Are summertime health goals achievable?

Summer is my favorite time of year and it always goes by so fast! 

It’s a happy time of year and according to an article published in the Daily Mail, entitled “Ten Reasons Why Summer Is Good For You” “Sunny skies and rising temperatures do more than make our environment a pleasant place. They also provide some very significant benefits to our health and wellbeing.” 

We know that sunlight helps to regulate many of the body’s systems and there’s no question that waking up to sunshine on a regular basis boosts our mood and energy level. 

Some of the roles of the sunshine Vitamin (D) include helping the body to: 

· Maintain the health of bones and teeth 

· Support the health of the immune system 

· Promote the production of “happiness” chemicals in the brain 

· Regulate insulin and support diabetes management 

· Support lung function and cardiovascular health 

· Influence the expression of genes involved in cancer development 

Summer is also a very busy time of year; often jammed packed with plans based around food, and this is where I want to offer support. In a time where routines can be thrown off, staying on track with our health goals can be very challenging. 

One thing we know for sure is that we don’t want to lose the strides we have worked so hard to achieve. We don’t want to jeopardize all our efforts thus far. 

As we know, change doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, many experts will agree that health goals are more likely to be achieved and maintained long-term, when we adopt a gradual, slower and steadier pace. Most of us need time to create new, healthy eating and exercise patterns, that we can maintain for life. 

A short-term restricted diet plan can work for a while and we often see quick results, but it can set us up for failure in two ways.  It restricts calories but doesn’t always focus on health. As an example, a piece of chocolate cake and a sweetened latté could add up to half of our daily calorie allowance and leave us nutritionally deprived and hungry a few hours later.  More importantly, it doesn’t help us establish better eating habits, which is required for long-term success.  When goals are achieved in this manner, the likelihood of long-term maintenance is low, and we gradually slip into our old eating patterns. 

Enter summer.

Many people take a break from their health goals in the summertime, but I feel that this is where all our hard work can really pay off. This is where we can put into practice the new habits we have incorporated into our daily lives. By sticking with what’s been working well for us so far, no matter where we are or what obstacles (temptations) we face, we will be successful. 

In my experience, the feedback from those who have kept up with their routines and made slow and steady progress is very much the same. 

Overall, clients say that they: 

· have more energy 

· feel healthier 

· feel stronger 

· have less pain 

· are in a better mood 

· have better concentration 

· have improved digestion 

Two key points to help stay on track over the summer include: 

Set quotas:

By giving ourselves limits for situations that can be challenging, success can be within our reach. For example, when the decision to have only one helping, one drink, or a salad instead of fries, is pre-determined, we’re still partaking in the event but staying within our chosen parameters. Even if the choice isn’t perfect (to our standards), it’s smart thinking on our part. For a little extra support, follow this link to “The busy peoples Guide to Healthy Eating On The Go” …. 

Maintain an exercise routine:

While it might not be what we’re used to, committing to a set number of times we exercise per week, is a step in a positive direction. When away from home, consider a fitness class at the hotel gym or nearby health club to support your efforts. Aiming to reach a certain number of steps to per day while on vacation is a great way to keep moving. 

With the right tools in place, it is possible to maintain a healthy routine all year long…even in the summertime.

Summer is going by very quickly! Stay happy, healthy, and hydrated and enjoy every minute of it! 

This is Janice, inspiring change.