The dog days of summer are upon us. For a short number of weeks, we enjoy hot days, warm nights, splashes around the pool, and the children home on summer break.
During the sizzle of summer, the last thing many of us are thinking about is exercising and healthy eating. However, summer is actually a wonderful time to enjoy fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs available from farmers markets and backyard gardens, and to exercise (outside with lots of water, or in the AC!). These summer health tips will make yours a happy and healthy season!
- Satisfy your sweet tooth by eating naturally sweet snacks such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter.
- Eat dinner together as a family at least 4 times a week. Be sure to serve fruits and veggies with each meal.
- Visit your local farmer’s market this week instead of the grocery store. Stock up on locally sourced produce and other fresh, healthy foods.
- Focus on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fat-free dairy, and lean meats, such as chicken and fish.
- Whenever possible, meals should be cooked at home using healthy, natural, ingredients.
- Carry a liter water bottle with you and try to finish it by the end of the day. During the summer heat, water prevents dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke.
- Save 85 calories just by swapping mustard for mayonnaise in a sandwich.
- Set a goal to drink 5 8-oz. glasses of water each day.
- Don’t use food as a reward or to kill time when you are bored.
- If you don’t buy it, you won’t regret it later: It’s hard to resist the urge to eat unhealthy foods when you have them at home. The best way to resist temptation is to not buy those foods.
- Let your child pick one television show to watch each day, and fill in the remaining time with fun crafts, hobbies, outdoor sports and family activities.
- Dance around the house with the kids to burn calories, build lean muscle, and enjoy some quality family time.
- Get enough sleep (8-10 hours a night, if possible)
- Participate in regular, leisure-time exercise activity to achieve and maintain good physical and emotional health.
- Avoid long periods of vigorous activity in the heat and humidity. If you are outside, be sure to take frequent breaks and drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Remember, if you want to use the pool in the bug-free, air-conditioning, come to the J to swim laps or bring your family to the pool for leisure swimming.
Engaging in at least 30-60 minutes of exercise daily is recommended for everyone. The list of health benefits to be gained from regular daily exercise is as long as the list of activities available at the J, so come by, take some classes, work out in our gym or swim laps in the pool, and have some fun.
In addition, each month the Health, Fitness & Aquatics department creates a special “Shabbat Workout” to engage the mind, body, and spirit. Be sure to check out these videos, on topics including posture, breathing techniques, setting goals, staying hydrated, and more, for some great tips for the summer and all year long!