Memorial Day weekend is coming up and that means summer activities, spending more time outside, and summer attractions opening up for the summer. It also means good food, temptations, and the extra push you may need to give yourself to stay on track with your nutrition for your health and fitness goals - whatever they may be. For some people fall and winter carry the greatest temptations with the vast amount of sweets and comfort foods, but for me it's the summer. Cool nights, warm days, awesome food...yes this is the time I am truly tested.
I have huge towering goals, which consist of competing in my first fitness/bodybuilding competition early next year, and I have to stay on track with my weight loss and muscle gains. With my goals... it's very important that I stay on track throughout the summer to keep myself on a good path toward my journey to the stage. I've taken the liberty to jot down some helpful tips that can help you stay on track no matter what your health and fitness goals are as well as some everyday helpful hints for just enjoying the season.
These are my top tips for having a healthy, active, and safe Memorial Day weekend and summer season!
- Use a good sunscreen. When you are not working on your tan by the pool it is important to use an effective sunscreen. We all know that too much sun can be harmful to your skin. I love the Hawaiian Tropics line, but you can use whatever you think works best for you.
- Keep the bugs away with a safe, yet effective bug spray. Nowadays there are so many options to choose from and you must be careful when it comes to the ingredients in the bug spray that you use, especially with children. My family and I have been using Bug Ban from NOW. First I'd just like to take a moment and compliment the scent. It is not something you would expect from a bug spray because a lot of the bug sprays have a horrible chemical smell to them which can turn people off and others despise wearing it altogether. I love that it's a safe and effective natural insect repellent and also has a sweet citrus scent. I have no issues using it on my daughter because it doesn't reek of chemical smells and ingredients. It's safe for her and we all know how kids are - they love to put anything and everything in their mouth and in my daughter's case... she loves to lick everything. No matter if it's syrup from breakfast or lotion after bath time, she will find a way to get her arm to her mouth. That being said I am less worried about this than I am about other insect repellent products, and of course I still try to make sure it has dried as much as possible before I release her to her own devices. In my experience, I find that Bug Ban lasts for about 2-3 hours and then you will need to re-apply. I also find that it does seemingly well repelling insects, but some bugs may still flock to you and hover before leaving you alone. The good thing is that they won't hang around and land and bite unless the spray has already worn off and you haven't reapplied it yet. I was able to test this spray on a suburban trail during a few of my runs, which are very buggy and a very warm day and overall it did very well. If your one of those deep woodsy types then you may need something stronger, but remember to watch those chemicals!
- Choose healthier food options. If you are hosting or attending a cookout, and you plan to eat, then I suggest cutting corners whenever possible. Bring your own buns for hamburgers and hot dogs. I love bringing my light 35 calorie whole grain buns. Bringing your own meat is also an option as well if you are trying to stay on the healthier side of things. I love bringing my own meat for burgers or hot dogs. I love lean ground turkey for turkey burgers and turkey hot dogs. It is a much healthier option and it allows you to stay on track with your goals.
- Plan your cheat meal and watch your portions. If you plan to cheat a bit, like I am planning to do, then make it one meal and maybe a dessert. Make sure it is planned. When you plan your cheat meals you won't get caught off guard and risk having some sporadic unhealthy meal and the guilt that will come along with it. I plan to have ONE cheat meal during my Memorial Day weekend and taking my daughter out for ice cream for dessert. Also, even though you're planning on having a cheat meal you can still try to cut corners and calories wherever you can. A simple example would be to prepare something that's typically not on your healthy meal plan at home and avoid fast food and takeout. Not every cheat meal has to be fast food and takeout. Every once in awhile is okay though!
- Pack your meals. You can pack and take your meals with you if you will be away from home most of the day and you don't plan to eat at a cookout or have a cheat meal. I got a 6 Pack Fitness 3 meal bag for Mother's Day from my husband and daughter to help keep me on track this summer when I am away from home. That's not to say that I won't have a planned cheat meal or treat if I am away from home, but seeing as how it only lasts for one meal and not making a whole day out of it... I still need my other meals and snacks with me.
- Take a good probiotic and/or enzymes supplement. Fight the bloat after the weekend cheats by making sure you are taking enzymes and/or probiotic supplements. Both of these supplements may help support healthy digestion and make it easier to break down fats, carbs and protein. They may also help to keep the bloating and digestive issues at bay. I trust and have had great experiences with Probiotic-10 and Super Enzymes, both from NOW. Probiotic-10 is my favorite way to get my probiotics when I am on the go. They come in a convenient packet to take anywhere anytime. They help me tremendously.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking 8+ glasses of water a day and staying hydrated can not only help with your fitness and your weight loss efforts, but it also helps with digestion. I like to take my Bluewave Daily 8 1.9 liter (64 oz) water jug with me when I know I am going to be away from home for awhile.
- Stay active. I am kicking my holiday weekend off with a Memorial Day themed 10 mile race on Saturday morning. Find some fun activities to do to keep yourself active. Choose any fitness activity you like such as football, baseball, running, soccer etc... There are literally tons of field sports, but don't limit yourself. Try swimming, running, climbing, biking, anything! Use your imagination and make up a game! Include the family, take a trip to the zoo, carnival or amusement park. Just get up, get out and MOVE!
- Sip on some night time tea. Settle down after a long day and/or weekend with night time tea. Night time teas not only have relaxing ingredients in them, but tea does a body good!
- Allow your joints and muscles to rest. Recovering after a very active day, especially one that consists of intense activity, is crucial for the body. Personally, I experience joint and muscle aches to some degree after a long day of moderate to intense activity. Glucosamine lotion and a good joint support supplement are great options. I recommend Glucosamine MSM & Arnica lotion from NOW Solutions, which is a good choice to massage into active muscles. NOW Joint Support supplements are also great for added support!
Memorial Day Weekend Giveaway
I haven't had a NOW giveaway in awhile due to my busy and demanding schedule, but things have somewhat settled down enough for me to host one! Yay! One (1) winner will receive $50 in NOW products of their choice. Read below for details!!
Up for grabs: $50 in NOW products of YOUR CHOICE
Giveaway ends on Memorial Day - Monday, May 30th at 10 AM CST.
Winner will be announced on Tuesday, May 31st.