Summer is here, which means the time has come for long, lazy days sipping umbrella drinks on the beach, right? Not necessarily, at least if you want to look stunning in a sleek new swimsuit. Fortunately, the warmer months mark the perfect time of year to take better care of your health.
From trying new fruits and veggies fresh in season to pumping your ordinary workouts up outdoors, summer offers a host of ways to care for you. Here are ten ways you can benefit your health and well being this summer while looking and feeling your best.
1. Workout on the Beach
If you normally walk or jog on sidewalks or in parks, taking your workout to the beach can rip the muscles of your thighs and calves while burning major calories. Sand makes your leg muscles work harder, as if you were riding the Zero Runner with the intensity amped all the way up to max resistance. Plus the fresh seaside air smells much better than the sweaty stench of the gym.
2. Or Take It to the Mountaintop
Hiking is excellent cardiovascular exercise, and when it comes to toning your glutes, few workouts compare. Start with easy strolls around local museum grounds and parks and work your way up to more vigorous mountain climbing. Include as much bouldering as you like to super strengthen your hamstrings and quads as well as build upper body strength.
3. Learn Some Self-Sustainability
If the zombie apocalypse hit and you fled civilization, how long could you subsist on food you grow yourself? If you're an experienced gardener, your answer may be, "indefinitely," but if not, why not take the summer to learn how to grow food in case of disaster?
Foods you grow at home are naturally organic as long as you avoid chemical fertilizers. Take your knowledge a step further by starting a compost bin for your veggie food scraps to help your garden grow strong year after year. Dining on the fruits of your labor will improve your health by upping your fresh veggie and vitamin intake.
4. And Discover Native Fauna
Beyond gardening, how well would you fare if you had to forage? Many people cannot identify the majority of plants indigenous to their local region. Correct this by participating in an educational program which teaches you about native habitats including which plants are edible, which prove medicinal, and which are best left alone.
5. Try a New Team Sport
Many of us played sports as children, but roughly 70 percent of us gave it up by the time we reached age 13. Sure, maybe you despised getting cracked in the shin by a field hockey stick, but you might enjoy a volleyball league at a local park. You'll get fit while having fun and meeting new friends.
6. Hit Up a New Gym Class
What better time than summer to try innovative classes such as Sky Yoga or HIIT? Trying new classes means working different muscles, which shatters fitness plateaus. Plus, you may find a new practice you can enjoy indoors at home when winter rolls around again.
7. Visit the Farmers Market
Farmers markets offer organic produce and other natural food goods for crazy low prices. Some, such as certain markets located in PA Dutch country also offer meats from humanely-raised animals for those who do not practice vegetarian or vegan eating plans.
Eating plants in a variety of colors boosts your overall health by insuring you consume the full range of phytonutrients available. Mix up a summer salad of leafy greens, cucumber, tomato, mushrooms, chives, carrots, purple cabbage and radishes for a rainbow salad with an irresistible crunch.
8. Make a Jar of Sun Tea
Sun tea is delicious and makes the perfect alternative to sugary or diet colas and sports drinks. Add lemon slices for added flavor and nutrition. If you find the brew not sweet enough for your taste, try adding a teaspoon or two of organic local honey which will help bust seasonal allergies and provide an antioxidant punch.
You can find a beekeeper near you to snag the goods and also learn about the craft of raising our buzzing buddies. Considering the importance of bees to fertilizing food crops, the more you can learn about how to protect these tiny creatures, the more you can do to help them.
9. Enjoy a Good Swim
Is any form of exercise more refreshing than a cool swim on a warm day? Swimming makes for the perfect summer workout as it leans and tones your muscles without requiring you to sweat yourself stinky. Plus, if you rock a sporty short 'do or have natural waves, you can hit the pool before work and let the warm air dry your tresses naturally.
If the crawl or backstroke isn't your thing, give an aqua aerobics class a try, especially if you suffer chronic pain such as from arthritis. The water supports most of your body weight, making movement less painful (and you can protect your hair with a swim cap).
10. And Yes, Take a Spa Day
Practicing good self care means more than eating right and taking 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days, so go ahead and book yourself a day of pampering. Treat yourself to a nice massage, pedicure and a new 'do.
Short on cash but long on love? Learn how to give your partner a proper massage on the grounds they will return the favor. Alternate weekends of pampering each other to grow your relationship through healing touch.
Make 2019 the Healthiest Summer Yet
When days are long and temperatures warm, getting in shape proves easier. Plus, you want to be able to show off your toned legs in shorts and rock your fave strappy sandals with sexy, pedicured toes. Follow the tips above and make the summer of 2019 your fittest season yet!