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Summertime, and the living is easy...

Summer is such a wonderful time of year. Longer days, warmer weather. BBQ's, summer fruits, family get-togethers. It can often be easier to lose weight in the summer. Schedules are more relaxed and when it's hot out people usually eat less than in cold weather. The hypothalamus (a gland in the brain) controls both body temperature and appetite, and dictates that it is much more critical that we stay cool than we eat. So how do we carry our summertime habits throughout the rest of the year?

1. Find an exercise partner to begin a regimen. This will provide accountability, add an element of support and even a little competition to help you continue to improve.

2. Slow down. These days, people seem to pride themselves on how busy they are. Take at least one minute in the morning and one minute in the evening to sit and focus on your breath. One minute often leads to two...

3. Eat fresh, eat local. Try eating what's in season and what's readily available. If it's grown during the current time of year, it will be more nutritious than food that has been stored for a long period of time.

4. Try something new at least once a month. A new food, class, activity. Variety improves neuroplasticity in the brain, which keeps us more vitally alive.

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