It’s finally sweet summertime! We only have a limited amount of time to enjoy the gorgeous weather, so capitalize on it while you can. There are plenty of things to look forward to: Vacations, late nights, sun tans, and the list goes on. This summer, be mindful of the activities you pursue and the impact they will have on your health. There are a number of healthy ways to burn a ton of calories while you enjoy the summer sun.
The physical and mental benefits of exercise are immense, but did you know that you can leverage these benefits more by exercising outside rather than indoors? What if I told you it’s super possible to burn those extra calories while still having a lot of fun?
Well, experts unanimously agree that outdoor activities exponentially boost your mental health, which makes your physical exercise even more fruitful. Warmer days and sunshine are great contributors for bringing more and more people to the outdoor environment and exercising either alone or in groups. Here are some ideas to help you keep moving outdoors this summer!
1. Check your local Parks and Recreation website for a list of activities!
Many departments will host kid-friendly events and camps throughout the summertime. Participating in an activity that gets your heart rate up can help prevent heart disease and hypertension.
Yoga isn’t always a summer activity, but many studios tend to ramp up activity during the summer months. You may suddenly find yoga classes in the park or in the center of the city square. Yoga is incredible for the entire body, and the back is no exception. It stretches out stiff muscles, strengthens the body as a whole, and can reduce pressure and tension felt in the back, which then enhances health and leaves you pain-free.
3. Long Walks
There’s nothing better than going for a nice long walk in the summer. May this be a walk in the park, a walk around your neighborhood, or maybe just a walk to random destinations, you really can’t go wrong this summertime activity. I personally like to go on long walks either early in the morning or in the evening after dinnertime. However, there’s nothing wrong with going for a walk during the day too.
Being close to nature is essential and necessary for an optimal summer experience. Also known as “advanced walking”, hiking lets you enjoy nature at its absolute best. The rugged and sometimes steep terrain works the leg muscles very effectively. Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise, which is good for bone health. Find a nearby state park and take a day trip to view the beauty of nature while getting in shape.
Summer is pool season, of course. And swimming is a fantastic activity for improving heart and lung capacity while also being gentle on your joints. In addition, it improves cardiovascular fitness and cholesterol levels. Who doesn’t love a good swim every now and then? You can either enjoy a nice day at your local swimming pool with the kids, your family, and friends, or totally set up a swimming station all your own at your house! Honestly, when it comes to water as a cool down from the summertime heat nobody is complaining about how they get it.
Although it is an exercise that almost exclusively relies on upper-body strength, kayaking is still a very fun method for getting fit. Keep in mind there is more equipment required for kayaking than most of these activities. However, it is a small price to pay for the chance to take a peaceful trip down the river and check out some scenery.
7. Beach Volleyball
Next time you have a day at the beach, take a break from lying on your beach towel and play some volleyball.
The combination of running and jumping will increase your heart rate in a hurry. When you jump on sand, the sand provides some added resistance while making for a softer landing. If you start to overheat, go for a swim!
8. Healthy Picnic
Get the family together and go have lunch in the park. You can go the complete picnic route by getting a blanket to lay out on the grass, and a cute little picnic basket to carry your food in. Or you can do what my family and I like to do and just get a nice table cloth that you don’t mind getting dirty, find a table in the park (or bring your own), set it up and proceed to eat your lunch.
Make the Switch!
Cultivating and growing your overall wellness builds resilience, reduces the risk of illness, and ensures positive interactions on a daily basis. Your well-being not only affects your life, it also influences others you are closely connected to.
Investing in your health and wellness can start at any age and is a lifelong process. The goal should always be to make tweaks to make the action become a realistic lifestyle for you. We must make time for things that are “necessary” but also allow this new behavior and new lifestyle to enter the conversation of longevity, well-being and necessity.
Stop looking for the perfect diet or the perfect combination of foods. Eat in a very healthy way but allow yourself to have one favorite food, in moderation, every single day. Don’t try to completely change your life in one day. Although it might seem simple to make those changes, it is extremely hard to keep up with them.
One of my favorite parts of the whole process is to search and get to know more about products that fit into my fit lifestyle and are on the same page as me in terms of longevity in what I do. I might be a professional swimmer now and somehow be ‘forced’ into watching my diet and what goes into my body, but I know for a fact that one day when I don’t swim anymore I will still be very worried and concerned about my health.
I always say that in order to make any new habit easier to do, we should always start with an incredibly small new thing that isn’t reliant on motivation and willpower. Motivation comes and goes, and willpower is something that is easily exhausted as it is used throughout the day. A new habit needs to be so easy and simple that an individual can’t say “no” to doing the habit, it’s just naturally achieved. Everyone is unique. Not everyone requires a fully scheduled day to reap the health benefits of a routine, so make the choices that work for you, knowing they’ll only make you healthier and more efficient with your time.
Identifying barriers and challenges ahead of time can be an effective way to address them before they become overwhelming. I know it can be super easy to give up on goals and new habits when life gets challenging. That’s why it’s critical to remind yourself that a day or even a week of setbacks will not ruin your path to achieving your new goals.
Remembering to always look forward by envisioning what life might look like if you stick to your new habits and make the changes necessary to live more healthfully and in line with your values and aspirations. These are the things that will keep your hope, motivation and enthusiasm for achieving your goals at a high level throughout the process of change.
With the increase in demand, the availability for natural and organic products of all types has also increased so it shouldn’t be hard to find substitute foods and drinks for what you already have been consuming. Things such as “Low-sugar”, “No Artificial”, and “zero calories” should do the work in getting your attention, but make sure you read the labels and be aware if the packages are lying or not.
Luckily the availability for low-sugar natural products has been on the rise and I have been able to refuel and replenish my body with the right amount of calories, vitamins and electrolytes while staying on track of my lifestyle goals. Products such as Hydra Guard Sports Drink are available on the market and online and they help me on a daily basis with my training routine.
Paul Millsap, 4x NBA All-Star and Hydra-Guard Partner has always made his nutrition and health a priority, which reflects his elite performance and extremely successful career in the NBA. Paul’s ability to maintain playing at the highest level has been nothing short of amazing. It's a professional career that every athlete strives for.
The key for longevity in any athlete’s career is to take care of their bodies first and that's something that Paul has obviously done very well. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink caught Paul’s attention in early 2019, when he officially partnered with them in efforts to bring the brands healthy benefits more readily available to more households across the country.
"Being a professional athlete naturally encourages me and my family to live a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink raises the bar to unprecedented heights with its beverage innovation. It’s packed with electrolytes, and being an all natural sports drink with low sugars is a game changer, this product is changing the industry," says Paul.
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