The greater half of us are planning to be outside this summer— meaning our days will be longer, nights will be fuzzier, and eating and drinking will be plenty. But, if you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the majority of winter on the health and fitness side of social media and are scared to ruin any progress made.
Don’t be afraid to have fun this summer! Fitness enthusiasts Kimberly Iwunze and Rose Njoku from KxR fitness and Holistic Nutritionist Arielle Simone offer advice on ways to improve your overall well-being and enjoy these summer months without compromising all your hard work.
Girls United: What are some easy ways to incorporate physical activity into an everyday routine?
KxR fitness: Not taking the easy way out of everything. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator. [Go] for walks in your free time even if it’s just 20 minutes. Just doing anything that’ll get your body moving.
How should one avoid getting caught up in diet culture this summer?
Arielle: Remember that your body is different from anybody else’s body and requires unique things. The best thing we can do is learn how to listen to our bodies. Our bodies communicate with us through pain, discomfort, and headaches but also by feeling light, energetic, fulfilled, and satisfied. After every meal wait 30-60 minutes to see how you really feel. This will tell you everything you need to know about how you should be eating.
What are some fun and healthy ways to switch up your meals?
Arielle: Always adding greens and colors to every single meal. Oh! Baconeggandcheese? Add lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions to it. If you’re feeling fancy, add some jalapenos. Making every plate feel like a rainbow gives us an easy challenge and helps us get the necessary diversity and nutrients that our gut and digestive system needs.
Gut health has been a trendy topic on social media, why do you think people have been placing a lot of importance on it?
Arielle: I think people are realizing more than ever how eating the wrong foods or the wrong combinations of foods can cause us to feel tired, bloated, lethargic, slow, drained, and uncomfortable. We’re tired of unwanted belly fat, brain fog, and feeling fatigued. People are feeling the link between mental health and gut health, and we’re at a space where we can no longer ignore the connection between the two.
What are some ways to switch up your fitness routine and overcome a plateau?
KxR fitness: Change your environment! Instead of the gym, you can run on the track, go on a trail, do pilates, try hot yoga, and do home workouts. We believe people [hit] a plateau because they put [too] much pressure on themselves. People become so stressed and hard on themselves that they don’t realize that it’s not helping them. Taking a mini-break, sitting down, and realizing your goals will help you refocus and get [you] back on track.
What other tips do you have in regard to staying fit this season?
KxR fitness: Do things that help you towards your goal. Don’t listen to or watch others. You might have to miss out on the fun things for a period of time because it won’t help you but [instead] backtrack you. People don’t have the same goals, so you might have to miss out on a night of drinking. Just remember that in the long run, you will be proud of [who] you’ve become.
Arielle: Remember that everything is food. Everything we interact with feeds us. The conversations we have, the people we are around, the music we listen to – everything. Start to pay attention to what’s truly feeding you and what feels good. When you start to be more intentional with what you ingest, your body will immediately let you know what’s working and what’s not.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.