Are you ready to fit in some fun this summer? Summertime can be a great time to get out and play! The best part of the warmer weather is how you can genuinely enjoy the amazing tastes of the season and activities that you choose to do, while still making progress on your fitness goals.
Go outside and play! I take advantage of summer by bringing my workouts outdoors. While I’m certainly no Lance Armstrong, I have really enjoyed hopping on my bike for some short rides around my neighborhood. Sometimes the whole family joins along. I have a family outdoor pool membership for the summer months and swimming is a great low impact, full body workout that’s fun!
Heading to the beach? Seize the chance to go for a walk along the shoreline. Lake Quannapowitt, which I think is quite fun to say, is a pretty lake not far from my hometown. I break out my favorite adidas sneakers and ask a friend to join me in walking the path around the lake. The 3.36 mile walk flies by and has the added advantage of getting some quality time to catch-up with a friend. On days when I’m feeling more adventurous, I’ll take the whole family on a hike. There are some great trails nearby and one of my favorites is the Middlesex Fells Reservation. There’s an old stone tower that’s atop one of the hills that I used to climb as a child, and I love taking my children up there to enjoy the same experience and to see the fabulous views of Boston.
Freshen up! There’s an abundance of fresh and local fruits and vegetables to enjoy during the summer. I love hitting my local farm stand for some fresh zucchini and asparagus which I love to grill in the summer and, despite growing-up thinking I didn’t like beets, I’ve found they are a new salad favorite, although what doesn’t taste good with a sprinkle of goat cheese?
It’s peak fruit season too and I’ll often grab some delicious strawberries, blueberries, watermelon and cherries. I remember being pregnant over the summer with my oldest son and how I craved cherries. Every day my dad would come to visit and he would stop at the farm stand near my house and bring me a brown paper bag filled with dark, ripe cherries. I remember one day, I tore open the bag, peered inside, looked at my dad, looked back in the bag, looked at my dad and said, “What’s with the grapes?” He sheepishly looked at me and said, “Cherries are out of season.” I remember replying, in all seriousness, “But I’m still pregnant!” I lost my father over a decade ago to cancer and I miss him more than words can say, but I always smile when I see cherries back in season and remember our funny exchange. Summer is fleeting, so enjoy the incredible tastes (and memories) while you can.
Try new experiences! I have three sons, and I have always said that having boys is like having big dogs… they need to run. In a never-ending effort to exhaust even some of their energy, we’ve tried kayaking, snorkeling and fishing (full disclosure: I walked while they fished with their father). This summer we plan to try paddle-boarding and a ropes course. I’ve also really enjoyed putting my workout clothes to good use by taking some outdoor yoga and boot camp classes. One of my friends has also recommended I give spin classes a try! Spin classes involve a high intensity cycling workout, so are great for losing weight and toning up.
Go old school! Some nostalgic favorites like miniature golf, tossing a Frisbee in the backyard, or setting up a volleyball net or cornhole board game at a barbeque, can provide some fun in the sun! My youngest son really enjoys dusting off the tennis racquets and playing a game at the outdoor courts nearby. I used to love playing tetherball tennis during some summer pool parties at my neighbor’s house growing up and it’s something that is easily set up and doesn’t take up a large footprint. Really hot day? You’d be surprised the level of workout you can get by having a good old-fashioned water balloon fight!
Light up the grill! From chicken breasts and lean cuts of beef to shrimp and salmon and a whole host of veggies, you can prepare some healthy and flavorful meals that are quick and delicious. Choosing these proteins over hot dogs, ribs and chicken wings can save you from an unwanted abundance of fat and calories! If I’m having a burger, I aim for lean ground beef or preferably ground bison, and I’ll use Boston lettuce as a wrap in place of the bun.
Make choices that are worth it! I balance out whatever treats I like to splurge on. I believe it’s not about never having a cupcake; it’s about not always having a cupcake. If, on a hot day, everyone is going for ice-cream, I’ll pick a kiddie sized cone to enjoy. My go-to treat is vanilla soft serve with chopped walnuts or peanuts. I typically would choose to have a glass of FitVine Wine or maybe even use it to make a light, refreshing sangria rather than a 500+ calorie frozen piña colada, strawberry daiquiri or margarita.
While the summer months are fleeting, your results don’t have to be. This summer can shape up to be your best yet!