Brain Food: Summertime is Near

By Aimee Capellan

May is almost over, indicating that summertime is approaching and we all know what that means: no school, sun, beaches, and the initiation of the ‘perfect-summer-figure’ quest. It is a very common goal to desire an ‘ideal beach body’ but many of us seem to fall short of our expectations by the time that 90 degree weather hits.

So what is the ‘ideal beach body’?

See how I placed quotations mark on the phrase? That is because there is no such thing as a SINGLE ideal beach body, or any body type for that matter. A desired physique varies with the individual’s natural body shape and their preferences. However, there is one body type which we all can and should strive to achieve–a healthy body.

How do I achieve a healthy body?

There are tons of safe different ways to achieve wellness. However, they all come down to the same old method which is to eat healthy and exercise. A balanced diet with a right amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat is necessary to achieve utmost health. Also, it is crucial to keep the body in motion. No, you do not need to reside in a gym in order to fully exercise. In fact, it can be done easily throughout the day.

How do I gradually begin to nourish my body properly?

Firstly, it must be understood that a change in diet will not occur overnight –at least not a permanent one – as it can be difficult for your taste palate and your body to accept the new type of fuel it will be fed. If you have fed your body junk for the majority of your life, it is accustomed to obtaining energy from these sources, so you might not instantly feel energized or satisfied when you begin to eat healthy.

I, in my inexpert opinion, suggest beginning by making small changes to your diet. For instance, start incorporating fruit into your meals as dessert, rather than a processed pastry or candy. Fruit is sweet so your taste buds won’t reject it.

shape up for the summer

Also, although it might sound insignificant, trading your daily soda or brand name juice for water, sparkling water, or natural juices can make a very big difference. These drinks can pack a ton of table sugar or artificial sugars (a bunch of chemicals) in a single serving without providing us with useful nutrients. Not only that, but their liquid form makes them unsatisfying, so you can end up downing bottles and bottles of ‘sugar water’ and still stay hungry. Don’t reduce your liquid intake though! It is very important to keep hydrated, especially in the summer. Try flavoring your water, or sparkling water, with fruits and/or consuming fruits with high water contents such as that summer favorite: the watermelon!

Also, start incorporating more vegetables into your meals. I am certain you have all heard how necessary and beneficial vegetables are so do your body a favor and chomp on them often!

Last, but definitely not least, exercise should be a part of your everyday life. People usually fail to be active because they “never have time”. This excuse comes from the misconception that dictates people should designate a specific amount of time to work out.  But as I said before, this IS a misconception; exercise can be done anytime throughout your daily activities.

For instance, if you are one of those individuals who are too timid to attend a gym or work out outside, you can try at-home work-outs. There are endless work-out videos on YouTube, you can even check out exercise tapes at your local library! Also, if you honestly do not have the time to be active for an hour or half an hour straight, you can make small changes to your daily routine. For instance: try to walk to destinations more, take the stairs and/ or get off the train or bus a couple of stops earlier and walk the rest of the way.

There are endless ways to be active throughout the day, so go on and get your body moving!

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