Four Tips for a Fit Summer | Virginia M. Crawford, MD | Hattiesburg Clinic Weight Management

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Managing weight is difficult. Whether you are trying to lose or maintain, it is hard work and takes a comprehensive plan. Summer can present challenges: vacations, kids out of school, holidays and extremely hot days in South Mississippi. Here are four tips to stay fit this summer from Hattiesburg Clinic physician Dr. Virginia M. Crawford who specializes in weight management:

  1. Healthy eating plan

Focus on foods that are good for you:

  • Start with lean protein that is prepared by baking, boiling or grilling (eggs, chicken, fish, lean pork, beef, dairy products and nuts).
  • Eat three to five servings of vegetables and fruit daily – yes daily! Take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. Plant a garden or visit your local farmers market.
  • Consume heart-healthy fats like salmon, tuna, olive oil, avocado and nuts. Avoid fried foods as much as possible. 
  • Incorporate low calorie fruits and vegetables into your meals. Vegetables and fruit with high water content can help you stay hydrated. Some examples are cucumbers, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, oranges and strawberries.
  • If traveling, carry healthy snack options, such as one-ounce portions of nuts, protein packs, carrots, low sugar granola, protein bars and cheese sticks. Healthy options may be limited while traveling or at your destination.
  1. Stay hydrated

It is hot! Drink water as your primary beverage and consider carrying a water bottle with you. Avoid sugary beverages, such as energy drinks and sports drinks, as they frequently have a lot of sugar. 20 percent of the calories individuals consume are in drinks. That is wasted calories. If you want a soda or sweet tea, opt for the zero-sugar option or drink smaller amounts.

  1. Movement

Staying fit requires movement. 150 minutes a week is recommended, with two days of resistance training. Begin with 10-minute intervals and consider walking as a great place to start. There are additional options including biking, playing pickleball, and swimming. Exercising in water is a great way to get moving – not necessarily swimming, but moving in water. It is also important for you to enjoy the type of exercise you choose.

  1. Sleep

 Get seven to eight hours of sleep. With more hours of daylight, sleep schedules can be easily disrupted. Sleep is important for wellness, and that includes your fitness and weight. Developing a bedtime routine is helpful. Turn off your electronic devices 30 minutes before bed. Practice deep breathing and yoga to help you relax. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol to get better sleep. 

Please take the time to take care of yourself this summer!

To schedule an appointment with Hattiesburg Clinic, visit their website here or call 601-264-6000.