Pass by any magazine rack this month, and the hard-to-miss cover lines will seem all too familiar: “Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days,” “Amazing Summer Wonder Workouts” and “Are You Ready for Bikini Season?” Consider it a seasonal publishing rite, when thoughts of bathing suits and waistlines dance in our heads.
But healthful organic eating and regular physical exercise are a year-round commitment, not a brief summer whim. That said, because we like to look and feel fit, I’d like to share some sane and effective summer shape-up tips that mesh well with the basics of organic living. No fad diets. No outrageously over-the-top exercise extravaganzas. Just some simple, commonsense strategies for taking care of your body and nurturing your organic spirit as temperatures soar and you decide to get physical.
Shop for the Season’s Best
Juicy summer fruits are an important part of a healthful diet, and farmer’s markets and natural/organic food stores are showcasing the very best: plump peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots, watermelon and cherries, among the most popular selections.
Now’s the time to load up your grocery cart and create some splendid organic fruit salads. If you have children, make sure they meet their daily nutritional requirements by snacking on their favorite organic produce—a surefire way to curb a sweet tooth.
“Check out local farmer’s markets at home or on vacation for summer snacks that are fresh, healthy and absolutely delicious,” says celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins, author of The Hollywood Trainer Weight-Loss Plan. “Markets can be a great way to explore the area and enjoy amazing treats without being tempted by junk food.”
Get the Most from Your Workout
Stay fit by following these important tips for summer workouts, courtesy of Olympic figure-skating champion Peggy Fleming. The gold medallist has teamed with HealthSaver, an emerging healthcare discount program that offers savings on complementary and alternative healthcare treatments, vitamins and supplements by mail, and more than 1,500 fitness clubs nationwide, including select Bally Total Fitness, World Gym and Ladies Workout Express locations.
Fleming encourages readers to:
Stay hydrated, especially when you’re battling seemingly unmerciful heat. Hydrate before and after you exercise. If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll wear out sooner.
Always stretch and warm up before exercising, which minimizes muscle soreness and helps prevent injuries.
Take five minutes to gradually increase your pace, and allow another five minutes to cool down after exercising. Slowly decrease your rate of activity to help your body relax.
Dedicate two days per week to weight-lifting to replace and strengthen the muscle you lose with age. Choose dumbbell weight based on the last two reps of each set, which should take extra effort. Once you master the moves, increase the weight. Challenge equals results.
Exhale through the work phase, and inhale through the rest phase of each rep.
“Steady exercise will not only et you ready for the beach, fun and sun, but also increases energy levels,” ays HealthSaver Vice President Brad Eggleston.
Even Organic Gardening Counts!
And remember: Exercise doesn’t have to involve sports. Many hobbies and chores can help you get into shape. Clean your house, take your dog for a walk, or work in your organic garden.
Summer is a great time to “rejuvenate the body by matching simple fitness routines with healthy yet delicious foods,” Jenkins adds. “The combination can help your body burn fat and build extra energy so that you can enjoy an active summer season.”