lose motivation for our fitness routine.
While good nutrition is a primary element to health and fitness, exercise and physical activity might solidify your aspirations. Find ways to stay active this summer by engaging in summer activities that get your heart rate up. Swim laps in the pool, walk to the ice cream shop if it’s a safe distance, set an alarm to get off the couch every thirty minutes to an hour, simple changes will add up.
Relax – That’s right, we just talked about staying active and now we’re saying to relax. Fitness requires balance and while staying active is necessary so is taking time to relax.
Summer is for taking a break, even if just for a short while, from the stress of our normal routines and lives. Stress is known to impact hormones that may result in weight gain.* By taking time to rest your mind and body, you are helping yourself to stay on track with your fitness goals.
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Staying On Track Summarized
While staying on track with your health and fitness goals can be necessary, don’t get so focused on them that you forget to have fun. You don’t want to over-do it and spend the following months trying to get back to where you were, but you also don’t want to miss out on memories and opportunities. Balance is key in staying on track during the summer and everyone’s balance may look a little different.