May 31, 2010

Embrace Your Summer Spirit

It's Memorial Day - and whether your version of summer includes wearing white linen, grilling outside, playing football on the beach, or just enjoying some ice-cold lemonade from inside your air-conditioned office, the annual call of early summertime is beckoning - and here at bene-fit, we want to help you answer it!

Use your pre-summer days to do the necessary "prep work" you might need to start the season off on a healthy note.  For example, start a hydration plan that will take you through those hotter-than-usual sunny summer days - purchase a stylish, BPA-free water bottle and make sure to fill it up with calorie-free beverages (try water, unsweetened iced tea, or homemade iced coffee with "coffee cubes") to beat fatigue and limit bloating from those salty summer foods.

Now's the time to establish another daily prevention habit: putting on SPF 50+ sunscreen.  The best time to do it is before you're battling straps, clothes, and makeup - you know, directly after your shower.  Mix sunscreen with an organic self-tanner for a sun-safe glow in one step!

Why not enjoy the other gifts of summer's onset by making your home a healthy haven?  Open the windows, cut and display flowers, use fresh herbs in cooking and crack open the grill, and take advantage of cool mornings by working out at sunrise.  Download some classic summer tunes on your iPod and update your exercise playlists, or put together some great easy listening music to play in the background at a healthy summer cookout (check out these delicious and nutritious recipes for outdoor cooking!).

Finally, use the weather as an excuse to change up your fitness and health routines.  Try eating local during the season when Farmers' Markets are plentiful and enjoy more meatless meals, run on the beach or on a local trail to challenge your legs on new terrain, or move your daily prayer or meditation outdoors to a garden or under a tree for a new feeling of serenity in your life.

Remember, the changing of the seasons is a time of great promise, excitement, and warmth - bene-fit hopes you'll honor your fitness journey and the summer spirit with these great tips.

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