Although summer stretches beyond its three months here on Daniel Island, there is something about those days between Memorial Day and Labor Day that can make sticking with health goals a bit more challenging. Perhaps it’s the holidays and parties, kids out of school, boat rides or just more time with friends and family.
No matter what the occasion is, there are simple ways to keep health and wellness top of mind, without compromising summer fun. It’s not a lack of control, but rather a commitment and a few non-negotiables.
Our health journeys are never linear. There will be ups and there will be downs. The goal is to have tools that will help us get back on track should we wander off track a bit. That is something I work on with all of my clients. At the end of our time together, they walk away with a tool box that they can always come back to.
Here are some tools you can start implementing so that come September, you are where you want to be. It’s not just about what we eat or how much we move our bodies. We must consider sleep, stress and of course surrounding ourselves with the people that lift us up.
Nutrition: Opt to get in as many vegetables as you can throughout the day. Breakfast can be a smoothie with some spinach (you won’t even taste it). Go for that salad at lunch. If a sandwich or burger is calling your name instead, get a side salad. Dinner: Although grilling protein is an easy way to have some delicious healthy food, it also creates something called advanced glycation end product, or AGES. That is literally what it does – it ages our cells. Pair your grilled protein with leafy green veggies or avocado to get some of those toxins out of the body. Create a non-negotiable: Is it sticking to no sugar? Or making sure you are having veggies at every meal? Make it easy!
Movement: Get out there and walk, preferably in the morning or evening when it’s not too hot out. Walking is gentle, effective and a great time to listen to your favorite audiobook or podcast. I have a whole bunch of podcasts that I resort to that get me excited to go out on my walks. Don’t forget to hydrate before and after. Create a non-negotiable: At least 20 minutes of walking each day. Or a morning routine of jumping jacks, squats, and push ups off the wall.
Sleep: The days are longer, but that is not an excuse to stay up later. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. That will ensure your body is functioning properly to perform all of its daily duties. Lack of sleep can lead to chronic illness and weight gain. Create a non-negotiable: Perhaps it’s no screen time for 30 minutes before bed, or no caffeine after noon.
Stress: A smile ear to ear does not mean that our bodies are not undergoing stress from our environment or daily habits. A poor diet or lack of sleep causes an immense amount of stress on our body. Balance it out with some daily practices. Can you commit to three deep breaths before each meal, or waking up and saying something you are grateful for? Create a non-negotiable: One minute of deep breathing every morning.
Relationships: Surround yourself with people that lift you up, not drag you down. Have friends and family that are not on your side? Show them some love and send them on their way. Are the people you surround yourself on par with your health goals or are they causing you to sabotage them?
Most importantly, never throw in the towel. The day is not over until it’s over. Every little bit counts!