When trying to improve health, it’s easy to put off assuming that the next season or phase in life will be an easier time to “make positive changes.”
I hate to say it, but having worked in weight management during all seasons – many times – with people at all stages of life, there are always hurdles.
No more excuses; Let’s take advantage of some simple health benefits of summer. You can start with these ideas.
Put those longer days to good use
With the sun still shining until 9 p.m. most nights, it’s easy to get into your post-dinner picnics.
A 10-minute low-intensity walk can improve blood flow to digestion, which means less heartburn and bloating — and a better night’s sleep.
Being outside also gives your body a chance to make and store some immune-boosting vitamin D.
Make those grills sizzle
Lighting the grill can help you get a balanced meal on the table in 20-30 minutes. The best part? Simple cleaning!
Throw in lean protein like fish, shrimp, pork loin, or chicken breast, add a few red potatoes and some greens in a bit of canola oil, and you’re done.
Season it to your taste, including fresh herbs if you have it, and voila! Have a nutritious and delicious meal. Plus you can enjoy an al fresco meal – as eating is important.
Keep the water flowing
While many people struggle to drink enough fluids, when we have warmer weather to enjoy it can help remind us how refreshing and delicious a glass of cold water can be. Savor her recommended mugs every day.
Summer often means busier schedules and more travel. Although some may consider this an obstacle, as long as you have some healthy snacks on hand, I think it’s time to stay out of the fridge and pantry.
Healthy, stable travel snacks can include:
- Apples, bananas, oranges, dried fruits
- Mini sweet pepper, cherry tomato, sugar peas or mini cucumber
- Nuts, seeds, popcorn, whole grain crackers and beef.
If you can pack a small cooler, include yogurt, cheese sticks, sliced fruits, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs.
There are many approaches to eating better, but I hope these ideas will allow you to make the most of the season. Don’t wait another six months for the New Year to make changes – do it now.
Learn more about nutrition and your health by contacting Avira Heart Hospital in South Dakota, Dietitian Lauren Corney.