Summer Fitness

Rachel is a 16-year-old born and raised in NYC.  She enjoys singing, debating, traveling and writing.  Her favorite subjects are English and Science; she wishes to pursue  a career in either of them in the future.

I’m quite sure that we all can admit to gaining what I like to call the “holiday gifts.”  We all snuck in the extra cookie or slice of apple pie, but it’ll soon be summer aka beach season.  So how do we become our fit selves again?  I compiled several natural ways for feeling and being healthy.  Enjoy and feel free to comment on your own natural remedies!

1.       Jogging – One of my personal favorite cardio exercises is running.  Muscle is more easily built if there is already some body fat that could be converted into the said muscles.  Therefore, the holiday splurging might actually help you tone some muscle.  Exercising helps you sleep more soundly as well as boost endorphin levels, which makes you feel happy.  Jogging helps you become healthier and happier.  I usually jog before or after school; the endorphins really help improve your mood on a bad day or relieve some stress.  Less stress means less cortisol, a hormone that helps store fat in your body.

2.       Water – Stay hydrated this summer!  Water helps flush out excess salts and sugars from your body.  Drink water 15 minutes before you do an active exercise (running, sports, etc.); it gets you hydrated for the activity without having that sloshy feeling or stomach cramps.

3.       Snacks – When your metabolism is more active, it is less likely for some of the food to become fat.  A fun sized fruit snack pack is healthy as well as curb your hunger.  When you have tiny snacks throughout the day, you won’t eat as much during your main meals.  Don’t forget to eat slowly: it takes a good 15 minutes before your stomach realize it’s full!

4.       Lemon Juice – Vitamin C is a known helper of good moods!  It also has many uses.  Applying it topically may help clear skin as well as reduce the appearance of acne scars; try it on a small area first, in case a concentrated application irritates it.  If that’s the case, dilute it and/or mix it with a bit of honey, which promotes healing. (I don’t think I really need to say to AVOID OPEN CUTS when applying.)  Another option is to add a little lemon juice in your water; the results happen slower, but at least you don’t have to worry about stinging.

5.       Comfortable shoes – When you have comfortable shoes, you are more likely to walk to your destination!

6.       Planning – Scheduling your homework, even your life in general, makes sure you have enough time for everything (therefore preventing cramming) and prevents the occasional forgotten project.

7.       Sunlight – Soak up some vitamin D.  Sunlight helps improve moods.  On a nice day, do some work out on your porch and breathe some fresh air: it can easily improve your mood.  Don’t forget a bit of light sun block!

8.       Sleep – Lack of sleep can seriously mess up your metabolism, which may cause weight gain.  Serotonin (makes you feel good) is a precursor for melatonin, a regulator for sleep.  Sleeping also allows growth hormones to circulate in your body.

9.       Buddy system – When you have someone to encourage you, that person can keep you company and help motivate you (and make sure that you don’t sneak in that fudge brownie you’ve been eyeing).  You’re less likely to sway from daily exercising or walking up those stairs instead of taking the elevator.

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