I have a confession. The other day, I sat all day on my couch and binge-watched The Office. My sole meal for that particular day consisted of chocolate chip banana pancakes and peanut butter. Now that's out in the open, I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't spend your summer like that. With the summer heat pounding down and left-over exhaustion from classes, lazy days are sometimes needed, but the problem arises when those days become the entire summer. You only have one body, so treat yourself well this summer. What does that look like practically? We have some ideas!
1. Exercise and Enjoy It
I used to hate (detest, deplore, abhor, despise, insert any other synonym here) exercise, but I will let you in on a secret. Being healthy and exercising go hand and hand. If you want to treat the body God gave you well, you have to use it. The moment I stopped hating exercise came when I found something I enjoyed. Try yoga, running, high intensity interval training, spinning, or just walking. Also, new research suggests that you can get the benefits of forty-five minutes of exercise by just putting in a minute of high intensity aerobics.
2. Eat Well (or at least, better)
Ice cream, snow cones, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, candy....the summer provides some amazing eats, and by all means, indulge (occasionally). Also, take advantage of all the fresh fruit and vegetables that come with the warmer weather.
3. Spend Time Outside
Soak in some vitamin D, and get some fresh air. A quick google search for "health benefits of going outside" generates a wealth of information. Research suggests that going outside decreases stress, improves your memory, increases creativity, and possibly helps prevent cancer.
4. Wear Sunscreen
While you are spending time outdoors, make sure you slather on some sunscreen. Sure, it may take a little longer, and you won't get tan. BUT, when it comes to your long-term health, putting on sun-screen is a wise decision.
5. Read Something
Take a break from the screen and the fast pace of life to slow down and actually read something. Whether it's reading your Bible, a collection of poetry, a novel, or the news, take time to learn something.
Most people agree that volunteering is a good thing, but few people actually take time out of their busy schedules to actually do it. I could tell you that there are health benefits (mental and physical) to volunteering, but I won't (just Google it). Anyway, helping others helps you.
7. "Culture" Yourself
Here's the thing, watching Parks and Rec is great and all, but there are so many beautiful experiences waiting in the world. Go see a theatrical production or spend the day at the at museum. "Culturing" yourself is a great way to learn something new and have fun at the same time.
8. Go to Bed Early/Wake Up Early
Sleeping late in the summer is a bad habit that you will have to break at the beginning of the school year. Why not get a lovely eight hours and get up early?! By going to bed an hour or two earlier, you can get up early enough to actually enjoy the daylight.
Nolie, the lover of banana pancakes