Summer is a busy and fun time for the whole family, but it's important not to let this stop you from living a healthy lifestyle. there are various steps and tips to keep healthy and happy during the warmer months, but here are eight to start you off:
Start Off With A Good Breakfast
We're always told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but sometimes that can be forgotten when there are so many other things to do. Some recipes can be made in advance, whereas others are good for those lazier mornings, but all will keep you and your family energised and ready for the day.
Here are a few suggestions:
Home made Granola
This can be made in advance and kept in an air-tight container. It's pretty easy to make as well, simply mix the following ingredients together, spread on a baking tray and leave in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes: Rolled oats, maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaked almonds, dried berries and coconut flakes. You can play around with the ingredients and amounts depending on your taste, and serve with milk or yoghurt and fresh fruits.
Over night oats
Prepared the night before, this breakfast will keep everyone full until lunchtime. Mix oats and your favourite milk (coconut and almond work well), and leave in a bowl in the fridge overnight. In the morning, stir in fruit and yoghurt and it's ready to serve.
Fried, boiled or poached, eggs make a healthy breakfast for everyone. Serve with toast, or mix with other ingredients as an omelette. There are so many different ways of preparing them, making them an easy and simple option.
Plan A Diary
If your family is spending time off this summer, planning a diary and scheduling events can be really useful. Having things planned gives a little bit of routine and means the summer won't be wasted. Hang it in the kitchen where everyone can see it, and make sure all events and activities are updated on it.
The warmer months are a great time to get outside and get moving. Try lots of things to find one that the whole family enjoys, as this will allow more quality time together. Hiking and cycling are great group activities, and days out can be planned around. Encourage children to join sports groups as well, socialising and interacting with other kids is vital. And the teamwork and experiences learnt will help them to develop.
Summer months are perfect for vacations. The weather is at it's best, and there are plenty more things to do. Choose your holiday carefully, and make sure there is enough to keep everyone interested. Beach or activity holidays are perfect for the whole family as there are plenty of things to do. Pack sensibly for holidays, and make sure you take all the essentials - but don't overpack!
If you aren't going away, there are still loads of places you can visit that are closer to home. Day trips and short trips are just as fun, research and ask friends for recommendations.
Get Plenty of Sleep
With all the extra activity and excitement, you need to make sure everyone is getting enough sleep. A good night’s sleep can have a crucial effect on how productive you are during your waking hours, so ensure you get the best quality sleep to make the most of your days. Try black out blinds to combat the longer hours of sun and use fans or air conditioning to control the room temperature. Comfort has a huge impact on your sleep, so check sites like http://www.mattress-guides.net/ for the comfiest mattresses and beds. Try to keep in a bedtime routine with children, and make sure they are still going to bed at a reasonable time.
During the warmer summer months, it's easy to become dehydrated quickly. 60% of your body is water, and it performs important bodily functions, regulates temperature, and flushes out toxins. In the warmer weather, we sweat and lose water much quicker, meaning we must up our intake. 8-10 glasses a day is advised for an adult, but this all depends on the humidity and temperature levels.
Try flavoured waters and home-made juice drinks to keep the whole family topped up. Use fresh fruit to flavour drinks and ice lollies to add a bit of variety and get extra nutrients.
Sunscreen is so important during the summer months. Make sure the whole family is protected every day, even if the sun doesn't feel particularly hot. Extra strength creams are available for children's more sensitive skin, and special sunscreens for faces. Wear protective clothing as well, caps are great for covering the scalp, and keep out of the sun from 10 am to 2 pm during its strongest time.
Hay fever can also be an issue for some people during the Summer months. But you can take precautions to make sure nothing is ruined by this. Visit the doctors beforehand, they will advise which sprays and tablets will work best, and keep an eye on the pollen levels on the weather forecast.
You're bound to snack more often when you have more time off in the summer. Keep everyone healthy by making the right choices, though, and try to keep the snacks as wholesome as possible. Fruit and vegetable crudites are great for keeping you going until the next meal. Ice cream can be made from frozen bananas and fruits, so get the kids involved and choose different ingredients and toppings. Try to keep it all light and fun, and avoid added salt and sugar. These will only dehydrate you faster and not keep anyone feeling full.
But most of all, enjoy yourself! Summer is the perfect time to spend quality time together as a family. Invite friends round for BBQ's, and plan family trips out. Make sure you plan as much as you can, and make the most of the good weather before the grey clouds and cold rain returns!
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