Four Tips for a Healthy Summer

Summer is here and with it comes to travel, festivals, summer BBQs and pool parties! Keep the heat out of the kitchen, good nutrition on your plate, and stay active with these four tips.

Tip #1: Stay Hydrated. Aim for half your body weight in ounces for a daily hydration goal. Before you quench your thirst with a sports drink, soda, or juice, check the calories! A 20-ounce sports drink can contain as much as 34g of added sugar. For most people, water will do the trick, especially on a hot summer day. Plus, according to a study published in the 2003 issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a person burns 30% more calories in the 10 to 40 minutes after drinking 17 ounces of water. This means that drinking 48 ounces of water a day will help you burn an extra 17,400 calories a year, which is about five pounds.

Tip #2: Fill up on summer fruits and vegetables. You can’t go wrong when you fill half your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables. Low in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting phytonutrients, fruits and vegetables provide what your body needs for optimal health and wellness. Plus, summer offers the largest supply of fresh options! Eat them fresh from the garden, try them grilled, or enjoy them for dessert.

Tip #3: Get active and get outside. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. A 30-minute morning walk or after dinner walk can help you meet this minimum requirement. Summer activities like swimming, biking, playing beach volleyball, paddle boarding, and kayaking are fun activities to complement your gym workouts

Tip #4: Plan ahead. As the saying goes, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Every season offers new temptations and if you aren’t prepared for what lies ahead, you could end up sabotaging your health. Make a list of your summer food favorites and create a plan for enjoying them in a balanced, healthy way. Keep healthy portable snacks, like fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, raw veggies and snack-sized portions of nuts, with you on long road trips so that you are less tempted to stop for fast food. When heading to a party, have a small meal or healthy snack before you go to avoid overeating. To keep alcohol calories in check, swap out the poolside margarita with your own wine spritzer using fresh or frozen fruit, a couple of ounces of red or white wine, and zero calorie seltzer water. It’ll help cut calories, boost antioxidants and promote hydration.

Need more nutrition help? Email with your questions or to request an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians.

Samantha Fauler is the Registered Dietitian at the Fredericksburg American Family Fitness location. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of the District of Columbia and completed her Dietetic Internship at Iowa State University.   

Since earning the credentials Registered Dietitian in 2014, Sam has provided nutrition counseling to women, children, and infants through the federally funded program WIC (Women, Infants, and Children). In 2016, she became a Certified Lactation Counseling (CLC). Sam’s areas of specialty include weight loss, heart-healthy diets, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Her personal experience as a Division I Rower has given her valuable insight on the importance of nutrition in maximizing athletic performance. Sam also has experience providing nutritional care at several skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities. 

When Sam is not working, you’re likely to find her working out at the gym or exploring the outdoors.  

Nutrition appointments with Sam are available on select evenings and weekends as requested. To schedule an appointment, contact

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