Summer is typically a time for cookouts, vacations and activities with family and friends. It’s also a great season to start your fitness journey. Here are some easy ways to shed pounds this summer.
Make the summer calendar count
Summer is three months long, which is enough time to break some bad habits and start healthy new ones. Take a look at your calendar through mid-September, when summer typically ends, and decide on a weekly weight-loss goal. Schedule family activities such as bike rides or swimming time with friends at the local pool. Schedule some backyard fun with friends and use these healthy recipes for summer barbecues. That gives you fun plans to look forward to that are in line with your health goals.
Go for a daily walk
We’ve all heard that walking is good for us, but how often do we really do it? Many studies have shown that just 30 minutes of daily walking can prevent weight gain in people who lead sedentary lives. This summer, set a goal to walk 45 minutes per day. Beat the heat and get up early to walk before work. Get your kids involved and let them ride bikes around the neighborhood while you walk. The point is to make walking a daily habit.
Eat seasonal produce
Head to your local farmers market to get the flavors of summer: watermelon, apricots, zucchini, celery tomatoes, berries and more. Eat them as a snack or incorporate them into healthy recipes. Enjoy some strawberries for a snack at work one day and some celery sticks another day. Berries, cucumbers and mint can be used to flavor water, which brings us to our next tip:
Drink more water
If you stay well hydrated, you’ll have more energy, your brain will work better and you’ll eat less. Carry a refillable water bottle, sip from it often and refill it as needed. That also will help you avoid the extra calories and/or sweeteners found in sodas, beer, energy drinks and sports drinks. Drinking plenty of water also helps you feel full, which keeps you from eating as much.
Instead of spending an hour scrolling through social media, take a yoga class. Go for a miniature golf outing with your family instead of binge-watching TV. Get off the bus or park a block away from your destination and walk. Take the stairs, not the elevator. The point is to just move. The more you move, the more calories you burn and the easier it will be to shed pounds this summer.