8 Wellness-Savvy Summer Tips

Catch phrases like exercise routine and health regimen can get us caught up in a wellness rut. Thankfully Hilton Head Island offers local produce and outdoor activities that make getting fit anything but boring. Here’s how to eat and exercise your way to optimal health in 8 easy steps:

1. Hydrate
Hydration is paramount when it comes to radiating this summer. The benefits of proper hydration include:
- Improved skin (acne, aging, and dermatitis)
- Better digestion
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced allergies and asthma
- Weight management and or loss

Of course water is your best go-to drink. But did you know that the whole 8 glasses of 8 ounces a day rule might not apply to you? According to the American Heart Association, “The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration.” During the summer months in Hilton Head you might need to up your hydration game—and this doesn’t mean gulping down plain old boring water. Try adding local (when available), whole food options like cucumbers, watermelon, lemons or limes. For a good faux fun drink try my strawberry-basil daiquiri.

Strawberry-Basil Daiquiri Recipe (4 servings)
3 cups strawberries
3 cups ice
1 fresh squeezed lemon
1 fresh squeezed lime
1 ounce Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice
2 tablespoons fresh basil

Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Mix. Drink. Enjoy.

My grill helper, Camellia

My grill helper, Camellia

2. Bun-less Burgers
Did you know there is more trans fat in your typical hamburger bun than in your burger? In addition to switching to antibiotic and hormone free meat, try sinking your teeth into bun alternatives like:
 - Cauliflower buns
 - Fresh lettuce (cut bun size)
 - Grilled portabella mushroom
 - Grilled eggplant
 - Grilled vidalia onions

3. Grilled Corn with a Health Kick
Skip the butter and lather your corn with coconut oil and then kick it up a notch with sea salt, chili powder and freshly squeezed lime juice. Yum.

4. Nutritious Popsicles
As a mother of three young girls and husband who thinks canned peas counts as a veggie, I know the challenges of combining good nutrition and with great tasting food. With temperatures reaching the upper 90s, I also know how important it is to cool off after a day at the beach. Invest in a popsicle mold (BPA-free is always best). Then, play around with any combination of the following ingredients:
 - Spinach
 - Kale
 - Mint leaves
 - Blueberries
 - Strawberries
 - Greek yogurt
 - Cashew milk
 - Almond butter
 - NOW Liquid chlorophyll (mint flavored)
 - Chia seeds

5. Garden
Did you know that pulling weeds and planting flowers can burn 200-400 calories per hour and heavy yard work can burn as many as 400-600 calories per hour? Hilton Head has several community gardens and garden volunteering opportunities. Green-thumb it in the early morning to beat the heat and try wearing a cooling neck wrap (available at garden stores like The Greenery).

6. Bike
Did you know Hilton Head is the only Gold Award bike friendly community in South Carolina? Depending on your speed, distance and duration, bicycling can burn 400-600 calories and hour and with Hilton Head’s gentle sea breeze you can stay cool, too.

7. Paddleboard
Whether you want to explore the Island’s waterways, trek out to neighboring islands like Tybee or Daufuskie, or try SUP yoga this sport works every muscle group and you can take a dip whenever you need a refreshing break.

8. Swim
I have a friend who goes to the Sea Pines Beach Club every morning and swims in the ocean for 30 minutes—and he is the most in shape 50-year old I have ever met. Try a sunset swim and then a healthy picnic.