As the weather gets warmer, and the days get longer, the summer vacations are on the horizon. Kids are thinking of summer camps, swimming pools and outdoorfun. I am sure I am not alone of thinking about firing the grill, picnic at the beach, ice cream etc etc. Summer is a great time for food, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are every where. So how do we balance it all ? There is a lot of information available on the topic. I am providing the most useful tips I have found over the years. Start with making attainable and practical short term and long term goals. The more success we have the more we strive. In no particular order of importance, here are some suggestions:
1. Make small changes in food habits. Writing down what we eat during the day is very helpful in bringing awareness to our food and snack consumption. Maybe we can cut down on the snack we are eating. Instead of the delicious cup cake, perhaps a red ripe strawberry will be better, or instead of eating the whole cup cake, maybe eatng only a half will do.
2. Add a daily exercise. Walking is a great excercise to start with. If you have young children stroller walking is a great way to add to your day. With older children bike riding together is a wonderful experience. Even 10 minutes of exercise in a day has been shown to be beneficial
3. If you have been exercising regularly, kicking it up a notch is also helpful. Find an exercise buddy. A freind will keep you on the task
4. Get enough Sleep at night. Sleep has been shown to be important component of a balanced life.
5. Manage Stress. Take a Yoga class or add a Zumba class. Take a meditation class, start meditation on your own, play a game with your partner, spouse, children. Have fun. Laugh out loud
6. Bring mindfulness to eating. Be aware of what food is representing. Do you reach for the snack when watching TV, when stressed, when bored, when hungry?
Of course, before starting a regimen of exercise, please consult your physician.