Everyone knows the Fourth of July can be one of the most indulgent weekends of the year. With seemingly endless cookouts, desserts, and drinks, you can basically reach the same overstuffed status achieved on Thanksgiving. However, with a few simple changes to your weekend, you can sneak in some healthy activities and still have a grand old time celebrating America’s birthday.
1. Ease up on the sun.
Hearing the words “Fourth of July” immediately brings to mind images of beaches and backyard barbecues. While these activities can be great, there’s usually one overlooked issue: over exposure to the sun. Forget trying to capture the perfect summer glow, leave it to spray tanning. Instead, pack a wide brim hat, sunglasses and a cover up that can look chic no matter if you’re at the beach or walking around town. Most importantly, reapply sunscreen throughout the day. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, water resistant and resistant against both UVA and UVB rays.
2. Don’t go hard crushing beers
Everyone enjoys a little day drinking during the holiday weekend, but that doesn’t mean you should pretend you’re in college and crush a six pack before noon. Avoid a beer belly and the sugary cocktails by trying this recipe, courtesy of Fitness Magazine.
Spiked Pomegranate Lemonade
1 ½ ounces lemon/lime vodka
1 ½ ounces lemonade (opt for sugar free)
1 ½ ounces pomegranate juice
4 ounces club soda
Combine all ingredients into a glass with ice to make one single serving of this refreshing summer treat.
3. Find a local 5k
Yes, I know, for most people the terms “holiday weekend” and “road race” just don’t go together. However, the Fourth of July is the most popular day to host a race in the summer and the third most popular in the year. The best part about finding a local 5k to run? You don’t have to run it. Grab your friends, get out of bed a little bit earlier and if running isn’t your specialty, just go for a nice power walk. This will literally get your day started off on the right foot. By running, walking or crawling the race you won’t have to worry about all those burgers and hot dogs you plan on eating later. Runners need tons of carbs, so you can just reload at a barbecue later.
4. Bring a healthy dessert to the party
If you are going to a party or going to be a house guest, it is best to arrive with something for the host. Yes, going to the bakery to pick up a dessert is quick and easy, but go for the healthier route. There will be plenty of other sugary goods to snack on where you’re going, so provide the people with a healthier choice like this one from Delish.
Patriotic Banana Split Kebabs
2 bananas, cut into 1” pieces
12 large strawberries, halved
1 carton blueberries
2 cups chocolate chips
½ cup peanuts, chopped (optional)
2 dozen skewers
Thread two to three pieces of banana and strawberries on each skewer, adding in as many blueberries as you like. Repeat on the other 23 skewers. Place on parchment paper. In microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring until completely smooth. Drizzle chocolate over fruit kebabs and top with crushed peanuts. Freeze until ready to serve.
5. Bring your own water bottle
With all that sun and alcohol available, your body will be in dire need of some water. That’s why you BYOWB — bring your own water bottle. Keep our planet green by purchasing a reusable bottle that you can tote around all summer. The best bet for most folks is a stainless-steel bottle. They are BPA free and lightweight, so your bag won’t be weighed down and you can easily grab it and venture off to your next Fourth of July party.