Now is not the time to be lazy

Many people get a little lazy during the summer. Many people want to take it easy and relax on warm, sunny days.

However, if you have been wanting to lose weight you should make plans to keep yourself busy. There are plenty of ways to relax and enjoy the summer while being physically active and eating healthy.

For example, you can plan picnics with grilled lean meats, fresh fruits, and vegetable salads. You can bring equipment for activities such as playing Frisbee, tossing a ball around, volleyball, badminton, etc. Swimming can be a calorie burning activity as well. Instead of laying around on a raft or just sitting by the pool, try swimming or walking a few laps.

Even your vacations can be fun and action packed! You can take scenic walking tours or rent bikes to ride around the town. Visit museums or historic spots.

You might be thinking that the only way for exercise to be beneficial is for it to be high intensity. That is not necessarily the case. A key recommendation in the Dietary Guidelines is to increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors. Any physical activity burns calories.

You may only be comfortable taking a stroll around the block or at a park. Don't be discouraged if your body can't handle a tougher workout. There is less risk of injury if you exercise at a pace that you can tolerate. You can still benefit from a lower-intensity exercise such as strolling.

A University of Pittsburgh study showed that low-intensity exercise burns calories - and sheds pounds - as effectively as a high-intensity workout. Researchers followed more than 200 overweight women for one year. Groups walked to burn off 1,000 or 2,000 calories.

In each group, some women strolled along comfortably; others walked at a nearly breathless pace. Everybody in the 1,000-calorie group lost an average of 13 pounds regardless of walking speed. Participants in the 2,000-calorie group shed about 20 pounds regardless of exercise pace.

Try to avoid spending your summer lounging around in the sun. Take advantage of beautiful weather by participating in fun activities that keep you moving. Continue to focus on healthy eating and enjoy fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables that are in season along with light, grilled meals. Summer can be a great season for successfully shedding pounds!

For more information, call Diet Center at (928) 753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave.