Health tips to Get the most out of Summer
Ever wished you had more than 24 hours in the day? We definitely do. It can be tough to fit everything in even when the days are at their longest during the summer, so personal health and fitness often take a back seat. However, most of us have had to learn the hard way that if we don’t take the best care of ourselves, it’s likely we won’t take the best care of anything else.
The good news is: There’s a set of simple solutions to this that comes in the form of consistent, small actions. Our friend and former nationally-ranked weightlifter Lindsey Stroker gave us her insights on the importance of recovery with her top tips for maintaining health below. Beat the heat and overcome your self-care stalemate by incorporating these healthy habits into your daily routine!
Water is the stuff of life; both the source and the savior of our body’s functionality. It's not only an important helper in regulating body temperature, but it also carries nutrients to our cells and flushes out the toxins, too. Performance can drop much more than you think when your body doesn't have enough water, both inside and outside the gym.
So, what is "enough water," then? Well, Lindsey explains that it varies from person to person, but half of your bodyweight converted to ounces is a solid place to start. Take this amount, mark it on your water bottles, plug it into hourly reminders, whatever you must do to stay consistent on drinking it every day--We promise your body will thank you.
While diet and exercise tend to take the forefront when it comes to keeping up with our health, sleep is just as essential. The power of a good night's sleep, and even better, getting them consistently, is often forgotten. What we must remember, though, is that getting proper rest has boundless benefits merited by research--including increasing productivity, improving the immune system, and maximizing athletic performance. If we are able to get our sleep schedules under control enough to truly harness these benefits, we can (literally) rest assured we'll be better reaching our full potentials!
Similarly to water, the optimal amount of sleep hours will vary person to person. Lindsey recommends aiming anywhere between 7-9 hours. This can sometimes be difficult in this age of hard work dawn to dusk, but the payoff will be worth it if you implement proper rest for your body. This means taking naps if and when you need to.
Fueling the body with the right types and amounts of food is crucial, especially if you're hitting workouts every day. Eating "enough" in other words means supporting your own daily activities with adequate amounts of protein, carbs, and fats. This includes safeguarding against the temptation to eat way over or way under calorie recommendations, depending on the goal. Configuring this exactly may require you to set more narrow goals and do research. However, Lindsey has provided us with some general rules of thumb that can be applied in all of our regimens, which we'll go over next.
Theres no need to chain yourself to a fad or crash diet, nor is there a need to eliminate food groups entirely--all you should really do is begin by tracking your food. This brings awareness to your habits so you can best design your own food plan from there. It's always a solid and smart choice to prioritize eating proteins that are on the leaner side; any sort will do as long as it is low in fat content. With this, incorporate carbs and healthy fats, like those found in avocados, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Finally, try your best to get in a variety of veggies in most meals, as they're great low cal sources of essential vitamins and minerals that help our bodies thrive. After all, summer is an awesome time to ensure that your plate is always filled with a rainbow of colors!
Monitor Training Volume
More is not always better! Just like many things in life, time in the gym is best taken in healthy moderation. Even if we want to achieve big muscle growth or rapid weight loss, patience and consistency is the key to success as opposed to overworking and burnout repeating itself. Not only does this style of training hinder your gains in the long run, but it's likely doing damage to your body as well. It's great to push the limits while working out, but you can risk injury to yourself if you test those boundaries too often.
Lindsey tells us that a wonderful way to do this is to get your training regimens organized more clearly and begin tracking them. This simple action, when done consistently, can help you prevent overworking yourself while still seeing gains from the work you're putting in.