Summer’s almost here. Let’s make it the summer of self love. After all, can’t you just sense that spirit of hope, happiness and optimism in the air? There’s a jubilant sense of celebration in the bursts of nature all around us. It’s in the way the trees and flowers all around us are starting to bloom in their most beautiful and vivid colours. Not to mention the long days and bright, balmy evenings.
All around us the natural world is showing us the best version of itself. Maybe it’s time we all followed suit? Summer’s the perfect time to give ourselves an honest audit of our physical and mental wellbeing. This doesn’t just mean getting fit and working on your Summer Body, as it’s often referred to (although exercising, eating right and feeling comfortable in our own skin are all important to our health). It means giving some care and attention to the most neglected aspects of your well being and getting out of bad habits that society and the media encourage us to embrace. Here are some summer health habits that we could all get into…
Make this the year you try meditation
Over summer, well, all year really we can feel as though our lives are permanently stuck in fast forward mode. Time seems to pass us by so quickly and the pace of living can seem so frantic that it gets harder to derive the joy we need to get from our lives.
If only there were some way to slow down the breakneck pace of life and smell the proverbial (and literal) roses. As a matter of fact there is. And this should be the summer in which you try it.
Meditation is not only a great form of stress relief, it can help to quiet and relax a mind that’s exhausted from having to juggle family, friends, business, money, a career and all the myriad obligations that make up adult life.
Mindfulness meditation can be extremely effective in giving our mental and physical health a boost while helping us to get out of our heads more and enjoy the humble pleasures of the world around us. Best of all, you don’t need to meditate for hours and hours a day to achieve enlightenment. Just five minutes a day is enough.
Enjoy your food. All of your food!
Summer is the time for barbecues in the sun, gargantuan salads and picnics in the park. Enjoying our summer and enjoying our foods go hand in hand. Just remember to enjoy all of your food. Don’t starve yourself of a particular food group. This might result in a quick weight loss boost, but it’ll do little to better your health. Our bodies need fats, carbs and proteins and cutting out an entire food group is not only unsustainable, it can risk damaging our health in the long term. For instance, here are just a few of the things that happen to our bodies when we entirely cut out carbs.
Not all carbs or all fats or all protein sources are created equal. A healthy diet comes with a better understanding of different food groups, rather than jettisoning them altogether. Opt for lean proteins and plant proteins rather than relying on sources like red meats. Opt for complex carbohydrates like whole grains, veggies and legumes. Opt for healthier fat sources like seeds, avocado or nuts rather than saturated fats or trans fats (man-made fats) which can increase your levels of LDL cholesterol.
A happy, healthy body requires nourishment, not starvation! Enjoy your food, all of your food, just focus more on enjoying more food and fewer food-like edible substances like prepackaged, processed fare.
Regular exercise is key to good health. But the path to a healthy body lies not on the treadmill alone. Don’t get me wrong, cardiovascular exercise is important. It not only burns fat, it also keeps your heart healthy and ensures a steady flow of nutrients and oxygen to the brain, enhancing your cognitive faculties and improving memory. It also does the same for your skin helping you to get that healthy glow.
However, while cardio has many benefits it should be supplemented by a strength training regimen. Even if you don’t want rippling muscle definition, strength training can improve your shape and proportions by developing your muscles. You’ll also help to boost your metabolism so that you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re at rest. As well as increase your bone density, leading to fewer issues with your bones later in life. It can help to improve your posture. What’s more, feeling strong can be incredibly empowering and make you feel much more confident and comfortable in your own skin…
Id there anything more attractive and fulfilling than confidence? A little knowledge, a little common sense and a lot of patience and self-love can help to make this your happiest and healthiest summer ever.
“We are living from inside out not from outside in.” ―