Summer is a time for fun and sun… for vacations, barbecues, parties, and drinking. While you should relish these activities during this time of the year, it is often difficult to maintain a fit body during these months and it is important to make sure that your health doesn’t suffer along the way.
You can have fun as well as take care of yourself this summer. If you are able to keep your body fit, healthy, and happy throughout the summer months, you will build the habits to keep it going onto the next summer as well. Here are five tips for building and maintaining a fit summer body.
1. Eat right
Your diet should consist of lots of fruits and vegetables. According to The Harvard School of Public Health you should be eating nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day, equivalent to two cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables per day. That is a minimum estimation so you should be able to eat as many fruits and vegetables as you want.
You also need to focus on eating the right amount of protein, fats, and good carbohydrates. Good carbohydrates include quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat, rye, and barley. Bad carbohydrates are found in refined white bread and processed foods like French fries. The amount you need to consume depends on how active you are, your height and weight, your age, your gender, etc.
A general guideline is to stay away from fast foods which are loaded with Trans fats and added sugars. Substitute hamburgers and hotdogs with turkey burgers and turkey dogs. Try grilling salmon and shrimp instead of bratwursts. Eat grilled vegetables such as zucchini, peppers, and onions or salad on the side as opposed to French fries or potato chips. (French fries do not count as a vegetable contrary to popular belief). Fruit salads make great summer desserts as a substitute for ice cream and cake.
2. Eat light
Don’t starve yourself: if you are hungry you need to eat, but try to concentrate on how much you eat. Make an effort to not overeat. When eating there is a point when you have eaten enough and are satisfied, and then there is that point that many of us go past. This is the point you should try to avoid.
Try eating smaller meals throughout the day. Eat a large breakfast and smaller portions throughout the day. Eating this way can be beneficial especially if you are looking to shed a few pounds or get more toned. But remember just because you are eating smaller meals doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about what you are eating. Eating right and eating light go hand in hand.
It is always important to drink enough water. This is especially necessary during the summer months. According to the American Heart Association, staying hydrated is critical for your heart health. “Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles work efficiently.” This is not anything to take for granted. Without enough water your heart is going to suffer. If your heart suffers your body will as well.
If you are planning on spending a lot of time outside in the sun counteract dehydration symptoms with lots of H2O. This is really important when you plan on drinking alcohol or any other liquids that can lead to dehydration. Always have enough water available during the summer months no matter what you are doing.
Humans aren’t meant to be a sedentary, so try to get as much exercise as you can. There are so many ways you can exercise effectively especially during the summer months. Running, walking, swimming, hiking are all simple forms of exercise you can do outside in the sunny weather. Unless you have severe health restrictions, there is a form of exercise out there waiting for you.
The summer months are the perfect time to start taking exercise seriously. It can often be difficult to undertake an exercise regimen during the fall and winter months because of the cold and unfavorable weather. Play beach volleyball, go for long walks on the beach, or swim in the lake or the ocean. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense cardio or strength training. Take advantage of the warm weather and treat your body well.
It is important to determine what kind of body you want. Are you trying to lose body fat or do you desire to be more fit and active? Cater your exercise to fit your individual needs.
5. Focus on the core
Just as the foundation keeps a house strong and solid, the core keeps your body strong and solid. Even though core training is a form of exercise in itself I thought it deserved its own point of emphasis. Whether you are trying to form a six pack in your stomach or merely wanting to be stronger, focus on your core when you build your body for the summer. The core keeps your entire body together. If your core is weak than your whole body is going to suffer. Along with the normal exercise you do throughout the week add in some extra core work 3-4 times per week. This routine doesn’t need to be extreme. It is important to give your core the extra attention it deserves.