By Kai Stansberry and Rosalynn Vasquez, co-founders of Fit for Soul.
1. Head for the Door!
When the weather is beautiful outside, who really wants to work out in the gym? Not only does an outdoor workout give you the health benefits of vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” it can also increase your likelihood of sticking to your workout routine. So try not to keep yourself limited to the gym all summer long. Get out and go swimming, hiking, biking, or running outdoors.
2. Eat In-Season Fruits and Veggies.
Take advantage of the summer harvest and plan family meals around in-season produce. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) lists apples, peaches, bell peppers, kiwifruit, carrots, garlic, beets, okra and cherries, amongst many more fruits and vegetables that reach their peak during the summer months. These foods are a chock-full of essential vitamins and nutrients, and taste their best when prepared.
Add some cool summer nutrition to your eating regimen like different types of homemade smoothies. Depending on the amount you make, they can even be served as an entire meal. Just add water, berries (like blueberries and raspberries), banana, protein, and some ice cubes into a blender. Mix it and enjoy! For even more health benefits, add a teaspoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds.
3. Drink Water. A Bunch of It.
This is probably the most important tip of all. It’s all about the H2O baby, so HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! Don’t wait until your workout to drink water. Instead of chugging down a gallon of water right before or after you get to the gym, drink consistently throughout the day so your body stays hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day makes your body better prepared to deal with hot, humid summer weather. If it’s extremely hot and humid, take an H20 break every 15 minutes or so.
4. Grab your Girls!
Exercise buddies provide a powerful combination of inspiration, accountability, camaraderie and, in some cases, healthy competition. Your workout buddy doesn’t necessarily have to be your bestie, just someone you like and whom you wouldn’t want to disappoint. Psychologically speaking, if you have a responsibility and commitment to her, you’re more likely to follow through. Basically – it’s easy to bail on yourself, but not on someone else! Whether you’re outside jogging with a group of friends or simply glancing across the workout floor at familiar faces, there’s strong encouragement in the feeling that “we’re all in this together!“.
5. Participate in Local Fitness Programs and Charity Events.
Join a recreational league in your area. Your city or local gym might offer programs for sports and events. This way you can meet new friends and enjoy staying fit together. There are many events over the summer like charity walks or runs, where you can get the satisfaction of helping your community or a charity that touches your heart.
Kai Stansberry (below) and Rosalynn Vasquez are co-founders of Dallas-based Fit for Soul, a community organization that empowers women to balance their mind, body and soul, to reach their health goals with unstoppable faith and determination. Learn more at www.fitforsoul.org.