It’s no secret that finding time to exercise and eat right can be hard. But, it seems, that every time summer comes around we once again turn our attention to healthier ways. Which, is fantastic! Today I’ve got my 8 simple ways that you can make a big impact on your desire to have a healthier summer. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll carry these tips with you throughout the year.
Although they are simple, in theory, these tips aren’t always simple in practice. Isn’t that part of the reason we keep find ourselves in the same predicament every year? This year, try a couple of the tips whole-heartedly. Rather than all of them when you think of it, commit to one or two of these tips with everything you have. You’ll be pleased with the results AND with your perseverance.
- Use substitutes in cooking. We don’t believe in cutting out our favorite foods; that never ends well. Binge eating always follows. Instead, we try to eat them less frequently…and sneakily make them healthier. Applesauce is a good substitute for oil. Greek yogurt can replace sour cream. Cauliflower is great to cut out some pasta in pasta salads. Why not use whole-wheat or veggie pasta in the first place?
- Stop drinking your calories. We love coffee, soda, juice, and basically every beverage. But these all have a ton of calories! Cut calories out of your beverages by switching to water, tea, or other alternatives. You can also try creating juice or wine spritzers by adding sparkling water, and paying attention to how many things you add to “doctor” your coffee.
- Get outside and move! Spring is here, and it’s starting to warm up. This is the perfect time to start going for walks (runs if you are a crazy person) and joining your children in outside activities. Find excuses to be outside, if you need to. Start a garden. Have a rubber duckie race in the puddles (we did…it was fun!) Walk down to the store for your groceries. Whatever it takes. We are all more active when we are outdoors.
- Skip the take-out. Take-out, and even sit-down restaurants, cram in the calories. One meal can include more calories than you need for your entire day. As the weather warms up, consider packing lunches from home for a picnic. Or grilling outside yourself. Even a greasy burger from your grill has fewer calories than many similar versions from fast-food joints. What you see in the picture above isn’t us eating food court food…it’s us bringing our own bag lunches for our trip to the zoo. ‘Cause we’re smarties.
- Sneak exercise to your regular activities. I takes breaks occasionally to walk up and down the stairs once or twice. My sister, Lanet, balances on one foot while brushing her teeth. Nothing crazy, nothing fancy. But these little moments of exercise boost our metabolisms and make us more eager to exercise throughout the day. Why do they always tell you to park farther away at the grocery store? It isn’t really so much about getting those few steps in; the bigger reason is that just those few steps make you want to exercise even more. Tricky, tricky.
Sleep. This is an obvious tip that we all skip because it doesn’t seem hardly true. But truly, you are better off sleeping an extra half hour than getting in your morning exercise routine. Shorten your shower by 5 minutes and set your alarm for 5 minutes later. Get to bed an hour earlier when the chance arrives. We know it’s hard, and doesn’t always happen. But try. Try hard. Your body will thank you
- Add good foods to your diet. This advice is really about perspective, nothing more. Instead of telling yourself you need to cut back on sweets and breads, tell yourself you need to add in more fish and green veggies (for example). As you add the good things into your diet, you will have less space for everything else. You will no longer have to consciously choose not to eat the bad-for-you things, since you’ll already be filled up with better options. And if you have a craving for sweets after you’ve filled up on fruits and veggies, maybe you should give in…
- Make things easy. Have a swim bag packed and ready to go, so it’s easy to hop over to the lake or pool. Buy an awesome workout outfit, so you want to wear it. Put the good-for-you snacks on your counter, the better for you options in the fridge, and make the bad stuff harder to find. When you have the choice between a warm soda or a cold one, which one will you want to pick?
I hope you found one of these tips that you will be able to stick to this summer and maybe throughout the year! A healthier summer is definitely in store for you!