Summer Health Tips

David Conley/New University

 

New Years is not the only time for resolutions. Chances are, many of you made a goal to get in shape this summer and much like many New Year’s resolutions that are short-lived, your “summer resolution” might have had the same fate.

Summer may be halfway over, but there are still ways for you to fulfill your summer goal and carry it over into the school year as well.

Arguably the most important tool you could have in this process is the right state of mind. Always think positively about your goal and your ability to achieve it. Try to surround yourself with positivity, from the people you associate with to the music you listen to and the TV shows you watch. Whether you realize it or not, all these can affect your mood and your motivation. Do all you can to stay happy!

Summer is winding down and it is natural for you to want to work extra hard and either lose weight or tone up fast in time to enjoy the rest of summer, but your health should always be your top priority. This means that you should not be searching for a magical quick-fix; remember that getting healthy takes time, commitment, and you should always celebrate small victories on the way to your main goal. The key is to keep a consistent pace in what you are doing.

If you do want to lose weight, keep in mind that according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), losing an average of one to two pounds per week is what is considered healthy and that people who lose weight more steadily have been seen to be to able to successfully keep it off. You will be happy to start seeing results this summer, but imagine how much happier you will be to see that you are still leading a healthier lifestyle come fall.

Once you are in the right mindset remember this: little things add up, a lot!

Pay attention to all that you eat during the day and swap out sweets, like candy and soda, for things that are naturally sweet like fruit. In addition to satisfying your sweet tooth, you are also giving your body more nutrients and improving other things like the appearance of your skin.

You may be craving ice cream or anything to cool you down in the summer, but instead of having overly sweetened ice cream or popsicles with artificial flavors, why not make your own popsicles using fruit? You can buy a popsicle tray almost anywhere, or just use a plastic cup and popsicle sticks. The process is simple, just pour drinking water into your cup, slice up some of your favorite fruit and put the fruit in the water. Place your cup in the freezer overnight and you now have a healthy (and delicious!) snack alternative.

Altering your eating habits can also go a long way. Try to eat smaller portions multiple times throughout the day instead of three big meals, Additionally, never go without eating for long periods because you will most likely overeat during your next meal. Also, try not to eat too late at night; during the day you work off a portion of what you eat during your daily activities, like walking to class or getting your errands done, but at night you are less physically active.

If you are in dire need of a midnight snack, pick something light like low-fat yogurt or almonds.

Eating healthy will positively impact your health and weight, and when coupled with exercise you can get faster results.

When exercising you should plan your workout around specific target areas. For example, if you want to strengthen your arms, add in extra weight exercises, if you want to strengthen your abs concentrate on more ab workouts. Always retain focus, you should work smarter, not harder. Take the time out to map what your specific goals are so you can make sure you are doing what is appropriate to achieve it.

Motivation is something that is rarely constant, so if you see yourself lacking in this department change your scenery. If you are looking to get the beach bod of your dreams, then instead of hitting the gym for cardio go take a run on the beach. By actually going to the beach, you are seeing what it is you’re working toward.

Most importantly, try to enjoy what you are doing. It may be difficult to change,  but by choosing a healthier route you are not just fulfilling your summer goal, but are choosing to improve your health —which is a choice that should always be celebrated.