Summer Fun: Tips for Staying Healthy and Fit in the Heat It’s the end of the school year and time for summer break! Summer is the perfect time to get fit and stay healthy. With warm weather, open pools, and many opportunities to take advantage of outdoor sports, getting fit and staying healthy is also fun. However, it's also a time for vacations, BBQs, ice cream and other not-so-healthy habits and when it's hot outside, sometimes the last thing you want to do is exercise. However, if you're not careful, it's easy to slip into unhealthy habits during the summer. The Center for Closing the Health Gap offers the following tips to help you and your kids stay fit and healthy over the summer. Schedule time for exercise One of the best ways to get fit and stay healthy is by exercising regularly but exercise doesn't have to be a chore, especially in the summer. Nice weather and longer days make exercising outside great for families. Find a neighborhood or local pool and go swimming, or get your family and neighbors together to go for a walk or turn on some music and dance. There are many ways you can get fit and stay fit and have fun doing do it. When kids are involved, taking them to the park, playing with them and pushing younger ones in a stroller are all great exercise ideas. Encourage your kids to play outside instead of watching TV or computer or playing video games. Playing sports with the kids, like tossing Frisbees, playing soccer or pitching baseballs are great ways for the whole family to have fun and stay in shape over the summer. Since it can get hot during the day in the summer, it's best to schedule your outside exercise and activities during the morning or in the evening, when the sun is not so high or hot. Heavy exercising and sports during the day makes everyone more prone to dehydration and heatstroke. Watch what you eat You don't have to give up sweets and junk entirely, but it should be consumed in moderation. Limit your use of soda and other sugary drinks, like lemonade and iced tea which are loaded with sugar, and drink water instead. This is especially important during the summer months, when it's easier to get dehydrated. Also, exercise some restraint at parties and BBQs - maybe have one hot dog instead of two, or skip the pie and grab some strawberries or watermelon instead. Avoid the chips and other salty, greasy foods at BBQs and eat fresh vegetables and fruits instead. By doing so, you can stay in shape and stay healthy while enjoying summer parties and BBQs. Drinking plenty of water is important any time of the year, but it's particularly important during the summer when you're sweating more than usual, especially if you and your family are spending time playing outside. Make sure you keep water handy if you plan on being outside for long periods of time. The summer is one of the best times to get fit and stay healthy as a family. Take advantage of the warm summer months to resolve to be active, eat healthy and take care of yourself and your family's
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