4 tips for summer fitness

With a little planning, you can enjoy summer, stay healthy and have fun too.

I recently attended two large, celebratory events, each with plenty of food, fellowship and, yes, lots of fat.

It’s summertime, and many of you, like me, will attend events where food is the main attraction. With a little effort, you can glide through summer picnics, vacations, family gatherings, etc., and stay on your fitness journey.

Here’s how:

Add Plant Sources To Your Plate — My mom always said, “Nothing beats Mother Nature for good eating,” Of course, mom was right. Aim to eat fruits and vegetables daily, particularly now that summer fruits and vegetables are in season. During her stay in the White House, Michelle Obama unveiled the government’s revamped dinner plate (and replaced the antiquated food pyramid).

Enjoy Desserts in Small Portions — Staying on your health journey doesn’t mean ditching all sweets. “Fruit is nature’s dessert,” says Coretta Chaffin, a nutritionist and community dietician.

Practice Sun Safety When Outdoors — Do you know that strokes, which can strike during any season, are particularly difficult in hot weather? Know the warning signs: numbness of face, slurred speech, and decreased vision. Other summertime culprits are heat exhaustion and dehydration – both common, yet avoidable, when temperatures rise.

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen (minimum SPF 30) — It’s a myth that darker skin is immune to sunburn/sun damage. And use sunscreen while driving (arms, hands, neck, shoulders). Any skin exposed to the sun for extended periods needs sunscreen. I keep some in my vehicle, so it’s always handy.

With a little planning, you can enjoy summer, stay healthy and have fun too.

Until next time, I wish you health and wellness!

Sondra E. Z. Hines is a writer, AFAA-certified group fitness instructor, Zumba instructor, workshop presenter and motivational speaker. Follow her on Twitter.

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