Leading fitness expert and celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor Kristin McGee offers these tips for an effective yet healthy summer slim-down:
* Go outdoors
The weather is nice, so why not take your workout routine outdoors? So many outdoor activities are natural calorie-burners, plus they're a lot of fun. Ride bikes on the weekend, run around and play tag with your kids, or play fetch with the dog. Infuse your social activities with fitness, too. For example, finish a date night with a romantic walk outside, or have friends over for an outdoor barbecue and dance party.
* Lighten meals
Light foods pair well with warmer weather, so take a fresh approach to meal time. Visit your local farmers market to pick up fresh, seasonal food and get creative in the kitchen. Incorporate water-based fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew and pineapple into meals. For dessert, freeze grapes for a sweet treat after dinner.
* Snack well
Look for snacks and drink options made from pure and simple ingredients. A premium protein shake can serve as a delicious meal replacement, as a pre- and post-workout drink or an anytime on-the-go snack.
* Drink up
Stay hydrated by stocking the fridge with healthy drink options. A big pitcher of cold water with slices of strawberries, cucumbers and lime is a refreshing drink that's readily available. This low-calorie drink quenches on even the hottest days.
* Rise and shine
Get some fresh air first thing in the morning; it will keep you energized all day long. Take a quick walk or practice yoga outside -- try it during sunrise for a great way to start your day. You'll be surprised with how cheery and upbeat you'll feel.
* Green your thumb
Gardening is a great way to enjoy the warm weather, plus you burn calories without even knowing it. Try planting your own herb garden. It's a simple activity you can even do with your kids. Plus, you will have quick access to fresh herbs when you want to add a healthy flavor boost to your dishes.
* Try new activities
Warm weather is the perfect time to try something new. Take tennis or golf lessons, or meet friends on a weekly basis to play a different sport. Hit the sand with the family and have fun with a beach ball; do a few crunches on your towel, try some planks in the sand, and even some crab walks. Don't forget sunscreen and sunglasses to protect your skin and eyes.
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