A healthier, happier summer starts with these tips

(BPT) — In the cold of winter, at the start of the year, people all across the country resolve to live a healthier lifestyle — yet summer is actually the perfect time to start your resolution. Think about it: The weather is beautiful, the kids are out of school and fresh produce is abundant.

Instead of starting a resolution to live healthier at a time when you’ll be cooped up inside to avoid the cold, why not do it now when you can’t wait to be outside?

Your path to success begins with these five tips.

• Get the family outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, walking, gardening or swimming, there are scores of things to do outdoors during the summer, and any of these can help you burn calories, improve muscle mass and, best of all, have fun. And did you know that moderate exposure to sunlight can also provide the vitamin D your body needs to fight off disease? Bonus! Pick an activity that appeals to the whole family (furry friends included) and you’re more apt to stick to your routine.

• Start your day off right. Summertime is full of indulgences, from ice cream cones to frosè to s’mores over the campfire. Don’t be afraid to dig into these treats, but make sure the rest of the day stays balanced. Everything in moderation, as they say! A bagel or toast with a quick spread of Arla Cream Cheese made with no artificial flavors or preservatives is a quick, nutritious way to start your day off on the right foot. When you start with a cream cheese that is so deliciously simple, it’s easy to layer on the farmer’s market fruits and veggies. Give it a try and you’ll find an entirely new breakfast routine to fuel your summer fun.

• Grab some shades. Proper eye care is advised all year long, but it’s especially important in the summer when you’re outside in the sun. Invest in a good pair of shades capable of blocking at least 99 percent of all ultraviolet A and B rays. Then make sure you wear them when you’re outdoors. Not only will you look incredibly cool and chic, you’ll also reduce the possibility of wrinkles developing around your eyes and ward off cataracts.

• Serve up healthy snacks. Having a casual neighborhood get-together calls for easy, bite-sized snacks to complement your summer drinks. Skip the chips and aim for healthy snacks instead. Cranberry cream cheese dip, cheesy snack bread with grilled local vegetables, and warm spinach and Gouda Gateau will all redefine your idea of good snacking, and they’re easy to make. Visit Arla’s website to find your inspiration and make casual al fresco hosting more delicious and healthy than you ever expected.

• Take that vacation. Yes, actually take it. Your total health is more than just your physical well-being; it’s your mental health as well. Nothing helps you reset the batteries like a good vacation. With that in mind, make sure your vacation doesn’t create stress. Keep travel and related expenses to a minimum and you’ll spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time wondering how to get everywhere and pay for it. If traveling overseas or taking a whole week away is too big of a leap, instead try a long weekend in a new city in your own state, or road trip to a National Park and book a campsite. There are options at every budget level, and summer is the perfect time to get out and go!

Start enjoying a healthier lifestyle today

There’s no reason to wait until next winter to start living a healthier lifestyle. Everything you need is right here in the summer, so formulate your plan, apply the tips above and stick with it. Do so and your resolution will be holding strong by the time New Year’s rolls around again.

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