August is here--a month full of vacations, picnics, and long summer nights spent lounging on humid porches. It's an easy month for you to wander away from otherwise healthy habits. But it doesn't have to be that way. We've got some quick tips for staying fit and maintaining a healthy balance as the summer winds down.
INDULGE A LITTLE
It's inevitable that sometime this month we'll find ourselves face to face with some of our favorite treats. Maybe for you it's a good, juicy burger at a barbecue. Or perhaps it's a cool, creamy ice cream cone on a hot summer night. Whatever your favorite may be, give yourself permission to fully enjoy it--no guilt allowed--every once in a while.
Have trouble indulging without going overboard? Here's a strategy: choose one day a week where you get to have that treat. It'll give you the opportunity to look forward to it all week long, thus making it that much more enjoyable when the day arrives.
THE TOP 5
There's nothing like walking into a summer picnic and being bombarded with tables and tables of delicious looking food. When we're confronted with so many options, we often have a hard time choosing and wind up going overboard. Here's something to try the next time you're at a party or barbecue with lots of food options: use the "Top 5? rule. Scope out the scene and see what's available. If there are foods that you can make yourself, you would usually pass up in any other circumstance, or you have pretty often, then pass on those. Instead, go for the five foods and/or drinks available that you wouldn't normally make, buy, or choose, and enjoy a portion of those.
WATER, WATER, WATER
Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day and continue to hydrate yourself while you exercise. Dehydration inhibits muscle function and puts cardiovascular functioning at risk. Keeping hydrated throughout the day will help improve your exercise performance and overall energy.
DON'T FORGET TO EXERCISE
It's no secret-summertime schedules tend to book up mighty fast. Before you know it, you've got your weekends jam-packed with parties, barbecues, and vacations, leaving little or no time for exercise. Right? Wrong! Take the time to schedule in your exercise just as you would any other plans on your calendar. Plan ahead and start the week off knowing exactly what your exercise schedule is going to look like.
The most important thing you can do to your mind and body sane when the calendar starts to fill up is sleep. This time of year, many of us may be "go-go-go" to get everything crammed in before it's back to school, but it's so necessary to remember to refuel with enough ZZZs. Sleep affects so many aspects of our lives, especially appetite and mood, so be sure to allow yourself enough time to unwind at night and get at least seven to eight hours of sleep.
Courtney Horan is the blogger behind Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life, which documents her life and her many interests in healthy living, food, fitness, and fashion. Within the past year and a half, Courtney left her full time teaching job to pursue her new found passions in health and fitness and is now an NASM Certified Personal Trainer. She also offers her own online personal training business, Courtney's Total Body Wellness.