Summer Health & Wellness─For Life!

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As summer draws to a close, you may find that many of the fun and healthy aspects of your warm-weather lifestyle are simply too positive to abandon as the seasons change. How can you weave the golden threads of summer joy, health and exercise into the coming year?

Embrace “back to school” fitness
While adjusting to the back to school routine can be challenging, outdoor fun and daily exercise don’t need to fall by the wayside. If you’ve improved your fitness in the summer months, why lose that hard-earned muscle tone and stamina that makes you feel like a million? You don’t have to! Your kids will likely be thrilled to continue walks, hikes and bike rides as well. Once you acclimate to new schedules, see how you can regularly incorporate that class, jog or family park frolic─especially on weekends.

Extend summer eating
For many families, summer meals are lighter and healthier, partly due to the heat and the availability of warm-weather produce. You can extend this trend by emulating the French and making a first course a regular dinner standard. Starting with a colorful salad or light soup is an ideal chance to build in fruits and veggies, as well as boosting the odds of them being happily consumed─when people are at their hungriest. Remember healthy snacks too. For an active metabolism, eat light, eat often.

Ward off holiday weight gain
Another benefit of maintaining healthy summer eating habits “off season” is that the longer you do so, the more ingrained they become. So when heavy, rich foods re-enter the picture─especially with the approach of the winter holidays─your body will be so accustomed to eating moderate amounts of fresh, whole foods that you’ll be less likely to stuff yourself on fattening items. It’s a question of balance. With regard to high-calorie party fare, Dolly Parton once said, “try everything, finish nothing.”

Tame fall stress
Anytime vacation ends and “real life” begins, we seem to forfeit relaxation mode, but getting busier doesn’t have to include unhealthy stress. It’s all about planning ahead. The more organized you are─and empower your family to be─the more you reduce tension for all. Breaks help too. How about designating one day weekly to resume that vacation mindset? Enjoy a leisurely brunch, go for a hike, take a nap, assemble a cold buffet so no one cooks, or get healthy take-out. This day you pamper eachother─mind, body and spirit.

While it may not happen overnight, you can modify your life so that you experience each day in a more relaxed, healthy “summer” state of mind. Along with boosting your daily happiness, you may just extend your lifespan as well.

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