Summer is one of those rare times when a slower pace of life is welcome. Even if you don’t feel swimsuit-ready at the start of summer, it’s a great time to make strides to improve your health over the next few months!
Whether you have kids or grandkids that are out of school or it’s just a slower time around the office, summer tends to be a slower season for most people. And there are a few easy ways to work in some fun health-building activities for the warm weather months!
Go Outside and Play
I have talked before about the importance of going outside for your mental energy, but really there are lots of other benefits.
For a more detailed list of benefits, check out this great post.
The other aspect of this idea is to incorporate play. Regardless of your age or stage of life play is helpful for relaxation, connecting in a meaningful way to those around us and building connections in our brains.
The combination of going outside and playing is a power punch for boosting our overall health!
Grow Some Food
Even if you aren’t a master gardener, summer is a great time to try your hand at growing some food.
My oldest son recently turned 4 and this summer we are going to try a small (tiny really) container garden. I found an adorable kit on Amazon that includes lots of things to make an awesome pizza – tomatoes, cilantro, basil, etc. Our harvest will make a delicious pizza! How cool is that? (Here’s the pizza garden kit I found- I can’t really recommend it since I haven’t tried it yet, but the thought is cool even if it turns into a total failure!)
Even if the idea of growing your own food overwhelms you, it’s also a great season to get connected to your local food sources. Spring and summer is the most consistent time of year to find farmers markets or sign up for local food co-ops. You will need to research some local information to learn more.
Cook From Scratch
Similar to growing your own food, or sourcing locally grown food, summer is also a great time to slow down and cook something from scratch. I love this because it reminds me how many steps have been automated by our modern “convenient” lifestyle. It also reminds me to slow down and enjoy the process as well as the result of my efforts!
Some of my favorite things to cook from scratch over the summer?
Here’s a favorite sugar-free Strawberry Cake. It’s so good I usually double the recipe!
Stock your pantry with fresh condiments! I almost never use a real recipe, but here’s one that is a similar outline to what I usually do for some fresh and delicious ketchup! Trust me – this is a delightful way to make your summer time burgers even tastier!
And because the hot weather practically begs for a lighter lunch salad, don’t forget to whip up some healthy dressings that don’t make you feel guilty pouring over your veggies!
Read a Book
I heard a statistic the other day that suggested that the average college graduate only reads 3 books… during the rest of their life!
Whether you have a college degree or not, reading is a way to keep expanding your mind and challenging your own belief systems. It allows us to better understand ourselves and the world around us. It allows us to expand our capacity for empathy and our ability to ask better questions of ourselves, the situations we are in and those around us.
But I don’t have time to read a book!
You can easily find at least 10 minutes a day to read a book. At that rate after 3 weeks you will have given 210 minutes to reading. Do you think you could do 10 minutes a day for 3 weeks? Probably… you just have to decide it’s worth that 10 minute block of time and make it a priority.
To be fair, I’m in the process of trying to make this a new habit as well. I have several books that I have yet to read that could be very helpful in my career, in my personal relationships, in my spiritual life, etc if I were to just read them.
The longer summer afternoons while the kids are napping is one of the times I plan to sneak in a few minutes here and there to get my reading list going.
Take Up a Hobby
With the longer days of summer and so many people traveling, summer is a great time to take up a hobby. And challenging your mind and body to do something new or different can be very beneficial!
Have you always wanted to play an instrument? Or maybe you want to knit a scarf for the winter. Whatever it is, with options like YouTube available, you can learn just about anything. Want a more structured approach? Check out Udemy, an online educational platform that has affordable courses you can take for almost anything you want to learn!
Or, of course, you can just grab a friend that already knows how to do what you want to learn and have them slow down and teach you!
Don’t Waste Your Summer
The bottom line is that this approaching season has lots of opportunities for you to engage in a new and different way with your environment. You can play in the dirt, you can grow your own food, you can whip up a new recipe or start a cool new hobby… but whatever you choose to do make sure you don’t just waste the summer watching television and taking naps.
To be clear, naps will totally happen at my house too, but not before I tackle some other fun projects!
What Do You Have Planned?
So what does your summer look like? Have I got your juices flowing to come up with some fun new activities? Or maybe you already had some ideas about vacations or projects around the house? Or maybe you would add to my short list of how to make your health a priority this summer? I would love to hear your ideas. Just tap it into the comment box below so we can chat about it. Now, go outside and play! 😉