Summer’s finally here! For many of us that means a big change in our daily schedules. For those of us with children, they are out of school and may be home with us or off to camp for part of the day. Our roles may become that of cruise director and outing planner, and you had better get a supply of popsicles in the freezer for those hot humid days! If you don’t have children things can still become topsy turvy in the summer; friends want to go out for drinks after work in the still-light summer hours. It’s the perfect time for long hours of socializing with friends over drinks on the patio or by the pool. Summer is also the time that many of us go on vacation, which means eating out for most meals and not keeping to your usual exercise routine.
What to do if you find yourself in any (or all) of the above scenarios? Don’t panic! Now is the time to think logically about summer schedules and socializing before you throw out all of the healthy habits you’ve been building throughout the year!
- Don’t stop going to the gym or doing your regular exercise! I’ve spoken with many personal trainers and gym owners who have said that business always slows way down in the summer. If you have a gym membership, don’t let it go to waste this summer! Take advantage of having a climate controlled place to exercise without having to slather on the sunblock. You may have to make extra arrangements for the kids but it will be well worth it; to make it easier, team up with a friend or two so that your kids can have a play date while you take turns working out.
- When it comes to socializing (eating and drinking) keep in mind the same things that you would over the holidays. You can look back at these posts: Tackling Thanksgiving, Food Holidays, and Handling the Holidays. The general idea is to remember your usual habits and don’t go overboard every day. Do you need to have a huge pile of chips at the cookout, AND two burgers, AND 3 margaritas? Pick and chose the things that are most important to you and then savor them in appropriate serving sizes. You will wake up the next morning pleased rather than regretful (and hung over!)
- Bring something healthy and delicious when you go to a party. Just this week one of my clients was complaining that he was going to a relative’s for a cookout. “My sister never has any vegetables” he said, “I’ll have to eat just hamburgers and chips!” I’m sure we’ve all felt like this, powerless to the whims of our hosts. If you know in advance that the food is not in keeping with your goals then plan ahead and handle the situation. Have something healthy before you go (a big salad, some fruit, etc) so that you aren’t ravenous when you get there. Bring something with you (it’s only polite anyway) a big veggie platter, a side salad, veggies to grill, sparkling water for drinks, a watermelon, etc. This way you know that you’ll have something that won’t undermine your plans.
- Eat your produce!! This is the best time of year to be loading up on vegetables and fruits. Make sure to visit at least one Farm Stand this summer to understand just how wonderful just picked, locally grown produce can taste! Keep plenty of prepped veggies within view and easy reach around you all day. Instead of a candy dish, have a container of snap peas or grape tomatoes at the ready. Go to a pick your own place for strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. It’s a fun outing for you, your friends and your kids!
Plan ahead and you will make it through the summer in good shape!