7 Ways to Stay Healthy at the Beach

Summer can really fly by! If you’re looking to squeeze in as many beach days during the next few weeks, be sure to use these strategies to make the most of your fun in the sun.

Keep It Cool

Don’t leave yourself at the mercy of beach fare—greasy nachos with cheese, starchy, soft pretzels, and fatty fries. You can pack your own healthy bites and it all starts with an insulated cooler and a few ice packs to keep everything fresh and cool.

Stay Hydrated

With warm temperatures and physical activities that bring on the sweat, staying hydrated is more important than ever. How much do you need? On a normal day, you need roughly half your weight in ounces; if you’re spending the day in the sun, you’ll need a little more. You can pre-freeze large bottles so you’ll have icy water all day long (be sure to leave a little space in the bottle for expansion before freezing). Buy smaller water bottles for kids and refill from the larger bottles, as they need. Write names on personal bottles to help kids identify which one is theirs. You can also beat the heat with delicious bites that will help you stay cool. 

Pack Produce

Fill your cooler with juicy produce—the more, the better. Make sure to cut, chop, and prewash before leaving the house. For vegetables, try red, yellow, and green pepper sticks, cherry tomatoes, celery, and sugar snap peas.

For fruit, try a large fruit salad, seedless purple grapes, peaches, and plums. These options are all rich in water (score a point for hydration) as well as antioxidants (a boost for skin health), and they make for a fuss-free treat. 

Solve a Snack Attack

Be smart about extra snacks by choosing healthy fare, such as part-skim string cheese, low-fat granola bars, rice cakes, Trail Mix, edamame, hummus, or single-serve bags of baked chips or light popcorn.

Make a Winning Mid-Day Meal

Opt for whole-grain pita bread or tortilla wraps instead of bread; that way, you won’t sink your teeth into a soggy sandwich. (You may also want to keep tomato slices, sauce, or other moist veggie toppers separate for the same reason.) Keep your sandwich lean by sticking with grilled chicken, lean ham, or turkey. Hand-held foods are easier to eat; skip anything that requires a knife and fork. A simple PB&J (or PB& sliced strawberries) sandwich is a great choice—simple but scrumptious.

Get-Active Gear

You could bring a book and lounge in your beach chair all day long, but why not make use of the sun and surf to get in some activity? Whether you take a walk in the sand, swim in the waves, toss a Frisbee with a friend, or join in a game of beach volleyball, the beach offers ample opportunities to sneak in some exercise. Take advantage.

Keep It Clean 

I always pack wipes, wherever I go. You never know when you’re going to need them! 

By Joy Bauer, MS, RDN, CDN, Health and Nutrition Expert for NBC’s Today Show and founder of Nourish Snacks.

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