Healthy Lifestyle

Simple Ways To Have An Active Summer

Simple ways to have an active summerWith the beautiful days of summer ahead of us it’s time to get outside! Enjoying the weather can naturally lead us to be more physically active, which is good for both our minds and our bodies. Let’s intentionally embrace these opportunities and find pleasure in our movement this summer!

There are ways to  incorporate physical activity into your daily life and make it fun, so that it doesn’t feel like work. With so many amazing places to explore physical activity doesn’t need to be repetitive, boring, or expensive.

Let’s look at some ways to make this a great, active summer!


Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Everyday Life

If you live a busy life and struggle to find time to be active, try to incorporate it into your daily life.

  • Choose a parking spot far away from the building when out and about.
  • Walk, or bike, places if possible when running errands, getting together with friends, etc.
  • Carry your child or give them a piggy back ride to the car, the lunch table, or bedtime.
  • Race up and down the stairs in between other less active pursuits.

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Planning an Intentional Summer

planning an intentional summerThink back to the end of the school year when you were a kid and had the entire summer ahead of you! For many of us it was an exciting time to dream of all the fun things we would do and adventures we would have during our break. As we get older, responsibilities tend to crowd out the childlike wonder that comes with summer, but what if we could reclaim just a bit of it?

What if we let our imaginations take flight and listened to what our hearts really want for this summer? We may not be able to do all the things on our summer bucket list (a trip to Hawaii, or vacation at an all inclusive resort), but we may be able to clarify what is important and lean into those things in little ways.

Clarify Your Values

Think about your priorities! If you don’t clarify your values it is easy to allow other people’s values to direct your days. Here are some exercises that can help you think through your values and decide what is really important to you.

  • Take some time to think through what activities you would enjoy this summer, things that bring you life.  Do you notice a theme?

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It’s not just the whales: How plastic impacts OUR health!

plasticEarlier this week it is estimated that over a billion people from across the world celebrated Earth Day! This year Earth Day’s theme was “Protect Our Species”. We were encouraged to do our part to protect endangered animals. One of the ways we can do this is by reducing our use of plastic.

When it comes to plastic, small changes can have a big impact on these animals, as well as the environment. In addition, reducing our use of plastic can have a great impact on OUR health!

The Impact of Plastic on the Environment

Our culture’s reliance on plastic is having a major impact on the environment. Many people do not think about the fact that plastic is made from crude oil. The manufacturing process emits a substantial amount of pollution and, once created, plastic is not biodegradable. According to the Natural Environment website, it takes about 400 years for a plastic bag to break down.

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Are You Listening to Your Body?

Body awarenessIn our fast paced society, many of us have lost the ability to simply be present in our bodies. We go through our days following our schedules, and to-do-lists, never really noticing what is going on inside. From an early age we are taught to ignore our body’s sensations. While these sensations can be convenient to disregard at times, if we consistently disregard what our body is telling us, there may be a price to pay!


We Are Taught to Ignore Our Bodily Sensations

We’ve been taught, in subtle ways, to ignore our body since we were very young. Most of these messages were given by well intentioned adults in our lives.

  • Having to wait until mealtimes to eat.
  • Being required to clean your plate.
  • Waiting to go to the bathroom until between classes.
  • Being taught to hold back when you have to pass gas.
  • Having our feelings minimized, dismissed, or punished.
  • Being pushed to keep going when we were tired and needed to rest.

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Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin

A Crucial Vitamin for your Health
Vitamin D

Vitamin D is often referred to as the “Sunshine Vitamin” because your body synthesizes cholesterol into Vitamin D when your skin in exposed to sunlight. Many people think about their need for Vitamin D during the winter, but believe that they can get enough Vitamin D easily when it is sunny outside. For a majority of people in the industrial world this is simply not the case!

Unless a large amount of your skin is exposed to the sun for at least 30 minutes daily, there is a good chance that you are deficient in Vitamin D. While your diet can contribute to your level of Vitamin D, we were genetically designed get our Vitamin D from exposure to the sun.  Most people living in northern climates can not get enough sunlight to produce optimal levels of Vitamin D. I like to think about how much time our ancestors used to spend outside, and compare that to our modern lifestyles. When you think about it that way, it is obvious that virtually all of us spend WAY more time indoors than our relatives generations ago. 

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The Importance of Movement (NOT just Exercise)

Movement vs. Exercise

movement or exerciseEveryone knows that exercise is important! But what if I told you that I was more concerned about the level of movement in your life, than how much you exercise?

I know, it’s shocking! Our culture is so focused on exercise that we forget the value of simply moving throughout the day. We think that we are living an active lifestyle if we go to the gym regularly, however if we are sitting the rest of our day we are still living a sedentary life.

The Danger of Sitting

According to Dr. James Levine, the director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”

What is even more surprising is that the negative effects of sitting are even apparent in those who exercise daily.  We need to change our view of movement and find ways to incorporate natural movement into each part of our day!

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