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Healthy Summer Strategies

Seven healthy summer strategies, to enjoy the season and stay well.

Summer is a wonderful time where many people enjoy vacations, parties and outdoor events. Time seems a little less pressured as the kids are out of school and many of us enjoy time off from work. I know I often feel more relaxed during this time of year, even changing my persona a bit – I become “Summer Joan” and seem to laugh easier, act more spontaneously and enjoy the finer things in life – campfires, starry nights and outdoor time with friends and family.

Summer can also be a time when folks get off track from their health goals. With all the parties, barbeques and campouts, often our eating habits, sleep cycles and exercise routines can take a turn for the worse or downright disappear.

 1 – Hydrate!

Summer is a warm time of the year for most of us, plus lots of outdoor activities. Make sure you are getting enough water! Several experts recommend half of your body weight in ounces per day,  however, individual water needs vary based on your activity level, body size, and climate.

You can use your urine color as an easy indication of hydration status. Your urine should be the color of lemonade or lighter, especially before bed, otherwise you may be dehydrated.  If you play sports, work outdoors, or are doing intense exercise where you are sweating profusely, you may need to focus on electrolyte replacement as well. Ditch the sports drinks and check out this homemade electrolyte drink recipe.

Consuming less alcohol over the summer will help with hydration as well (and keeping you on track for other health goals).

2 – Choose fresh and local produce.

Summer is a great season to be a locavore! Eating locally (within 50-100 miles) of your home helps to reduce your carbon footprint as well as enjoy the benefit of food that is picked fresh, ripe and to your table within hours to days! Farmers markets are great options to find the best local produce and many grocery  stores will highlight in-season local options.

Wondering how to figure out if your produce is ripe – check out my YouTube video with TJ the Grumpy Grocer, for help on choosing ripe, summer favorites.

3 – Bring a healthy recipe with you.

Summer parties and backyard cookouts are great social events which are important for summer feel good vibes. However, most summer parties are loaded with high salt, high fat and highly processed “treats” like hot dogs, chips, and frozen desserts. If you are working on maintaining your healthy lifestyle this summer, one great tip is to bring a healthy side dish or main course with you to the party!

Consider a whole-grain side dish like farro with summer veggies , a refreshing watermelon mint salad , or a tropical fruit salad ?

4 – Focus on daily movement.

Summer is a great time to create a daily movement habit. Often the weather is more conducive to outdoor activities like biking, hiking, swimming and water sports. Many of us enjoy time in our yards and gardens during spring and summer as well – don’t discount this type of “lifestyle exercise”!

If you can pair movement with an activity that you really enjoy, you are more likely to get moving! Taking the time to set up your daily movement habit while the weather and your schedule are more adaptable will help you stay active when life picks up again in the fall and the weather gets cooler or wetter.

5 – Blue and green must often be seen.

Have you ever noticed that you enjoy a sense of peace and relaxation when you are in nature? Humans are hardwired to be engaged in our natural surroundings, however so many of us spend most of our time indoors. Getting your feet in the grass, water or dirt is often referred to as a grounding experience.

There is new data that shows contact with the natural world boosts our mood because the earth provides free negative ions to our bodies that literally give you more energy and improve mood. These are especially high in grass, near waterfalls, dense forests and sand.  Make some time to be in nature this summer – camping, hiking and enjoying water sports. Your body, soul and mind will thank you.

6 – Keep a bedtime routine.

With summer nights being lighter for many of us it is easy to let the summer fun extend later into the night, and with kids being out of school and many folks on vacation, our morning routines are not so rushed. However, keeping a sleep routine can be a helpful tool to stay refreshed and enjoy even more summer fun.

Keeping a set bedtime and wakeup time despite weekends, trips and parties helps your brain and rhythms stay consistent. Keeping your bedroom dark and cool will help you fall asleep faster too. Staying off screens before bed, avoiding late night snacks and alcohol, as well as creating bedtime routine help you get good sleep to feel your best all summer long!

7 – Prioritize self-care before socialization.

Summer can be a busy time filled with fun and events. Make sure you are taking some time daily to rest and recharge. This can be as simple as a morning breath work or journal practice or getting in your favorite yoga poses or exercise.

Consider a digital detox– an hour, a day or a full weekend without your phone or social media! This can be so freeing and help to create true presence with the events of your life. Spending time doing activities you enjoy like hobbies or sports is another way to recharge and be ready for all of your other summer social activities. You will find yourself more able to engage with others and enjoy your time with friends and family all summer long!


Take a moment and commit to at least one strategy for a fun AND healthy summer. It’s possible!

Looking for more tips or support? Contact me for a free personalized strategy session today.