5 Simple Steps You Can Take for a Healthier and Safer Summer
Summer is a busy, busy time.
It’s easy to feel burned out or stressed out with all the parties, gatherings, trips, people, and foods to dive into! Whether you’re on the road or in the yard, here are 5 simple steps you can take action on to ensure a healthier experience over the coming days!
If you’re flying solo or traveling with a pack, know that you can adapt any of these tips to the size of your summer party!
1) Grab Those (Healthy) Snacks
Trapped in a car? Show up to a barbecue and there’s nothing you want to eat? No problem – you have your own food!
Mix a bag of nuts and seeds or grab a piece of fruit – you can fit either easily into a small bag or jacket pocket and will always have something nutritious to tide you over.
Look for the bulk bins (where you fill a bag) at your local grocery or health food store – more and more large chains are adding these, too. Skip the pre-made trail mixes and candied sweets in the bins – you’ll avoid the extra sugar, cane juice, and salt that’s added. Instead, go for the raw (not roasted, not salted) versions and mix your own. Even better: look for organic varieties!
[RECIPE –>] The combo I’m usually carrying around these days: brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, medium coconut flakes, currants, cinnamon and nutmeg. Just a couple handfuls of each, a dash of spices, a good shake, and I’m ready! Super healthy and amazingly tasty!
Healthiest (most nutrient dense, according to ANDI) fruit and nuts on the go:
2) Get Movin’
I spent many summers between school years glued to the TV, either playing video games or watching reruns of “The Muppet Show.” I don’t regret either activity, though it would have been nice if I had increased my heart rate just a bit. :-)
Shoot for 20-30 minutes of activity every day, whether it’s walking, hiking, swimming, frisbee, biking or even badminton (yes, that spelling looks odd to me, too but it’s right)!
Get out with friends, your partner, take a walk after dinner – there are tons of ways to get moving in your days!
3) Cover Up Out There
I know it’s common to hit the beach or the parks during midday, slathering up with sunscreen to avoid the lobster look (oh I know it well); instead, try this: avoid prolonged and direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day (10 am – 3 pm).
Or, if you need to be out there during those hours, skip the sunscreen and cover up with loose-fitting and light-colored clothing: a pair of khakis, a long-sleeved white shirt, and a nice large-brimmed floppy hat! (If I’m ever in “Where’s Waldo,” you’ll know how to spot me. :-))
So what could you do instead?
**Hike in a wooded (and shaded) area
**Tour a museum, conservatory or greenhouse
**Get artsy or crafts-y
**Tackle projects around the house
**Prepare an awesome meal
Plus, if you wait until the mid-to-late afternoon to go out, the majority of the crowds will have come and gone!
4) Avoid the Clock
As I travel, I still encounter people on vacation and stressed out. Planes delayed, buses late, rushing here, rushing there, and very few smiling faces amidst it all. Why? I’m always encouraged that wherever I’m going, no matter how much time it takes, that place is still there when I arrive. Even with a 10-hour train delay, I was happy to find that Oregon hadn’t closed up shop…
Remember to breathe, relax, and smell the roses (literally).
A couple ways to do this:
**Take off your watch – do you really need to keep track of the seconds? I haven’t worn a watch for over a year and I love it, and am rarely late (10-hour train delays excluded). If you’re responsible for time-keeping, just throw your watch or your phone in your pocket or bag, and only check it when needed. I have a hunch you’ll still be on time.
**No alarm in the morning – get up when you feel rested, which may mean going to bed earlier. This is your time off after all!
**Skip the in-depth itineraries: unlike a work day, there’s no pressure to maximize each second of your day in the name of productivity. Feel free to take a 4-hour lunch – or nap!
5) Use the Last Day for Transition
To avoid feeling like you need another vacation day to recover from your vacation:
**Get back home at a reasonable hour.
**Eat a simple and sensible meal for dinner.
**Go to bed a little earlier than usual.
Give your body plenty of time to rejuvenate.
This was a popular response when I asked how other people stay healthy: drink plenty of water. Yup, I always have my Kanteen with me. Don’t rely on soda or other sugary drinks or juices to properly hydrate you. Want the good stuff? Go straight for clean and crisp H2O!
What are YOUR favorite tips to stay healthy this summer?
I’d love to hear your answer along with any other comments you have below. Have an awesome summer out there!
Until next time,
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