Summer is Ending: 5 Ways for Parents to Finish Healthy and Strong

jennlee

When summer is about to roll around, it seems easy to focus on fitness; you want to get into shape for summer fashions and seasonal activities. But as summer draws to a close, school and kid activities run your life, so staying fit can be a challenge. The days are already getting shorter, so you may be tempted to forgo that evening fun and camp out in front of the television instead. Here are some ways to finish strong.

Keep Eating Light

Salads and fruit plates are a staple of summer meals. As farmers’ markets start to shut down, keep your vegetable consumption steady. Switch from peas and asparagus to beets and bell peppers. If you cannot seem to get enough vegetables on the table, supplement with green superfood powder to add nutrients and probiotics. When you have had your fill of watermelon, remember that an apple a day really can help keep the doctor away.

If you are looking to shake up your dinners but don’t want your kids turning their noses, try some new grilled recipes. Grilled meats are the perfect highlight to a late summer dinner because they are flavorful with just a simple sprinkling of spices and herbs. They are quick to prepare, no complicated marinades or rich sauces necessary.

Continue to Hydrate

You have likely heard the general advice that men should drink approximately 15 cups of water per day and women should drink 11. In the summer heat, many people require more water to avoid dehydration. Do not let cooler evenings fool you into easing up on your water intake. While you are staying active and spending time outdoors, your body may still require extra hydration to perform at its best.

Remain Active

You likely associate summer with specific activities: swimming, hiking, kayaking and rock-climbing, for instance. While it is true that people tend to be more active in summer, it is important to keep exercising year-round. Most people benefit from getting 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, which can be broken down into sessions of just about any length that fits into your schedule.

Cognitive benefits include increased ability to learn, clearer thinking and less stress. Physically, exercise helps you strengthen your muscles, improve your balance, maintain a healthy weight, avoid diabetes, prevent heart disease and live longer.

Linger Outdoors

Research has shown multiple benefits to being outside. Spending time outdoors can help you manage anxiety and avoid depression. Other mental benefits include increased ability to focus and enhanced creativity. Physical benefits include lower heart rate and less inflammation. When you prolong your enjoyment of summer by staying outdoors, you may prolong your life.

Stay in the Sunshine

By now, you may feel as if you have had enough sun to last the rest of the year, especially if you sunburn easily. However, sunlight is essential to your health and happiness. By encouraging the brain to release serotonin, sunshine can help you feel focused, cheerful and serene. The effects last long after the sun has gone down; regular doses of sunlight can help you avoid mental health issues such as depression and anxiety attacks.

Sunshine is good for your body as well as your mind. Exposure to sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D, which in turn helps you absorb calcium for strong bones. This is especially crucial for women as they age, because proper calcium levels can help prevent osteoporosis. Also, while getting too much sun can lead to skin issues and signs of premature aging, getting proper levels of sunlight can help ward off chronic skin conditions including acne and eczema. Sunshine has even shown to be a key in preventing certain types of cancer such as cancer of the colon and pancreas.

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