\nSummer is now over! Where did the time go!?\nFor many of us, summer-time is often "visitors and guests" time... and enjoying the warm sunshine and natural vitamin D! \nDuring these few months, it's very easy to lose sight of your own health needs, because you are so focused on taking care of everyone elses. But it is equally important to remember about taking care of YOU too! important to ensure that you are taking care of your needs as well, and now that the children are back in school, all guests have left and the beach sand is finally vacuumed out of the car... it is the perfect time to begin to adopt healthy habits that can have beneficial impacts on your life.\n \nIn order to begin to live a healthy lifestyle, one habit that must be adopted is a healthy diet. We live in a country where food is available everywhere and you are able to choose from thousands of options. More times than not, Americans go for the fast and easy option, especially when a person has a big family because it can seem more expensive and time-consuming to go shopping and cook food from scratch. However, this could not be further from the truth. Nowadays we have so much access to technology where there are recipes that can be made in twenty minutes. Even a simple and healthy meal of baked chicken (major retailers, like Sam's Club, offer a pack of eight chicken breasts for around ten dollars), rice, and vegetables costs considerably less than a run to a fast-food restaurant. Eating healthier has also been shown to boost energy and mood throughout the day. When you clean up your diet you can also serve as a positive influence on your family by cooking healthy dinners and establishing good eating habits in your children that they can follow when they grow up. However, it is important to start where you are comfortable; going cold turkey usually leads to falling back into old habits.\n \nTo live a well-balanced and all-around healthy lifestyle, it is important that you do not just stop at a healthy diet. Adding an exercise program to the daily routine can have an incredible amount of benefits. It can be difficult to find time to exercise as a full time parent or guardian, especially when you are still taking care of your children after school and are their personal chauffeur for extracurricular activities or more guests coming for the next set of holidays! However, it has been shown that even a little bit of exercise every day goes a long way. In fact, short bursts of intense exercise can be as effective, if not more effective, than long low-intensity workouts. This means that you do not have to take a big chunk of your busy day to workout. You could fit in a short workout early in the morning and have a great start to your day feeling more energized. You could also schedule your workouts later in the day, which can contribute to a good night's sleep. Exercising not only contributes to a healthy body, but it also causes the body to release endorphins which can cause an individual to experience positive feelings. This is beneficial to your overall mood throughout the day and can be especially helpful for those who experience a great deal of stress during their day.\n \nSo how about it? This past summer you spent hours on end taking care of everyone else. YOUR TURN! Time to take care of your needs and get on a healthy plan. This will not only make your days brighter but will also help you create habits that will last a lifetime.