Summertime is swiftly approaching, and it’s time for some fun in the sun! Planning on spending the day at the beach or poolside? Whether your goal is to be active or relax this summer, don’t just take a vow to be in shape, make a lifestyle change to be healthy. The key to a healthy life style is learning to eat healthy and exercise daily. The average person should get anywhere from 30-60 minutes of exercise daily. That may sound overwhelming, but this doesn’t mean you have to set aside that much time to go to the gym. It simply means you need to get up and moving. The same way you need to refuel your body with healthy snacks throughout the day, you need to refuel your energy levels with exercise. We all have busy schedules and it is easy to make excuses, but if you set aside 15 minutes three to four times a day then it will be easy to achieve. Find activities you enjoy, engage in mini burst of exercise (i.e. jumping jacks or high knees), get your heart rate up and your blood pumping, and make sure you start by warming up and stretching.

A few activities to get you up and moving:

    • Meet up with a friend and go to the high school track and run.
    • Turn your chore into an exercise opportunity! Who ever said vacuuming your room, wash the car, or mow the lawn had to be boring? Turn up the radio and make the best out of the opportunity.
    • We all know there are some shows we just can’t live without, but limit your time watching TV to 2 hours. If there is that one show you just cannot live without, do lunges or pushups through the commercials.
    • Just get up and dance!
By participating in any of these tasks, you will feel so much better and gain much more energy to do all the things you love to do.

The most important factor in living a healthy lifestyle is eating healthy. Don’t tell yourself you want to go on a diet, because dieting is only temporary. Instead, make a lifestyle change. Of course you can always reward yourself with that piece of cake or soda, but don’t make it a habit of giving in. You should eat three healthy meals a day- including 4 servings of fruit, 5 servings of vegetables, and 4 servings of dairy. Be daring and introduce a new fruit or vegetable that you’ve never tried! You might be pleasantly surprised. Try new recipes. Be sure to always start your day with a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day it gets your mind and body going.

A few simple ways to eat healthier:

    • Include whole grains and lean protein to each meal.
    • Replace soft drinks and fruit juices with plenty of water or low-fat milk. Water not only makes you feel better, it gives your skin a healthy beautiful glow.
    • Try not to eat so much fast food, but if you have to, they always have healthy items on the menu.
    • Make sure to watch out for supersize portions, if the portion is too large share it with a friend. What better way to enjoy a meal than with your best friend!!
    • Keep healthy foods on hand; make sure you buy fruits in vegetables instead of candy and junk food.
    • Pack your own snacks for the road so you can avoid the vending machine or convenience store.
    • Only eat when you’re hungry. If you’re tempted to eat because you’re bored, that’s your mind telling you to find something else to do, which would be a perfect time to get up and dance!
    • Creatively come up with ways to fit exercise and healthy eating into your life in a way that works for you. Search the internet, ask a friend, or consult a nutritionist. We’re all different, so explore multiple strategies. While your best friend might prefer gym time, it’s ok if you’d rather take your Frisbee-playing dog to the park. Knowing what’s right for you will make it a lot easier to do and stick to it!