Small steps to stay healthy for summer
Life can be hectic - there always seems something to do and someone needing us to do something for them. We often put our needs aside to do what has to be done and this can really take its toll on our health and vitality, especially coming into summer. It’s a season when things get a little crazy and frazzled, and feeling nervy seems to be the order of the day. Short of stopping the clock and taking three days off to have massages and unwind (if only) - what can we do to help combat stress, anxiety and all the chaos and havoc the holidays can have on our bodies?
The great news is there are many little things that don’t take up too much time that can help immensely. I know what you’re thinking - and before you read these tips, just remember small things really do make for great changes. Often our challenges feel insurmountable or we feel so stressed we don’t consider the small things. Sometimes we think small things won’t be effective or even make much of a difference, but they truly can and do help – just give them a try.
1. Mix health with your social life
It’s a great opportunity to let off some steam, relieve some tension from the day and have a laugh or catch up with friends while doing something active. It can be a walk in the park after work, a catch up at the beach or trying a new group exercise class. Adding movement and exercise to your socialising can keep you motivated, inspired and help you de-stress. You can always have that glass of wine afterwards.
2. Use the fine weather to be an outdoor chef
Try organising dinners outdoors, at the park or even at home on the BBQ. It’s an easy way to have a hassle free dinner with no dishes and ideal to get some good protein and salads. Home-made meat patties are quick and easy, avocado and cucumber salads with some coconut shavings and nuts are a great way to add natural fats for reducing body fat and helping manage hunger.
3. Water, water and more water
Water is great for fat burning, managing appetite, improving energy, helping with focus and clarity, improving concentration, detoxing and so much more. Try some new ideas to inspire some extra water consumption:
- Party water
Sparkling water with some diced strawberries for an extra vitamin C hit and the party feel.
Sparkling water and lemon in a tall glass for my G&T lookalike – add some bitters to aid and stimulate digestion.
- Refreshing water
Add some cucumber to reduce inflammation and fluid retention.
- ‘Pep me’ water
Warm water and pieces of lime help pep the liver and flush the body, or try some apple cider vinegar for added detoxification.
- Energy water/flight water
1 tsp of chia seeds for your energy hit and to keep you hydrated and ready to go.
4. Five minute magic to de-stress
We need to be selfish and prioritise ourselves. We are stronger and better able to manage stress when we make time for our own exercise and healthy habits. Try taking five minute slots during the day to stretch a little or a quick walk around the block or up the stairs at the office to help reset the mind and body and clear the head. Small things really do make for great changes.
Just remember we are the sum of what we do consistently, so adding some small things on a daily basis goes a long way to how we feel, how we sleep, how we manage stress and how well our bodies function and look. Choose simple, easy options that don’t require a lot of preparation, like grabbing a water bottle and making sure you drink throughout the day, or adding some extra green tea to help with stress. You will thank yourself afterwards.
Lee-Anne Wann is a fitness specialist, nutritionist, presenter and author.