Summer is here!
All the vacation planning, home maintenance projects, collecting recipes-for-outdoor-entertaining, and floating-belly-up-on-a-pool-noodle dreaming are in motion. The slower pace that comes with warmer days lets us do more things like staying up late because there are 78 new shows on Netflix or making pancakes for breakfast to sop up fresh butter and maple syrup from the farmer’s market. It’s easy to derail the hard work we regularly put into our health and wellness when summer feasts and festivities become the new normal.
If vacation makes you feel like you want to strip off all your inhibitions and slip into a beverage served in a plastic bucket with four straws, you’re not alone. Vacation is a license to indulge: Drinks at ten am! Sandwiches stuffed with deli meats and three types of cheese! Jogging to the gelato shop and thinking it counts as exercise! You get the idea. Flexible office hours and bosses who are away (especially if we are the boss) also encourage us to slack on our healthy habits.
Think ahead about the effect of a health-related choice you don’t usually make for yourself.
For example, you stop by the coffee shop on the way to work because a scheduled meeting got canceled. You decide to have a muffin, which is the breakfast equivalent of a cupcake to go with your coffee. At lunch, instead of your usual workout in the on-site gym, you may find yourself searching for excuses to make lunch plans that involve cutlery, not cardio. Your energy level is low thanks to crashing blood sugar levels, leaving you hangry and unmotivated. Next time, skip the pastries. Treat yourself to an unsweetened almond milk latte or add a bit of organic cream and natural, raw sugar to your coffee as an indulgence.
Prioritize your health wherever you are.
If you’re going to be away from the fitness studio for a while on vacation, find an online fitness program and sign up for a free trial or subscribe for a month. Use your laptop to stream workouts away from home. If your partner isn’t up for 3 miles on the boardwalk, go anyway. Appreciate yourself for putting fitness first. Begin each day with a healthy breakfast, which includes healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Avoid consuming two consecutive “know I shouldn’t eat it, but I’m gonna eat it” meals in a row. Enjoy the empowerment that follows passing on a greasy basket of fries (or most of them) in favor of healthier options that incorporate the fresh flavors of summer.
Practice no-brainer healthy habits.
Drink at least 64 ounces of water daily and be sure to consume as much as is comfortable before partaking in midday cocktails with friends. If an evening glass of wine is in the cards, make sure it’s clean and natural. Politely decline offerings of dessert at summer get-togethers if sugar disrupts your sleep. Take advantage of the office slowing down with short walks outside instead of daily outings for frozen yogurt loaded with all the toppings.
The key to maximizing wellness goals in the long-term while living life in the now is discipline and consistency.
These two concepts might seem anathema to our cherished summertime customs of wearing looser clothing and yelling, “Stand back I’m going to finish that pie!” these ideas actually create more space for our happiness. We have more time for fun in the summer and more opportunities to apply tips and tools that lead to healthier living, season after season. Practice good habits now, and you’ll be happier for it later.