Reframing Summer Health and Fitness Goals

July 1, 2023

Well, we’re really in it! 

It’s officially July, which means the sun is extra hot, the cold brew is flowing, and people keep saying things like “beach body” and “hot girl summer”, and then hashtagging them all across the social media landscape.

These terms (and many others!) are ubiquitous right now, but we think it’s important to clarify their actual definitions, just to mitigate any confusion that might exist:

Beach body (noun) A human with a body of any kind, at a beach. 

Hot Girl Summer (compound proper noun) The name for a type of summer in which one (in this case, one who identifies as a girl) experiences temperatures above 22 degrees celsius. 

See also: Hot Sentient Being Summer

Here’s the thing: So many people create health and fitness goals for themselves with this time of year in mind – but what if we could reframe them just slightly, so that they’re less about aesthetics, and more about a holistic sense of wellbeing?

Health goals can have just as much to do with your mind as they do with your body – sometimes even moreso. The two are interconnected, after all, and it’s important to remember that the kinds of goals you set, and the motivation behind the goals, are often deciding factors in whether or not you will achieve them. 

Here are some suggestions for some realistic and holistic goals to create for yourself this summer:

Regular Yoga Practice

The beauty of yoga is that it can be done anywhere, any time, and the intensity can be tailored to how you are feeling right then and there. Plus, it is an excellent way to connect body and mind. The way this works is, holding a pose, or asana, forces you to be mindful and present. It helps you connect with your breath, take deeper breaths, and get in touch with your body. Yoga builds strength, resilience, and flexibility – all of which apply not just to your body, but to your mind as well. 

Plus, warmer days mean outdoor sunrise yoga (or sunset, if you’re less of an early bird). You could even head to the park and do some stretches on the grass, as outdoor yoga has the additional benefit of connecting with the world around you. 

Youtube is an excellent resource for guided yoga. 

Keep Track of Your Water Intake

This is especially important when it’s hot outside. Get yourself a reusable water bottle and aim to drink and refill it 4 times a day, more if you feel thirsty, sweat a lot, or are outside much of the time. 

Ensuring you are properly hydrated helps your body regulate temperature more effectively, maximize physical performance, keeps your joints lubricated, protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and helps eliminate waste and toxins more efficiently. 

Even mild dehydration (defined as fluid loss of 1-3%) can impair memory function, energy levels and mood. So drink up!

Go For A Walk

We’re talking leisurely here. A good cardio workout is all well and good, but a walk benefits your body and mind in so many ways. It helps aid in digestion, maintain level cardio function, it even helps spark ideas. In fact, according to studies, regular walking can help significantly reduce the risk of cognitive decline. 

According to one study in particular, participants who walked more than 4,000 steps per day had healthier brain tissue in the area responsible for memory, learning, and cognitive function than their more sedentary counterparts. 

Even better – go for a walk with a friend, for an additional feel-good hormone boost.  

Incorporate Seasonal Produce Into At Least One Meal A Day

Weekly Farmers Markets are an excellent way to know what’s in season, and they always have some gorgeous fruits and veg on display for inspiration. Head to your local market and pick up some beautiful produce – then, make a plan to incorporate it into just one meal a day (more if you can, but one meal a day is far easier to stick to!) 

Plus, there is the added social benefit of a Farmers Market – interacting with the people who grow your food helps strengthen the feeling of connection – not just to the seasons and the land, but to the people who work to grow and provide the food. There is a sense of purpose here. It’s inspiring, but also, delicious. 

For Best Results: Think Holistically

Ultimately, when we talk about health and fitness goals, we want to make sure the emphasis is on how we feel. Our bodies do incredible things for us – on the beach, and off – and the best way to thank them is to treat them with the respect they deserve. 

In turn, we will feel our best – which will yield far more substantial and long term results – allowing us to enjoy and appreciate our beach bodies that much more.