Thursday, July 2, 2015

Independence Day Do's and Don'ts

Every holiday, the health-minded are faced with challenges to their normal rise and grind routines. In America, most holidays involve some sort of lounging, boozing or feasting, and that just doesn't sync well with a health-hustlin' fool like me. That being said, here are my top tips for not totally surrendering all the hard work you've put in this summer to stay fit from the inside out this 4th of July weekend.

This is what I was doing last year's 4th of July... Independence Classic Fitness Competition.

Stay Active. Find some sort of exercise, sport, fitness class, or activity to enjoy. Whether it's a sand volleyball game, a water volleyball game, some frisbee throwing, flying a kite, walking the dogs, or whatever — opt to go instead of sit. Or, at least earn some sitting and lounging time by getting in a good, earned sweat (Texas humidity doesn't count, y'all).

Stay Hydrated. Not only should you drink extra water during the hot summer months to fight heat exhaustion, but also because it will help you feel full. When you're water depleted, you may fill flat and light for a little while, but if you're going to be outside or in the sun, it's important to always be drinking something like iced water (try adding lemon/stevia), iced tea, or another stevia-sweetened beverage (try Bai5). Holding a cold drink keeps one hand from picking at chips and cookies, too! Plus, the more you're full of water, the less you will indulge in gains-killing alcohol (which makes you fluffy and puffy).

Stay Prepared with Food. Usually, grilled options are great. Think turkey burgers, bison burgers, chicken breasts, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, onions, and (organic) corn. If you're heading to a friend's house or party, always bring something light and fresh you can munch on. I usually bring a giant salad full of spring greens, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, broccoli, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, onions, carrots, and pack a bottle of light dressing or something to top it with. If it takes you bringing your own stocked cooler, do it. It's worth the extra effort.

Stay Protected from the Sun. If you're going to be out and about in the sun, either wear some organic, all-natural sunscreen or cover up with a hat and some sun-repellant apparel. Skin cancer is no joke, y'all.

Despite the simplicity of the above tips, I hope they help at least remind you of a couple things you may have already known, or maybe inspired you to do something different. Happy Independence Day, friends. Let's take a moment to thank our ancestors and all those who have sacrificed for our freedom.

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