If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to embrace a healthy lifestyle this year, congratulations on all the progress you’ve made so far. Everything thing you’ve done – changes to your nutrition, getting more movement, looking after your wellbeing – they’ll all be making a difference to the quality of your life.
However, I find that the summer is often a stumbling block in the path toward healthy living. Those ice creams seem rather tempting when the temperature rises and with the hotter temperatures often comes lethargy and it can make exercising uncomfortable.
That said, if you think back to the reasons why you wanted to improve your health this year, I’ve no doubt that you’ll be able to stick to your goals while you’re on holiday or when the weather is hot. Let’s face it, any attempt to improve your health is beneficial, helping you to avoid illnesses, improve aches and pains, minimise the impact of long-term conditions and ward off potential side effects of high blood pressure medication.
So, here are a few ideas that can help you to stick to your healthy living goals throughout the summer months:
If you’re going away this year, why not make it an active holiday? In the past, you may have spent a couple of weeks reading books on a sun lounger and indulging in those ice creams. While you should still do activities like this – you need rest and relaxation for your health too – you could incorporate some active moments into your holiday too.
- Go on plenty of walking excursions. I often find that I walk further and for longer when I’m exploring a new destination so take advantage of the location you’re visiting and head out for a walk. This is equally beneficial if you’re sightseeing around a city or strolling by the beach and it’ll help you to get to know the place you’ve gone to on holiday better than ever.
- Hire a bike. Likewise, cycling around an area can take you to further destinations than walking, so you’ll get to see more of the country than just the immediate location around your hotel or holiday home.
- Lying by the pool? Hop in for a swim. Swimming is so good for your health as it works your whole body but is weightless, so there’s less pressure on your joints compared to other cardio activities.
- Many destinations have activities and sports you can take part in, all of which will bring holiday fun alongside a bit of gentle movement. How about a game of badminton? Beach volleyball? A round of golf? Paddleboarding? The opportunities to stay active on your holiday are endless!
When I’m on holiday I like to try out new food that I might not get at home but that doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy. Sure, I’m going to enjoy some treats while I’m away – it’s important for your mental health to enjoy your time off – but there are so many delicious options available when you choose something fresh during the summer months.
- When the weather warms up, I’m more likely to reach for salad than stew, so it’s naturally a healthier time of year, food-wise. Cool off with refreshing lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes on the side of your meal.
- Plus, there is plenty of fruit and veg in season at this time of year – on my allotment, I’ve got rhubarb, strawberries, salad, chard etc growing, with plenty more to come throughout the summer. This means you have plenty of choice of fresh seasonal produce to enjoy at its best.
- If you’re holidaying abroad, take advantage of the local delicacies and fill up on fresh dishes, such as seafood, vegetables and whole grains. You may get to try something you’ve never eaten before if you select a local speciality and can take the recipe home with you to make throughout the rest of the year.
Whatever activities you’re doing on your holiday, whether that’s lounging or working out, make sure you stay hydrated. Hot weather, sweating and simply forgetting to drink when you’re having fun can all make your body a little dehydrated so carry a refillable water bottle with you and sip it often. Add ice to keep it chilled and cool down your body when the temperature soars.
Alcoholic drinks can dehydrate you, so it’s a good idea to choose an alternative during the hot weather. How about trying a real sparkling tea? This naturally fermented drink gives you the effervescent bubbles of a glass of sparkling wine, but it’s completely alcohol-free and low in sugar, making it a healthier and less dehydrating choice.
Holidays are often the break we need to help us to rest and relax, so take advantage of your time off to really chill out. This will help you to feel more prepared to tackle whatever life has in store for you throughout the rest of the year and boost your wellbeing. So really give yourself a break – physically and mentally – so that your mind can benefit from the holiday too.
- Take the time to do all the things you love to do, such as reading books, listening to podcasts, taking a long bath etc. Anything you wish you had more time to do at home should be a priority when you’re taking a break.
- Holidays are a time for fun too, so why not enjoy some live music and entertainment? Go to a comedy show and have a good laugh – laughter is so good for stress management and keeps you in the present.
- Speaking of which, you could incorporate some mindful practices into your holiday and enjoy a yoga session or meditation. Even just taking a moment to appreciate the view and take a breath will help you to unwind.
I hope these suggestions have given you some ideas for maintaining your healthy lifestyle goals this summer. Whether it’s your physical or mental health you’re taking care of during the holidays, be sure to celebrate those small wins – every time you do something beneficial to your health it’s a step toward your goals.
Let me know in the comments below what you like to do during the summer to stay healthy, I’d love to hear your ideas and favourite activities 🙂
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