The Summer season is finally here! While many people have been emotional and stress-eating, as well as skipping physical activity during COVID-19, warm weather, sunshine, and fresh produce of the season offer you the perfect opportunity to make positive, healthy lifestyle changes.
Now is the perfect time to retrain your body and taste buds, particularly if you have been munching on sweets and snack foods like chips or pretzels over the last few months. Take advantage of the abundance of in-season fruits and vegetables, aiming for 1-2 pieces of fruit and at least 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. Fruit is a naturally sweet snack that comes with unique health benefits and phytonutrients. This time of year, WNY farms are brimming with U-pick strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The summer months also boast an abundance and variety of homegrown vegetables. Try incorporating 2-3 vegetarian dinners a week. Not only is it a good way to take advantage of fresh produce, but it is an easy, healthier, and less expensive meal to prepare.
To help keep your weight, blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and overall health in check, get out and walk! Even 15-20 minutes a day can make a big difference. Whether you are walking or participating in another outdoor activity you love, try to go early in the morning or in the evening to prevent overheating and avoid prime time sun exposure. Getting outside can also boost your mood and vitamin D levels adding additional health benefits.
Hitting the great outdoors has many health benefits, but it is essential to stay hydrated to keep your body functioning optimally. Aim for 48-64 oz of water every day. If you are active, your intake of water needs to increase. The rule of thumb is for every pound lost by sweating drink an extra 16 oz of water.
Decide today that the changes you make this summer will last all year. Write them down, use an app, find someone or something to make you accountable! Most of all, get outside, move your body and enjoy all that summer has to offer.