Summer vacation screams outdoor activities. You might think it is impossible to actually gain weight when the entire season revolves around fun in the sun. But not all summer activities involve an intense workout on the soccer field or laps in the pool. After all, the season was custom made for BBQs and roasted marshmallows.
Unfortunately, it is incredibly easy to pack on a few unwanted pounds during the summer. But luckily, the extra weight gain is easy to avoid if you know what to watch out for.
Do Something Productive
If you don’t have something to occupy your time, it is easy to spend the summer moving from sofa to fridge and back again. The best way to combat laziness and unnecessary eating is by doing something productive. Here are a few examples of things you could be doing:
- Volunteer – There are always organizations looking for helpers.
- Work – Don’t wait for the ultimate dream job to plop in your lap. Just do something, anything. A part-time job will get you off the sofa, out of the house, socializing with other people, and put a few extra bucks in your pocket.
- Take a class – No, not that kind of class. Learn something fun. Take a photography class. Learn to play the guitar. Don’t let your brain waste away this summer!
Plan Out Your Day
During the school year, you have an intense schedule. Every minute of your day is accounted for. Come summertime, you are probably excited to kick back and relax.
While you don’t need something super rigid, it is helpful to set a plan for your life. Otherwise, you’ll start sleeping later and later each day. After all, you don’t have any reason to get out of bed.
However, excessive sleep and an overall lazy lifestyle will start to affect your waistline. Instead, inject a little structure into your day. Set your alarm. Wake up at a decent hour. Eat your meals at the regular time (no 2pm lunches and 9pm suppers).
Plan activities at various times throughout the day; this will help keep your schedule on track and give you something to look forward to. For example, offer to make dinner for the family a few days a week. Not only will this keep you busy, it will also help ensure you are eating healthy foods.
Speaking of staying busy, when you are bored and have nothing to do, your body is low on both energy and enthusiasm. Don’t let yourself get into that rut.
Limit your computer and television time to just two hours day. Spend the rest of the time doing something. Clean your room. Organize your school supplies for next year. Purge your closet of clothes you don’t wear anymore. Take the dog for a walk. Go to the library.
Not only will this help you avoid the cookie jar, it will also make you feel like you accomplished something that day.
Don’t Let the Heat Be Your Excuse
Yes, it is hot. It’s summer, after all. But don’t let the sun’s bright rays or elevated temperatures stop you from being healthy. If you can’t bring yourself to exercise outside, take the workout indoors.
Don’t worry. The stuffy, meat-market gym isn’t your only indoor exercise option. Grab your friends and hit the bowling alley. See if you can find a trampoline gym somewhere close by. Strap yourself into a harness and climb a rock wall.
If you would rather exercise outside, that’s great. Try swimming laps at the local pool. Or, plan an early morning run before it gets oppressively hot.
Be Conscious of What You Eat
What are some of the most popular summer activities? BBQs and picnics. What do those events have in common? An unlimited supply of food.
Make these gatherings more about the people and less about the food. Move away from the buffet table. Strike up a conversation with someone and turn your back on the eats.
When it is time to dish up, don’t go overboard on portion sizes. And make your food selections healthy. A dish of fruit is better than a brownie sundae.
Summer vacation is a much needed break from the stress and obligations of the school year. However, it can be an unhealthy time of year if you aren’t careful. Be mindful of what you are doing and eating so you can avoid unwanted pounds.
Guest author Megan Rivas is a health and fitness writer. It seems like just yesterday she was offering advice on avoiding winter weight gain. Now, it is time to transition to summer!