They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. We can’t speak to the truth of that, but most people have a little more free time in the summer that they can use to work towards a healthier lifestyle. We have a few habits that are easy to start and can make a big difference in long-term health.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
The produce section of grocery stores and farmers markets is very bright and colorful during summertime. Don’t be put off if you don’t know exactly how to choose the perfect avocado. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season is a great way to start incorporating healthier foods into your diet. Replace cookies with an orange for lunch, or mix up your favorite fruits into a smoothie to cool down on a hot afternoon.
The warm weather is the perfect reason to head outside. Move your dinner party to the patio instead of the dining room or go see a movie in the park instead of sitting in a theater. Sunlight is an important (and free!) source of Vitamin D. How much Vitamin D each person needs varies by many factors such as age, skin color, and diets but, it is recommended that we get at least 10-15 minutes of exposure to the sun each day. You can, however, have too much of a good thing. If spending an extended period of time outdoors, be sure to properly apply sunscreen to prevent burns.
While you’re outside with friends and family, stay active! It doesn’t take much physical activity to make your body feel better and more energized. Staying active can be easily incorporated into your family’s daily routine. Try planning one or two nights a week when you do a something active together! We have some suggestions below that are fun for all ages.
– Gather a group for a game of soccer, kickball, touch football, or baseball
– Play yard games like ladder ball, Bocce ball, or corn hole
– Throw around a Frisbee
– Bring back playground games such as capture the flag, tag, or hide and seek
– Go to a park or playground
– Walk the dog
– Ride a bike through the neighborhood
What better time to learn the art of relaxation than during these long and sunny summer days? Stepping away from a computer, putting down the work phone, and taking time to slow down can improve productivity, memory, and stress. For complete relaxation you might want to try meditation, but reading a book or taking a walk can be the perfect way to clear your mind and be ready to take on any challenges that might come your way.
Try something new
Have you always wanted to learn to knit? Interested in joining a book club? Do it! Picking up a new hobby or joining a new social group can be exhilarating and fun. Expanding your skill set can increase self-confidence and fulfill other goals such as being more active. However, it can be hard to incorporate new activities into an already busy schedule. If that’s the case, set a goal of when you want to start. This gives you something to look forward to when you have more time.