One of my favorite times of the year, the summer months, offer a balance of exciting opportunities with revitalization and renewed energy. Summer is also the perfect time to reconnect physically, emotionally and spiritually and reclaim your health and well-being. Here are six ways to make the most of your SUMMER:
Sweat a Little More
There is no better time than the warm summer months, for a new lunch destination or an afternoon getaway, to find a new stride and challenge yourself to sweat a little more. Whether you enjoy walking, swimming or cycling, strive to pick up your pace and improve your cardiovascular fitness and heart health. If you decide to enjoy the walking trails in the Berkeley hills or a bicycle ride from campus to the Berkeley marina, remember there are a lot of opportunities to increase your fitness within close proximity to campus.
Unleash your fear (and try new things)
Try and step out of your comfort zone and try something new this summer. Fear can paralyze us from exploring new ways to enhance our health and well-being and keep us on the path of old routines and stale habits. You can begin by joining Workfit this summer or try a new group exercise class if you are already a participant. You can also take advantage of the kids being out of school and try meal prepping for the week or explore a new CookWell Berkeley recipe such a cucumber watermelon salad or lemon garlic zucchini pasta at dinner. The summer is also a great time for discovering the joy of new water activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking or boogie boarding or finding new ways to spiritually re-connect with yourself through yoga, meditation or holistic retreats.
Make fitness and a healthy lifestyle a priority
The secret is out, prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle is the enemy. Making fitness a priority along with healthy nutrition habits, and finding ways to lower stress can help keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar normal and lower your risk for heart disease, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can start by joining a colleague for a 30 minute walk at the 9th Annual UC Walks and jumpstart your healthy habits. Then committing to exercise for 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, watching your portions and mindfully making healthy choices at each meal to choose healthy proteins, whole grains, and making half your plate fruit and vegetables, will put you on the road to better health.
Mobilize others and build a community
It is often no fun to enjoy summer alone and the Greater Good Science Center, along with scientific research has shown the power of social connection to increase our happiness and life satisfaction. This summer, connect with others through a meetup or campus staff organization or mobilize your family or friends for a fun day hike, outing or drive along the California coast. Doing so will improve your emotional well-being and create long lasting memories along the way.
Embrace the gifts of summer
Take advantage of the many gifts of summer – longer days, warmer evenings, children out of school and the countless activities such as travelling, music festivals, charitable run and walk events, and farmers market. The opportunities are endless, and available for everyone to embrace.
Reclaim your inner peace and well-being
Enjoy the downtime of summer and the cyclical beauty of life by reclaiming your inner peace and being mindful to breathe, be present in the moment and reconnect with your inner peace. This summer, explore a serene space where you can sit quietly and try some abdominal and relaxation breathing. Remember, rest and recovery is vital for energy management and our long term health and well-being.