Staying Healthy this Summer

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Hello everyone! The summer is finally here, and you know what that means… swimsuit season has arrived.

In an effort to shed some pounds and get a little healthier, I’ve found a few new favorite things I wanted to share with ya’ll.

The biggest healthy helper I’ve found so far? A few new iPhone apps. That’s right, in an effort to get outside and move more, I’ve turned to my iPhone for a little assistance.

It sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out on this one.

I started using 2, free apps to help boost my motivation to get out and exercise. The first is called Pact, and it’s a pretty great concept. You agree to a ‘pact’ where you choose to either work out a certain number of times a week, document your food in a food diary every day, or try to eat more vegetables. For every day you miss, you agree to shell out some cash.

For example, I signed up committing myself to working out 4 days a week. If I only work out 3 out of the 4 days, the app removes $5 from my checking account. If I miss 4 out of 4 days, I’ll lose out on $20. That’s incredibly motivating. On the weeks you accomplish your goal, you earn some money back, though in my experience it isn’t much. The thought of losing $20 keeps me motivated — not the opportunity to earn 0.75 cents. But, if I stay on track, I might use the little bit of cash at the end of the year for something fun, like a manicure or a new gym outfit.

And how does Pact keep you honest? Well in order to earn credit for your workout, you have a few options: Hit 10,000 steps on your fitbit or other activity detector, check in at your gym using the app’s GPS system or hold the phone during your 30-minutes-or-more workout (preferably with an armband). These checks make it incredibly difficult to cheat the system, so you know that you’ll get that gym time in.

My other new favorite is the Couch to 10K app. I’ve written about the 5K one before, and this is basically the same thing but the end goal is to run a 10K. I’m signing up for one this October, and already I can tell that using this app is going to help me complete that goal.

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On the food end of things, I’ve been taking full advantage of my grill, cooking up grilled corn, chicken, zucchini, etc. It’s a great way to cook for the night without the heat of the oven (and with a super easy cleanup).

I’m also trying to take advantage of all of the wonderful local produce that’s available this time of the year. I recently had some of the most amazing tomatoes, which I topped with some fresh mozzarella and basil, and the other night I sliced up a zucchini and baked it with a little Parmesan cheese. Delish.

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With my birthday just around the corner, here’s hoping these little steps will help me reach my summertime goals.

What are you doing to stay busy and healthy this summer? Share in the comments!

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