June 14, 2010

Tweak the Season

First of all, a quick note to our loyal - and patient! - readers. As they say in the business, I've had to "taper" my posting over the past two weeks due to the simultaneous whirlwinds of a cross-country move, helping my parents move and retire, and enjoying a brief summer vacation. Worry not - from here on out, the bene-fit blog will still be updating on Mondays throughout the summer and all year long! 

That said, the harried activity of early summer - such as trips, big events, and general warm-weather fun - can make it near impossible to maintain a regular exercise schedule, much less a semblance of a healthy diet. Barbecues, weddings, and international travel can be seen as obstacles to keeping up with your regular routine.

But wait - isn't a bit of "breaking routine" exactly what summer is about?  Those "obstacles" can also be seen as rewards or release.  Longer days and early sunrises don't necessarily mean summer is the best time to start training for a marathon or squeezing in extra workouts. It might just be that your body (and mind!) are telling you to beat the heat, enjoy some much-needed rest, and free yourself from the confines of your otherwise stressful "regular" schedule.

Whether your break consists of two lavish weeks in a Tuscan villa or two hours in a bubbly bathtub at home, we here at bene-fit have a few easy suggestions for tweaking your health and fitness routine to make room for some summer fun: 

IF YOU...like to get up and run first thing in the morning.
TRY...changing up your 6am jog with a sunset stroll. Take down the intensity and enjoy the long summer evenings without having to worry about cutting it short or getting to work on time. 

IF YOU...mix up a boring green salad every day for lunch. 
TRY...switching up your veggies for some sweet summer fruit.  Instead of lettuce, use water-packed and low-cal melon as the base of your salad and build in berries, nuts, and Greek yogurt dressing for a real treat. 

IF YOU...take yoga from an instructor inside a studio. 
TRY...grabbing a friend or partner and practicing a few poses (safely!) on a beach or in a nearby park.  Pack up a healthy snack or lunch for post-stretch and renew your personal commitment to your practice. 

IF YOU...always forget to drink enough water, even when it's hot outside. 
TRY...sporting a stylish bracelet that reminds you how many glasses of water you need and inspires you in the process. 

IF YOU...can't afford a big vacation this year. 
TRY...spreading out your two weeks into a series of smaller, health-focused trips.  Try attending a yoga retreat, booking a running tour, wine tasting on a bicycle, or taking a healthy culinary lesson.

As anthropologist John Lubbock once said, "rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time."  Take your time this week and make the small changes that bene-fit you with peace, relaxation, and satisfaction this summer.

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