8 Ways To Have Your Healthiest Summer Yet

8 Ways To Have Your Healthiest Summer Yet

Keep your mind, body, and soul healthy.


Each year, people worry about their beach body, how they'll look in a sundress, or other appearance-related things as summer rolls around. This worry is often accompanied by extreme dieting, exercise, or other behaviors that actually may hinder one's health. So, here are my top eight tips for keeping your body, mind, and soul healthy this summer.

1. Hit The Gym At Least 3 Times A Week

This has nothing to do with having abs, a toned butt, or slender legs (although those are all awesome goals). Exercising at least three hours a week can improve cardiovascular health, release endorphins that support mental health, and increase your metabolism.

2. Buy Fresh Fruit Often

Summer is my favorite season of the year for fruit. Cherries, peaches, blackberries, strawberries and plenty of other fruits are fully in season. Fresh fruit is full of fiber, antioxidants, and healthy carbs that support digestion and overall wellness. Substituting a small bowl of fresh fruit is a perfect swap for other sugary treats!

3. Spend More Time Outdoors

With jobs, school, and other commitments, it can be extremely difficult to plan extended amounts of time outdoors. However, even if you can't take a three-day camping trip to the mountains, it is still possible to soak up some sun. Taking a 20-minute walk after work, taking your dog to the park, or going to the public pool on the weekend are all easy ways to keep active and healthy.

4. Limit Sugary Summer Drinks

Summer often brings with it a plethora of different sugar-filled drinks. Cold sweet tea, sugary iced coffee, fruit punches, and frozen alcoholic drinks (margaritas, daiquiris, etc) can all pack a huge punch. Limiting these to 1-2x a week or less will keep your blood sugar in check, as well as ward off any unwanted pounds.

5. Drink Plenty Of Water

With the blazing summer heat, it can be very difficult to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day will keep your skin glowing, your hair healthy, and your body functioning properly. The rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces each day, i.e, 65 oz. if you are 130 pounds. Add another 16oz for every 30 minutes of exercise performed!

6. Put Down Your Phone Earlier

This has more to do with circadian rhythm and fatigue than anything. Because the sun is out later, your body is already wanting to go to sleep closer to 11 p.m. or 12 noon as opposed to 9 p.m. Staying on your phone, which emits blue light signaling your brain to stay awake, can make insomnia unbearable. Try putting your phone down an hour before you plan to go to bed; this will allow for restful sleep and the ability to wake up earlier.

7. Wear Sunglasses

Not only can your favorite pair of sunnies be super cute, but they also are highly necessary during the summer. UV values from the sun reach their peak during the summer months, which can wreak havoc on your eyes. Overexposure to UV can lead to cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and other optic diseases that no one wants. Keep those sunglasses on outside and protect your eyes!

8. Find Your Quiet Place, And Spend Time In It

Whether it's a small nook in your home, a hot tub, a river close to your work, or some other place, it is important to find a place to reset your mind. Summer can be an extremely busy time for many people, and it is important to make sure your mind and soul are healthy. Spending time reflecting, journaling, praying, or reading is absolutely necessary to keep yourself fully healthy.

Hopefully, these tips are a useful reminder of ways to keep yourself healthy this summer. Health isn't just about appearance, it's about what's going on inside too! Keep these tips in mind as you head into the hot summer months.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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If You've Ever Ran A Half-Marathon Then You've Probably Had These 18 Thoughts

There's so many thoughts during a half-marathon.


Two weeks ago I ran my first ever half marathon. I've never run a race in my life before and I'm not really a runner so it was an interesting experience. Over the course of my training, I actually learned to enjoy running and I can say that I actually like it now.

This half marathon was really challenging but really rewarding. These are all the things that I was thinking about (there was probably a lot more, too) during those 13.1 miles.

1. "This is really easy but all these people are running way too fast."

2. "This is so much easier than a training run."

3. "Wow I already ran three miles."

4. "I need water."

5. *Casually sings Neon Moon by Brooks and Dunn

6. "I'm getting really hungry. I hope there's muffins at the end."

7. "Dang, this is easy. I feel like I could run for forever."

8. "Okay, so we went six miles so 13 minus six is seven. We have seven miles to go." 

9. "The sun is so hot."

10. "I could use some more water."

11. "Would my group judge me if I walked at mile eight?"

12. "Why am I running again?"

13. "I'm on mile 10 so in 10 minutes I'll be on mile 11. This will totally go by fast."

14. "I'm still on mile 10."

15. "I'm still... on... mile.... 10... now mile 11."

16. "This is the longest run of my life."

17. "Oh great, now my calf is cramping." 

18. *When the run is over* "Man, I feel like I could do another one!"


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