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Summer Health and Wellness Tips from Hilton Head Island

With warmer weather, trips to the beach, and farmer’s markets galore, it makes sense that most people tend to prioritize their health and fitness routine leading up to, and during, the summer months. Thankfully, Hilton Head Island offers plenty of opportunities to feel your best this summer, with bountiful produce and tons of exciting outdoor activities that make getting fit anything but boring.

Enjoy our tips and tricks for enjoyihg a health-minded vacation this summer on Hilton Head Island.

1. Stay Hydrated!

One of the most important things you can do to take care of yourself year-round (and especially in the summer months) is to keep hydrated. Proper hydration will allows you to easily enjoy the warm weather safely, as well as provides  a number of other health, fitness, and beauty benefits, including:

  • Improved skin
  • Better digestion
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced allergies and asthma
  • Weight management and / or loss

Of course, water is your best go-to drink. But did you know that the whole eight glasses of eight ounces a day rule might not apply to you? According to the American Heart Association, “The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration.(add citation/link to this at the end of the article)” During the summer months on Hilton Head Island, you might need to drink more water than you are used to. But, this doesn’t mean water has to be boring! Try adding local (when available), whole food options like cucumbers, watermelon, lemons or limes. For a delicious, hydrating mocktail try this strawberry-basil “daiquiri”:

Strawberry-Basil Daiquiri Recipe Card with ingredients and directions

2. Switch Up Your Burger Game!

Nothing says summer like the smell of BBQ! While a traditional beef burger on a bun is a nice treat once in a while, consider adding some healthier alternatives into your regular BBQ rotation. Here are some ideas to help you switch up your burger routine and to try some new flavors.

Burger Bun Alternatives

Did you know there is more trans fat in your typical hamburger bun than in your burger? In addition to switching to antibiotic and hormone free meat, try sinking your teeth into bun alternatives like:

  • Cauliflower buns
  • Sprouted grain buns
  • Fresh lettuce (cut bun size)
  • Grilled portabello mushroom
  • Grilled eggplant

Beef Patty Alternatives

Keeping the bun? That’s okay, too. Maybe you’ll try making the switch and choose fill your burger with some new protein choices every now and then. Top your patties with the same toppings you normally would, or get creative (we’ve got some suggestions)! Instead of a beef patty, next time try:

  • A turkey patty
  • A shrimp burger
  • A grilled chicken breast
  • A black bean or chickpea patty
  • Grilled fish
  • A grilled portabello mushroom

Unique Toppings

The classics (like pickles, mustard, cheese, ketchup, and mayo) are always welcome, but why not take your burger game to new heights with some refreshing, healthy toppings that may be a little out of the ordinary? The below condiments and toppings will add tons of flavor with some benefits being that they offer healthy fats, fiber, probiotics, and/or numerous vitamins thanks to many of them being made from fresh produce. Make your own, or pick them up at your local grocery store.

Next time, try topping your burger with:

  • Guacamole
  • Corn salsa
  • Pico de gallo
  • Chimichurri
  • Tzatziki (you can make this with Greek yogurt for a protein boost!)
  • Hummus
  • Pesto
  • Dijon mustard
  • Microgreens
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Coleslaw
  • Unique cheeses (halloumi, feta, and brie are always crowd pleasers)
  • Pickled veggies (carrots, onions, radishes)
  • Grilled pineapple

3. Super Sides

Your burger might be the star of the show, but don’t let that stop you from having delicious, healthy, and flavorful sides on-hand at your next barbecue. A few tips for some old favorites:

  • Skip the butter and lather your corn on the cob with coconut oil. Kick it up a notch with sea salt, chili powder and freshly squeezed lime juice. Mmm!
  • Spruce up your garden-fresh salads by including plenty of fresh herbs rather than relying too much on processed dressings from the grocery store to enhance flavor.
  • Don’t underestimate just how tasty grilled veggies can be. Make vegetable kabobs with wooden skewers and enjoy a combo of bell peppers, mushrooms, red onion, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes, lightly coated with olive oil and grilled. Simple, delicious, and healthy.
  • Lighten up your favorite potato salad recipe by substituting mayonnaise with alternatives such as Greek yogurt, avocado, or a vinaigrette dressing. Still tons of flavor with less calories and saturated fat!

4. Nutritious Popsicles

Who said popsicles need to be unhealthy? With temperatures reaching into the 90s on Hilton Head Island during the heat of the summer, it’s important it is to cool off after a day at the beach. It’s easy to make your own tasty, nutritious frozen treats that will be ready and waiting the next time you need to “chill” out. Be sure to invest in a popsicle mold (BPA-free is always best). Then, play around with any combination of the following ingredients:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Mint leaves
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Mango
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cashew milk
  • Almond butter
  • Chia seeds

Blend your chosen ingredients like a smoothie and pour into the mold to freeze, or mix and freeze a combination of fruit juice with sliced fruit and/or herbs to make a pretty and tasty treat.

5. Get Gardening!

You might be surprised to learn that pulling weeds and planting flowers can burn 200-400 calories per hour, and heavy yard work can burn as many as 400-600 calories per hour. So, not only will your efforts pay off in a bountiful harvest, but your body will notice a difference too! If you’re looking for a place to get started, Hilton Head Island has several community gardens and garden volunteering opportunities. Green-thumb it in the early morning to beat the heat and try wearing a cooling neck wrap (available at garden stores like Grayco Hardware) to make this worthwhile chore more enjoyable.

Not only is the act of gardening good for your body, it can be good for your dinner plate, too! Devote part of your garden to veggies and herbs and there will be no reason not to enjoy the best that nature has to offer for years to come. Some favorites that are always great to have on-hand: basil, chives, parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, carrots, green beans, and radishes.

6. Pedal Your Way to Better Health

Did you know that Hilton Head Island was named one of the top 25 bicycle-friendly communities in the United States? And that Hilton Head Island is also the only Gold Award bike friendly community in South Carolina? Your visit to the Island is the perfect opportunity to dust off that bicycle and to get peddling. It’s fun, efficient, better for the environment, and good for you too! Depending on your speed, distance and duration, bicycling can burn 400-600 calories and hour and with Hilton Head Islands gentle sea breeze you can stay cool, too.

7. Fun Fitness

This summer, choose activities that double as fun outings, and a chance to work on your fitness, all at once.

Paddleboarding is one option that allows you to get out on the water and explore the beauty all around you while still being active. Whether you want to explore the Island’s waterways, trek out to neighboring islands like Tybee or Daufuskie, or try SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) yoga, this sport works every muscle group. Bonus: you can take a dip whenever you need a refreshing break.

Just keep swimming! Simple, fun, and effective. Is there anything more fun and refreshing than going for a swim? Swimming is great for cardiovascular health and is one of the best ways to cool off in the summer heat. Make a fun afternoon of it by going for a swim at the beach and then enjoying a healthy sunset picnic.

Advantage, Hilton Head Island: Hilton Head Island boasts eight of the world's top 100 tennis resorts and camps, so there’s no shortage of places to get your serve on! Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie entirely, this summer is the perfect time to pull out the racket and play.

Ready to experience all that Hilton Head Island has to offer? There’s something for everyone - whether you’re a health and fitness aficionado or simply looking to take some steps towards a healthier lifestyle. Read more about planning your stay, and get ready to visit Hilton Head Island for your health!.


Find Your Island Time

Hilton Head is America’s favorite island, offering 12 miles of pristine beaches and everything you need for the ultimate retreat. Enjoy easy days relaxing in the sun, sand and surf on some of the best beaches in the country.
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