School's out for summer! Now what? This has been a long and challenging year. Virtual learning and working from home has caused many of us to spend more time inside and in front of a screen. Below are 5 tips for the whole family to eat better, move more, and stay healthy this summer.
1. Eat fresh
Summer is a great time to check out a local farmer’s market and explore new and colorful fruits and vegetables. Aim to try a new fruit or vegetable each week. Too hot to cook? Try a new salad. My favorite is made with arugula, red beets, oranges, red onion, crumbled goat cheese, pistachios, and balsamic vinaigrette. Yum! For the kids, homemade popsicles and smoothies with fresh fruit and vegetables are great healthy treats for a hot summer day.
2. Move more
Beat the heat by going for an early morning or later evening run or walk outside. Organize a family hike through the woods where it is shaded and cooler. Can't bear being outside for too long? Break up your long day by going for shorter walk breaks a few times throughout the day. If you are able, go for a swim. Swimming is a great low-impact, full-body workout that builds strength, endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. Kids can also burn a lot of energy playing in the pool or running through sprinklers.
3. Get outside
As the temperature rises, it may be tempting to hibernate in the air conditioning, but summer is the perfect time to take your normal daily activities outside! Try an outdoor yoga class. Visit a local park for a picnic lunch. Host a BBQ with some close friends. Read a book on your porch. If your children would rather sit inside and play video games all day, try getting them outside by finding activities they are interested in, inviting their friends, or playing together as a family.
4. Stay hydrated
Hotter temperatures can increase the risk for dehydration. Limit consumption of sugar sweetened beverages that add empty calories and aim to increase your water intake. Bored of water? Try adding berries, lemons, limes, or cucumbers for extra flavor. In addition to water, eat hydrating foods as part of your diet, such as watermelon, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, peaches, cantaloupe, and oranges. Kids are at even higher risk for getting dehydrated in the heat, so make sure you pack plenty of water when venturing outside.
5. Don’t forget the sunscreen
The Food and Drug Administration recommends that you apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to all uncovered skin, and that sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. Wearing protective hats, sunglasses, and clothing, as well as spending time in the shade can also decrease your risk of too much sun exposure.
Summer is a great time to prioritize your health. If you are interested in learning more, book a free initial consultation today. Here’s to a summer full of smiles and sunshine, we need it!
Eat well. Live well. Be well.