7 Summer-Worthy Resolutions
Saturday, May 31, 2014
LifeTime WeightLoss in Lifestyle, Play, Seasonal Health, healthy lifestyle, healthy living, resolutions, summer, summer goals

The warm, sunny days, ample produce, and longer daylight hours make it that much easier to live a healthy, vibrant lifestyle in summer. Who doesn't feel a resurgence of zest and energy this time of year? Harness this feeling by creating some clear intentions for the season. (New Year's isn't the only time for resolutions!) The summer months are a great time to be outdoors, go on vacations, and get together with family and friends, but don’t forget about doing something good for yourself as well! Consider these seven possibilities (among many) that can help you prioritize play and wellbeing this season. 

Meet a farmer.

Not many things compare with the experience of meeting your local farmer and learning where your food comes from. Farmers’ markets are in abundance this time of year, and every week the food and goods available changes depending on what’s “in season” and coming to harvest. I love going to local markets and hearing from farmers about their growing/animal raising methods as well as their passion for what they do. Of course, not ALL farmers at events like these abide by organic farming practices, but you have the opportunity to learn more about the farms and their methods. It feels great to save money (you’ll be surprised by the great deals!) on some of the highest quality food, and to support local businesses as well as healthy and environmentally conscious farming practices. Find local farmers’ markets across the country here!

Take advantage of “extra hours.”

Although we don’t technically get extra hours this time of year, it sure does feel like it! The change of seasons brings additional daylight hours, and with that shift come numerous health benefits. I don’t know about you, but those short, dark winter days get the best of me. By the time spring rolls around, I’m itching for even an extra 10 minutes of sun. With the earlier sunrise and later sunsets, we have more daylight hours to enjoy outdoor activity and productivity. Try going for a walk or getting your workout in earlier in the morning. You just may find it works out better and feels great! Abiding by our bodies’ natural circadian rhythm (sleeping from 10 p.m. - 6 a.m.) will leave you feeling and functioning better, but it will also help optimize your metabolic health and benefit your fat-loss efforts!

Challenge yourself

With summer come the weddings, the family reunions, and swimsuit season! One of the best ways to gather motivation for health and fitness improvements is to sign up for an event! Many organizations host a variety of fun challenges and activities during the summer months, and oftentimes the money goes toward a great cause. Finding an event to register for, maybe even on a monthly basis, is a tactic I use for holding myself accountable in my workouts. I also have something to look forward to! Maybe it’s a summer kickball or volleyball league to reinvigorate your youthful talents or a 5K race to prove to yourself you can and will finish this feat! Check out events near you and get one on your calendar today. You’ll thank yourself for the gratification and accomplishment you feel afterwards.

Spend time at the pool

Who doesn’t like a day at the pool? This blue oasis is loaded with fun memories to be had and no shortage of health benefits as well! After months of wearing long layers, expose your skin to 15-20 minutes of natural sunlight each day, and reap instant gratification. Our bodies need sunlight to produce vitamin D, one of our most essential nutrients and hormones! And before you reach for that sunscreen, reconsider the type you use. Although these oily and greasy lotions do not always feel like they absorb into our skin, they certainly do; however, not all of them are “created equal.” Check out the ingredient list before slathering it on yourself and others, and seek out less toxic options.

Aside from the sunlight, time IN the pool is also beneficial. Incorporating pool workouts, whether it’s swimming laps, aqua jogging, water polo, or other fun games, is great for our muscles and joints! These activities offer a great way to get our heart-rates going, exercise nearly all of our muscle groups, and strengthen our joints while avoiding intensive impact.

Become a gardener.

Regardless of the size of your yard (or even if you have no yard!), you can incorporate this fun hobby in no time. A garden doesn’t necessarily mean a large plot of land and intricate planting. In fact, some of my best produce is grown in a large pot! My grandpa was a farm boy growing up and as an adult became a well-renowned gardener. His vast array of vegetables, along with my grandma’s herbs, would provide food for the family for the entire summer and well into the winter months (thanks to my mom’s canning practices). Although I would love to have a garden of my own like this, currently my gardening endeavor consists of a few potted plants, which still provide wonderful, tasty meal additions! Cilantro, basil, oregano, and mint are some of my favorite herbs to have on hand, and 1-2 potted tomato plants are easy maintenance and provide freshness to salads and cooked dishes. Growing your own food is very rewarding and can help save on your grocery bill to boot! 

Fetch your fish!

Some of you reading this are blessed to have access to fresh fish year round. For those of us who don’t enjoy this luxury, summer is the time to dust off your fishing gear and head out on your favorite lake to enjoy the views, the sun - and the day’s catch. Not psyched about catching your own fish? Check out local restaurants and markets, as they will often have great deals on fresh, wild, high-quality fish. You may be wondering why it matters where you get your fish from and/or how it is raised. Much like poultry and other meat products, the way those animals (or fish) live, how freely they can move about, the food they eat, and the toxins they are exposed to all factor into their health and body composition. In essence, their environment impacts the end product we consume. Think of active, healthy people vs. non-active people who indulge in a low-nutrient diet. How vast is the difference in health and body composition? Likely quite different. Take advantage of the season and access to delicious types of fish. The highly beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B-vitamins and numerous other nutrients can boost your own health by potentially reducing symptoms of depression, enhancing skin health, reducing inflammation, and supporting weight loss efforts.

De-clutter!

Open up those windows, dust off your surfaces, and de-clutter your home! This is the perfect time of year to get rid of things you aren’t using that only take up space in your home (and in your mind)! This clean sweep can help clear your mind, increase happiness, and decrease stress! For the mementos and items you still wish to keep, reorganize them and pack them away more efficiently to create space. Every time I’ve moved (which has been quite a lot the past few years), I was extremely grateful for the time I spent culling and organizing my possessions. Host a garage sale, or donate your goods and know that they’re still being put to good use! Enjoy the sense of spaciousness and freedom that comes from simplifying your life - a perfect theme for summer and a genuine boost to your daily wellbeing!

Thanks for reading, everyone. What does living your best life in summertime mean? What “resolutions” are you making this season to relish the weather and boost your wellness?

Written by Becca Hurt, MS, RD, Program Manager of Life Time WeightLoss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

 

 

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