Eat well, Think well, Be well: Healthy Habits that will make this your best summer yet

Grab your friends, family, colleagues - it’s time to get out and feel good together.

When it comes to summer, the longer days and better weather marks a clear change in rhythm from the rest of the year even if you're still working the same 9-5 job. It's easier to wake up with a spring in your step and a positive mindset when the mornings are bright and the days are fresh. All of this combined makes summer the perfect time of the year to develop healthier habits that you can keep going strong all the way through to the winter. 

Here are our top tips on how you can eat well, think well and be well this summer:

1. Pause your Boxset. Get up, get out and get active

Ditch the excuses this summer, set your alarm for a few minutes earlier and get that workout in first thing in the morning. 

Whether you're a gym bunny or not, summer is the perfect time to get a brisk walk or 20-minute jog in outdoors before you even start your day. Nature has a positive impact on our mental health too so mix it up - go for a bike ride or a walk with friends or you could even try something new, like kayaking or an outdoor yoga class.

Getting your exercise in first thing will get your metabolism revved up and those feel-good endorphins flowing so you'll be ready to face whatever lies ahead in the day. 

Of course, there will be mornings and days when you won't get out before the day starts so why not grab your colleagues or take a break during the day for a quick walk outside in the fresh air when you can. 

2. Eat well and share some fruit

Let's face it, it's not always easy to make healthy choices. When you're busy with work and everyday life, irregular eating patterns like skipping breakfast or stress-eating becomes the norm. 

Fresh produce is more readily available (and delicious) during the summer months so now is the best time to check out your local farmers market. Fruit and vegetables are naturally lower in calories and higher in fibre than processed food so by eating more with your meals, they will keep you full and satisfied for longer. 

Making some time in the mornings to have a healthy breakfast before setting off for the day or preparing a salad for lunch and some nutritional snacks, like carrot sticks, will help you stay on track and before long, it will just be part of your normal routine. 

3. Get your beauty sleep

Summer is definitely a very busy time between kids being off school, more social activities and holidays, it's easy to lose track of your sleeping habits and fall out of your routine. However, being more active also means your body needs more rest so it's important to prioritise your sleep. 

It doesn't always mean skipping the party to go to bed early but listening to your body and noticing when you're tired is a good idea. Everyone's ideal amount of sleep is slightly different but you should be aiming to get around the 7 hours every night.

Sleeping during the summer can be more uncomfortable than usual, thanks to the balmy weather and lack of air conditioning in Irish homes so if you do find yourself tossing and turning, you could try filling a hot water bottle with cold water instead.

You should also wear loose fitting, cotton clothes to bed and if you can, open as many windows as possible before hitting the hay so there's a nice breeze through the house. 

Getting regular sound sleep will leave you feeling more energised overall so you can enjoy everything summer has to offer without feeling drained or too tired. 

4. Enjoy it! 

Have a barbecue, go to a festival, take a camping trip or just hit up the beach with your friends. The longer evenings and (mostly) drier weekends mean it's much easier to make plans during the summer and the perfect time of the year to become a social butterfly. 

Enjoying yourself doesn't always mean being unhealthy either. If you're going to or hosting a barbecue or party, be sure to include lots of nutritious options that will keep you and everyone else feeling good, as well as satisfied. Quiche and salad is always a safe option or you could grill some lean meat and veggies, and wash it all down with some fruit-infused sparkling water. 


For more ways to feel well make sure to follow @HealthyIreland and #feelgoodtogether on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook for more tips, tricks and recipes or visit gov.ie/healthyireland