Stay in Shape this Summer

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Written by Health Expert, Kara Bligh.

Ahhhh the hazy, lazy days of summer are upon us! The summer months suggestcarefree, laid back living. We go on vacation, stay up late, go to the beach, have poolside barbeques, take naps and repeat. While summer is the perfect time to relax our routines and enjoy the warm weather, the extra dose of freedom can also be connected to becoming more sedentary, more eating and drinking and thus falling out of that great shape we worked so hard to get in for summer.

However, there is a way to enjoy all of the above, stay healthy and feel good in your bathing suit, if you approach the summer with the following in mind:

1. More isn’t better, better is better

I heard this quote a few years ago and I love it. It’s a great reminder that you DO NOT have to spend a lot of time working out to get /maintain good results. Make the best with what you’ve got. If you are on vacation, take a lot of walks, find a hill and run up it a few times. Bring your iPad and find some workouts online and take your workout outside. Whether you are at home or on vacation you can do an intense, effective workout with minimal equipment, minimal time and minimal space. Check out this workout as an example: karablighpilates.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/workout.jpg

Squeeze in little bits of exercise wherever you are!

Dad and child bouncing on balls

Dad and child bouncing on balls

2. Play time

Summer vacation most likely means extra play time for kids. Whenever you get a chance, join them! Get outside and jump on the trampoline, play games on the beach, run around the playground (I know this is where I get a workout in), have dance parties or have races with them- think running, crab walk, wheel barrel. You won’t even realize the good it’s doing for your body.

3. Make good food choices

We all know that we have to do this, but it can be a struggle when there is so much ice cream, pasta salad, burgers, chips and other good summertime eats all around us. Instead, let’s turn our focus to the delicious, farm fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season. Let’s eat food that grows instead of what is pulled out of a package. Let’s grill everything!

I’m not saying don’t eat at the BBQ, I’m encouraging you to think of eating as a way to nourish your body.

I’m not saying don’t eat at the BBQ, I’m encouraging you to think of eating as a way to nourish your body. Consider the nutrients you may (or may not) be getting from your food choices. And it is all a choice, so aim to make good ones as often as you can!

4. Awareness

We can only make good choices if we are aware that we are even making choices in the first place. Depending on what your goal is (stay in shape, lose weight, etc.) the choices you make should consistently support that goal. So if you want to stay in shape this summer, start becoming aware. As mentioned above, become aware of food choices. Become aware of how much time you spend sitting (at the beach, by the pool). Notice this, you might be surprise yourself. Become aware of how much water you are drinking. It is stuff we already know, but slips from our mind. Awareness helps to keep it a priority.

This summer, don’t stress about your fitness. Keep it simple, make it fun! Take time to enjoy all that summer has to offer. It’s only the Summer of 2015 once!

Summer 2015 beach waves

Summer 2015 beach waves

About our Health Expert:

Kara Bligh discovered Pilates in 2000 after working as Certified Athletic Trainer at Boston College. She obtained her comprehensive Pilates certification through the Physicalmind Institute. She has worked with a variety of clients: from those just wanting to get in shape, to professional athletes, to those with injuries or post-surgical, Multiple Sclerosis, pre-natal, post-natal, back pain, scoliosis, and more. Her clients have ranged in age from 11- 92 years old. Aside from blogging, she currently works as the Director of Fitness and Aquatics at Fuller Village in Milton, MA.

You can read more tips from Kara at karablighpilates.com.

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