Updated: Aug 3
Summertime is for relaxing in the sunshine. You can enjoy lounging in the sun, without feeling like it's impossible to leave your chair.
As we're all jet setting for the summer, or boarding a ship that will sail sunny seas, it's easy to convince ourselves to "do the right thing." That's before; your bags are packed, you're sitting at your destination, and you've most likely got a cocktail in hand. Don't get me wrong: vacation is meant to be enjoyed. In fact, much like a "refeed week," a break from striving for healthy consistency can often improve adherence (Escalante et al, 2020) and inspire you to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the longer term.
If you want a break from self-monitoring a healthy routine, keep reading to find out the easy ways to support energy and digestion over the summer.
Tip #1 - Move, In Some Form, Every Day of the Week
No, it's not a juicy gimmick- in fact, it's quite boring. However, it's effective and easy! Regular movement aids gut motility, meaning things keep moving as regularly scheduled as possible. More regular bowel habits means less bloating/ backup, particularly in the lower abdominal area, plus you just feel that eating your meals is easier given the fact there is space for the food to go.
Speaking of regular schedules...
Tip #2 - Stick To Your "Poo"-tine.
Right, I know it sounds weird but...think about what time of day you would normally be going #2. Aim for the roughly the same time of day/ sequence of activities to keep your bowels running smoothly. Probably the least glamorous tip to date, but hear me out: if you always go poo before heading into work when you're at home, trying to hold it until you get back from the beach in the afternoon isn't really doing much service to your body!
"The average adult poops anywhere from three times daily, to three times weekly...according to a gastroenterologist." (CNN Health)
Tip #3 - Eat Regular Meals
This could very well be the most challenging tip, given most summer resorts you go to will be an "all inclusive" situation where there is some form of food always available. If you're working longer days during the summer (say, running a summer camp or teaching a summer school course), you may find that it's the opposite- you feel like you're in a food desert. If you feel that your food choices aren't necessarily in your control, can you assert a little more authority over when you're actually eating your meals? Regular food intake ensures predictable food processing times, as well as a steady flow of energy release for your body's needs.
Tip #4 - Consciously Consume Alcohol
There is nothing more iconic than sipping a summer rosé in the back garden on a Friday evening. Naturally, alcohol consumption increases overall in the summer months (Knudsen, 2015), whether it be a daily or weekly self-reported basis. In extreme cases, too much alcohol consumption can lead to diarrhea, excessive wind/ gas, and stomach cramps. Not ideal when you want to be making the most of the summer months! I'm not saying don't enjoy your cooling concoctions, but consider consuming a glass of water with every glass of alcohol you are consuming. You'll have more energy the next day, and your gut will thank you!
Tip #5 - Chew Your Food.
Finally, chew what's in front of you. Whether you are choosing to label the food you're eating as "healthy" or not. Your mouth doesn't distinguish between what's better for you and what's going to make you feel sleepy. All your mouth knows is that it needs to chew your food so you can get more out of the nutrients that food provides for you. Enjoy your meals, breathe fully whilst sitting down to eat, and embrace what that meal can provide you with.
Don't Leave Your Lack of Energy To the Autumn.
You can absolutely enjoy your summer antics, without needing to overthink how to keep your energy and digestive health in check. If you need more accountability in this area, I have space for new clients in the 1:1 coaching space for high performers. Empowered To Go has truly changed lives and helps create autonomy over your health so you can have ample energy to get the most out of your work and personal life.