Unfortunately, with unhealthy drinking and eating habits, often comes neglect of one's daily workouts. Or, we get so tied up in our busy summer schedules that we forget to actually carve out time for ourselves and our oh-so-important dose of daily. Then before you know it, the last thing you want to do is actually be in a bathing suit poolside, right?
I feel you people. It is HARD work to enjoy summer and all its offerings and not be tempted to completely let go of all the hard work you've spent exercising and eating properly to prepare for summer! It is so much easier to say, "Sure, I'll go to the beach today," than, "I think I'll pass and go to my weekly Saturday AM yoga class." Get my drift?
To help you all out, I've compiled a list of EASY TIPS to help you ENJOY your summer to the max, while remaining HEALTHY!
1) Schedule Your Workouts
If you do, you'll be far less likely to skip them! If your thing is yoga or pilates, use your studio's mindbody online scheduler (if they offer one) and COMMIT to your classes every week. If you prefer the gym route, carve out time for your workouts and schedule them on your calender, iphone, blackberry, droid, etc. so you don't forget.
2) Workout Early so you have NO Excuses Later On
In the summer especially, I enjoy working out in the mornings so I have the entire rest of my days to do whatever I please, especially on the weekends. While it may be tough at first, that 7am class will be a breeze once you start committing to doing it regularly. Many gyms and studios also have new summer schedules out at this point, in which they purposely add in earlier classes, so that you can get your workout in and then enjoy the rest of your day! Take advantage of these offerings! You'll feel much better after you start your day on such a high, endorphin-filled note, anyways :)
3) Go Outside!
Its gorgeous out, so why are you still pounding away on that treadmill? Go outside! Run, hike, bike ride, kayak, swim, do yoga on the beach - DO ANYTHING that gets your heart rate up and makes you happy! Personally, I LOVE riding my bike outside, especially along the water. In Boston, we are so lucky to have such great bike paths along the Charles, and my new favorite, along the beaches of Dorchester and South Boston (if you haven't been to Castle Island yet, go! You are missing out.)
4) Find a Workout Buddy
Working out is fabulous on your own, but even better with a friend! Find a workout buddy who will help you stay on track. If you make a plan to go for a run with a friend, you are much more likely to follow through than if you don't. As you all know, I'm a huge yoga junkie, and I go solo to classes all the time, but when I make a plan with one of my yogi friends it makes going to class so much more fun! Plus, its an excuse to plan a healthy lunch or dinner date post-workout :)
5) Eat Clean
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of all the organic farmers markets out there and eat as many whole foods as you can. Try to cut processed, junk food out of your diet, and eat lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean meats. Try to keep sugar to a minimum, but if you must (and trust me, I have the worst sweet tooth of them all!), try to nibble on dark chocolate, frozen yogurt, frozen fruit bars, or other low-calorie, "healthier" sweets sparingly. Remember, if it isn't something your great-grandmother would have put in her mouth, don't eat it!
You'll also feel so much better, inside and out, if you eat clean. Today, I made myself a delicious salad for lunch with spinach, strawberries, sliced almonds, chicken and a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil (see pic at the top of this post) - so simple, yet so yummy! Have fun with your meals and experiment with different seasonal fruits and veggies!
6) Moderation is Key
As great as it would be to eat totally clean all the time, its just not entirely realistic for many of us. Life happens and so does cake, ice cream, pizza, french fries and all those other food temptations. My advice is to stop looking at these foods as "bad" and instead enjoy them in moderation. If you want pizza, have it! Just limit it to a slice or two and make sure its loaded with veggies. If you want cake, great! Just try to keep it at a slice - or split a dessert with your friend. Get where I'm going here? You will enjoy food and life in general SO much more if you don't obsess over it and just eat what you want, in moderation of course. No starving. No binging. Just sensible eating. It works, trust me. And if you fall off the wagon one weekend, no worries! Just get back on your clean eating and exercise plan the next day. Piece of cake. ;)
What are your healthy summer eating and exercise tips? Feel free to comment here!