Give yourself a boost to welcome back the season with open (and toned) arms.
Taking time out to eat healthy and exercise can seem fruitless as many women go through their busy day. Going to work, shuffling kids to various activities, taking care of other relatives and maintaining a household becomes first priority. With the upcoming season of summertime clothes and family vacation, this might be a great time to focus on you.
Boost Your Nutrition
When it comes to cutting back on excess calories while also maintaining a busy lifestyle, it’s best to be intentional. “Healthy living doesn’t happen by accident,” says Melody Just, a registered diet technician at the North Royalton Family YMCA.
“Take a little time to plan your weekly meals, snacks and the activity calendar,” she says. “Keep a weekly grocery ‘needs’ list with routine healthy staples to stock. Have a shopping plan that is healthy but also permits flexibility and variety. Even if you choose fast food, be aware of your menu choices. Every fast food menu has healthier options. Skip the mayo, extra cheese and oily sauces.”
“The most important thing you can do now to get ready for summer is to start making good food choices and cut back on excess calories,” says Laurie Cingle, M.Ed., fitness success coach and leadership team member at Akron General Lifestyles-Green.
Cardiovascular activities include walking, biking, skating and stair climbing. Strengthen your muscles with weight training or calisthenics using just your body weight. Stay strong and flexible by participating in yoga or stretching.
Group exercise will not only burn calories, but will also boost your self-esteem while you’re at it.
Choose activities that you enjoy and participate in them consistently — that’s the key. “Clients I work with are most comfortable exercising with people who are similar to themselves and have similar fitness goals,” Cingle says.
Many devices to keep you on track, such as Jawbone UP, Fitbit, Nike+ FuelBand, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Fitbug Air, will count your steps and track your sleep. Some will give you the option to enter in foods or use a smartphone camera to take a photo of the UPC label of the item. Some devices also send weekly progress updates via email from the manufacturer so you can look back at your progress over time.
“The benefit of any application or device that tracks activity and food intake is motivation and feedback,” Cingle says. “If these tools help to motivate someone to stick to their plan, I’m all for it.”
When it comes to making the most of your family time, Just, who also teaches fine arts and family programming at the North Royalton Y, says, “Be intentional, but make it fun. In all healthy living is a good dose of enjoyment.
“A hiking trip is exercise, but also a great way to spend time with a friend or family member ‘unplugged,’” she adds. “Tease your toddler about the benefits of eating greens when you see monkeys eat at the zoo.”
As you begin to spend more time outside (and as the temperatures rise), staying hydrated is crucial. And, when you or your little ones need an extra boost of energy to get through the last inning or to hold over until dinner, opt for citrus.
“Citrus is an excellent way to both energize and hydrate at the same time — particularly oranges, grapefruits and tangerines. These are packed with vitamin C and boost immunity,” Just says. “If you are not a citrus fan, strawberries and kiwi are also good. Frozen fruit pops or fruit and yogurt pops are easy. The yogurt pops provide protein along with an energy source.”
Between sun exposure, pool water and the beach, warmer weather can be rough on your hair and skin.
“Get your hair trimmed regularly to reduce split ends, and if you swim in a chlorinated pool, it’s important to get a Malibu Treatment, which will help remove the chlorine buildup from your hair,” says Lucy Tamburro-Frierson, master stylist at Tryst Salon and Spa in Mentor.
“Prepping your skin for the summer should be everyone’s top priority,” says Shelby Nicoletti, esthetician at Tryst Salon and Spa. “A hydrating facial will remove all the dry and dead skin cells from the winter, giving you a fresh start to the summer.”
Nicoletti also suggests, “No one should leave the house without a good SPF on their skin to protect it from the harsh UV rays that cause early aging and will give your skin a healthy glow with or without makeup.”
“When you want to maintain something,” Just says. “It needs to be more than a discipline; it must bear fruit that brings life. The reward makes it worth doing again and again.”