How to Give Yourself a Healthy Summer Reset
Remember all those promises we made to ourselves in the dead of winter? The times we swore we’d have sculpted upper arms by spring, that we’d join the indoor bike craze, or that we’d stay away from the chip aisle at the grocery store and instead make kale smoothies our new best friend? New Year’s resolutions may not have gotten any traction during our deep freeze, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start fresh. A summer reset might be just what you need.
Days are getting longer and warmer, inviting people to spend more time outside. This makes it a great season to spend more time paying attention to what your body needs. A little inspiration for a new workout and healthy eating routine might be just what you need.
But where do you start? A recent study published in the journal Health Psychology showed that for one group of people jumping into exercise, the trick to motivating them was to set goals that were a little out of reach, but not so high they felt they couldn’t get close to attaining them. The goals that were a tiny bit challenging were the most effective in pushing them toward exercising more.
Here are some ways to kick off your summer reset:
Take your workouts outside. If you’re already walking 5,000 steps a day, try bumping up that goal another 2,000 steps by adding a daily outdoor walk. Summer is a great time to drop a new exercise activity into the mix. Dust off your bike and find a trail near your house. Try your hand at frisbee golf. Find a workout buddy and switch up your walks with a short run.
Start shopping for local fruits and vegetables. An easy way to dial up your healthy eating is to take advantage of the local farmer’s markets and even roadside fruit and vegetable stands that crop up during the summer months. Yes, it takes a little more time than popping into the grocery store, but buying local food helps area farmers and puts the freshest ingredients on your plate. It’s an easy way to get more fresh foods into your daily diet.
Plan more outside activities. Don’t fritter away all these extra hours of sunshine that summer brings. Set up more outside activities this season. Intentionally plan things to do or meet-ups with friends to round out your after-work hours and weekends. Move dinners outdoors or do them picnic-style at a local park. These types of outings typically pair a little food, fun and outdoor activities.
Pencil in some free time. When we were little, we had recess – a set amount of time outside each day with different activities to choose from. As adults, we still need free time outdoors. In our tech-based world, hours set aside to spend against the backdrop of sun and sky are so important. Spending time outdoors is good for our mental health. It gives our brain a break. There’s no one right way to do this. For some people, it might be meeting a friend for a hike or checking out your local botanical garden or city parks. Others might want to turn an outdoor day into some self-care by packing a beach chair or a hammock and whiling away an afternoon with a good book or some music.
However you decide to approach your summer reset, the goal is to find a happier and healthier version of yourself.
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