As we say farewell to cold weather, let's get ready to greet summer--and all the warmth, joy, renewal, and health benefits that accompany it. The season is a time to get healthy--physically, mentally, and spiritually. Here are my top 10 tips to boost your health this summer!
pend time outdoors .
Between the pandemic and the winter, we've spent too much time indoors.
Research confirms that being out in natural settings is helpful for well-being and has positive effects on cognition beyond those from exercise alone.
So, whether it's cloudy, humid, hot, or cool, grab your gear (water bottle, hat, sunscreen) and get outside! Take out the bike or tennis shoes instead of the car to get to your not-too-far-away destination, play tennis, basketball, or jump in a pool, and make a habit of taking a stroll after dinner.
nclutter your life.
Spring clean your house AND your life. It's a great feeling to purge closets and drawers, as well as shed toxic relationships and bad habits.
Start by eating a little less sugar, drinking a little less alcohol--and saying "no" to unhealthy people.
ind your mind.
If you're feeling down or anxious, or just don't like how your thoughts have been lately, work on improving that. There's no shame in feeling depressed or in asking for help. How we feel mentally drastically affects our daily life.
Consult a therapist for a virtual or in-person session, talk to your rabbi, or jot down your thoughts in a journal. Make your mind a priority.
ake your meals .
Eating out or carrying out may seem like a good option, but it's healthier (not to mention easier on your wallet) to make your own meals (think better portions, calories, fat, and sodium). Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of fresh farmer's market finds and to make simple meals on the grill.
For breakfast, try oatmeal topped with fresh berries and nuts. For lunch, throw together a "garbage" salad of leftovers. For dinner, grill some fish and vegetables.
xercise--because your life depends on it.
No more excuses. Get moving!
Movement and healthy eating are the keys to health.
Every day you must find time to move. Choose what you like and schedule it in your calendar.
Is it a local Zumba class, a pickleball league, a jog with a friend, or a workout video on YouTube? Is it early morning, afternoon, or after work? You pick--but just do it!
amp up your meals with fiber .
Fiber is crucially important to cardiovascular and digestive health, and can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. Yet we don't eat enough of it!
Start adding ground flaxseed or chia seed to your meals. Ever try making a whole wheat challah? This should be your staple from now on! Replace all "whites" -- like white bread and rice--with whole grains: brown rice, whole wheat bread, wheat crackers, and whole wheat pasta.
ake time for you .
Are you a parent, a caretaker, an employee? You can't do any of those jobs well if you don't take time for
A little each day (an evening soak in a lavender bath or an hour of pleasure reading) or each week (hire a weekly babysitter or hit the local coffee house with your favorite magazine) can regenerate you.
lluminate your inner spirit .
Add things to your life that speak to your soul. Attend services, work on a hobby, do a mitzvah, or meditate.
Socializing is important for keeping yourself cognitively fit. Loneliness increases vulnerability to cognitive decline, especially among the elderly.
So plan lots of get-togethers with friends, co-workers, and family this summer!
at like an Israeli .
The first time I visited Israel, I couldn't believe there was a salad bar for breakfast! What a great way to start the day. Much better than a blueberry muffin or sugared cereal. Vegetables are not just for lunch and dinner, and will help you feel satiated and curb sugar cravings all day.
Try them for breakfast in a green smoothie, with broccoli and spinach in your eggs, or as avocado and tomatoes on whole grain toast.
Have a wonderful--and healthful--summer!
Kim Seiden is a Certified Nutrition Consultant who believes in the power of healthy eating as a means to living an optimal life. She works one-on-one with people to teach them how to lose weight and live healthfully, and has a website/blog at healthyfood4life.com.