Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Your End-of-Summer Checklist

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

Before summer slips away, be sure you check these off your (sand) bucket list …

Most of us still are waiting for the relaxation summer promises. Some of us are starting to realize the season may not deliver this scenario. Unusual work schedules, school-free kids, summer camps, and sports leave those high expectations for fun and downtime unmet.

Before you greet September, here are several summer musts. If you never spend a day floating on a raft in your pool or anyone else’s, at least you will have sufficiently experienced the essence of summer!

Try a new workout. These last weeks of summer are a great time to try a new Group Fitness class or different exercise equipment. Find something fresh to keep you engaged when life tempts you in other directions (trip to lake versus your usual sweat session). These new workouts will become comfortable by fall when you’ll need to adjust to life’s new schedule with all of its madness.

Advance your workout.
Advance your workout.

Advance your fitness routine. Turn up the heat on your workout. The robust vibe of summer, when colds, flu, and icy sidewalks are far away, lends itself to physical challenge. Grow stronger now by adding reps, weights, or additional classes to your fitness routine. In February, you’ll be thankful for the boost to your health and immune system.

Schedule your trainer and nurse assessment. These assets are free to members every quarter or so. Use the seasons to mark when you are ready to check on your progress and evolve your workout. These appointments are motivating and help you remain committed to your health.

Let loose!
Let loose!

Enjoy water. You don’t need a pool or ocean to cool off with summer’s leading player. When was the last time you had a hose fight? Kids are easily encouraged so make it a backyard water battle. Wash the car and “accidentally” anyone else in the yard. Sit close to a sprinkler. Soak in a lukewarm bath. Don’t forget—you have your own pool at the Center. The temperature is always perfect, and weather is not an issue.

Try a new fruit or vegetable. Some of the most loved produce is now in season. While at its peak, enjoy variety as well as some new choices. Do a little research on something currently in season that sounds appetizing. Learn the best time of year for it, how to determine ripeness, and how to prepare. Visit your local farmers market. Share and have fun with the flavors. Even if they are not your favorite, they taste like summer’s best.

Try a new sport. Croquet, anyone?
A backyard game of croquet, anyone?

Try a new sport. It doesn’t have to be the big leagues. Consider ultimate Frisbee, golf, bocce ball, badminton, volleyball, or other backyard games. Start a little team. You don’t need to be a Division I athlete to take a few sport-performance training sessions. A trainer can help with causal athletics, too. Imagine the spin you can put on the ball then! You’ll have competitors running to the far ends of the yard, and not because of your bad aim.

Indulge. Find out what it takes to work off the following summer treats: a homemade popsicle, ice cream cone, s’mores fresh from the fire, festive fruity drink, barbeque fare. Do what you must so you can enjoy them, at least once, without guilt. While you’re at it—attend or host a cookout. Every summer needs at least one—or 10!

Be playful. Fly a kite. Ride a bike. Catch a wave. Go for a hike. Count fireflies. Go fishing. Make a summer sauce, or no-bake dessert piled high with fresh berries. Grow a garden. Host a cookout. Define the season with joyful activities that don’t require a big investment. Summer will soon be on a time deficit. Get out and dig in!

Breathe Deeply

fishing, picRegardless of how busy you become, you still have to breathe. Once in a while, throw in several deep, mindful breaths. Notice the world around you, constant motion doing its thing in thousands of different ways. Although unique, we are unified. We may take different paths, but we’re all doing the carpool, weeding the garden, paying the bills, meeting the deadlines, pushing the overflowing beach cart.

Acknowledge you are not alone in your quest for summer relaxation and success. Be thankful for an abundant life. And who knows—maybe tonight you can kick back and relax under the stars to the sounds of summer. Make it your mission.

Image Credits

Hose fight: pixabay.com/en/dog-garden-terrier-fun-1310545/

Croquet: pixabay.com/en/croquet-mallets-game-wood-349705/

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