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BellaOnline's Teen Editor

Exercising In The Summer

Summer is here! This time of year, because of the intense heat and time off from school, we usually want to be lazy and stay inside to play video games and other fun activities. But just because the weather is really warm, it doesnít mean that you have to give up keeping in shape. When we think summer, most of us think outdoor fun. So it seems like we should naturally stay fit and healthy.

When you really think about it, summer isnít just for playing games and hanging out with friends. Many summer activities can work against our pursuit of staying fit (picnics and barbeques).

But, despite these activities, it's easy to avoid problems if we know what to do.

Here are some ways to stay fit:

1. Stay on top of your goals. When we don't stay on top of our goals itís easy to become lazy by spending time on the couch and constantly going to the fridge.

But we can avoid this by aiming for a specific goal, like volunteering, mastering a new skill, or working at a job. Just be sure to plan for some downtime so you can relax a little!

2. Stick to a schedule. With school out, we lose our daily routines. If you don't have a specific job or activity to get up for, it's easy to sleep late, watch too much TV, and snack more than usual.

Make sure your summer days have some structure ó like getting up at the same time each day and eating meals at set times. Plan activities for specific times like exercising before breakfast.

If you have time on your hands, offer to make dinner a few nights a week so your family can enjoy a sit-down meal together.

3. Stay busy. When we're bored, it's easy to fall into a trap of doing nothing and then feeling low on energy. In addition to helping you avoid the cookie jar, filling your days with things to do can give you a sense of accomplishment.

That's especially true if a dream summer job or planned activity fell through. Limit your screen time, including TV, computer, and video games, to no more than 2 hours a day.

4. Beat the heat. Don't let summer heat put your exercise plans on hold. Move your workout indoors. If a gym isn't for you, try bowling or an indoor climbing wall. If you love being outdoors, try joining a local pool or move a regular run or soccer game to early morning or evening.

5. Think about what you eat. Summer means picnics and barbecues ó activities that revolve around an unlimited spread of food. Pace yourself. Don't overload your plate. Avoid going back for seconds and thirds.

Choose healthy foods like fresh fruit instead of high-sugar, high-fat desserts. Make catching up with family and friends your focus, not the food. Another good tip for summer eating is to limit frozen treats like ice cream to no more than once a week.

Overall, staying fit is easy to do. If you make the right choices and pace yourself youíll learn that you can accomplish anything!

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