With summer in full swing, and the Fourth of July behind us, it is time to settle in to a healthy summer. This includes healthy activities, nutritious dietary fundamentals and, of course, performing your regular workouts no matter how active you may be throughout the summer. This week, we will feature ten simple ways to be a healthier and happier camper all summer long. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Tip #1 Before you venture outside for a hike, bike or swim, take the time for an efficient and effective workout. Workouts are structured and if well designed, may only take 30-60 minutes to complete and still reap the plethora of health/fitness benefits. Do this first, then go play!
Tip #2 Play! Yes, now that your structured program is completed, get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you love to hike, fish, bike, kayak, sail, swim, run or ski/wakeboard, all of your hard work at the gym will pay off. Keep these activities loosely planned so that you can simply enjoy yourself rather than feeling you must follow a specific criteria.
Tip #3 Try a new activity! Perhaps this is the year to try paddle boarding or tennis/golf—invest in a few lessons beforehand so that you have a great experience.
Tip #4 Eat light! Salads, protein shakes, avoid fried foods and grille out instead. Avoid saturated fat-laden foods such as mayonnaise and chips and take this opportunity to replace these items with healthier choices such as whole fruits and vegetables.
Tip #5 Get some shut eye! Even though the days are longer, hit the sack early enough to accumulate eight hours of sleep when possible. Just darken the bedroom, turn off the cell phone, computer and television and sink into a refreshing deep sleep.
Tip #6 Stay hydrated, but don’t go crazy. Proper hydration is essential to life. However, unless you are outside in the heat of the day and exerting heavily for 90 minutes plus, which may require electrolyte replacement as well, just consume enough water to keep your urine clear or pale yellow. As in most things in life, more is not necessarily better.
Tip #7 Go barefoot whenever safe to do so! Give those feet a chance to breathe and feel the earth discarding the confines of footwear.
Tip #8 Take a recreation vacation and if you cannot then, walk every day! With the great weather, it is time to add a few steps into your daily round. This may just be a leisurely stroll, taking in the beauty of the blue skies, wildflowers and warm temperatures.
Tip #9 Wear sunscreen, bug repellant, a hat and sunglasses, bring along a walking stick, water and your cell phone when you are hiking or even just out for that stroll. And, walk with a partner or pet when possible. This is both an enjoyment factor and a safety consideration.
Tip #10 Find a mountaintop or peaceful beach and sit down to meditate, stress reduce and embrace nature when possible. If you cannot find the time outside of your work schedule, then use your lunch hour or breaks for this purpose. A few moments of meditation may create a new, healthier life perspective.