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6 ways to have your summer body

Summer is here, and that means goodbye long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and hello shorts and tank tops...and anxiety.

It seems that when the weather warms up, it's almost instantly accompanied by body-bashing thoughts. "Are my arms too flabby for this sleeveless tank?" "Has the skin around my knees always looked this bunchy?" "Did the apparel brands all decide to make shorts inches shorter this summer?"

When these thoughts start, focus on these six ways to have your summer body:

All bodies are summer bodies: Yes! Congratulations! You have a summer body. You don't have to do a single thing different to have your winter body become a summer body – the seasons change for you. If you do choose to make healthier lifestyle changes this summer with your diet and/or exercise, remember that long, healthful changes continue year-round so make sure they are sustainable practices that extend beyond the warm-weather months.

Enjoy moving your summer body: Our bodies are made to move. Regardless of if you're a regular at the gym or prefer walking the dog, it's important for you to find ways you enjoy being active. Participating in regular, moderate activity is not only part of a healthy lifestyle, it can help us feel more confident in our bodies. Moderate activity can be a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities, including playing catch outside, Frisbee, walking with your family or friends, hiking the bluffs, kayaking, biking and so much more. Choose what your summer body enjoys and keep up with it.

Wear clothes that fit your summer body: Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and clothing brands reflect this. Unfortunately, not all larges are large and not all smalls are small. Tight clothing have a tendency to draw unwanted attention to areas of your body. So take the time to find clothing brands whose sizes comfortably fit your summer body. And don't worry if you end up with five different sizes in your closet – that's normal! Be true to your body by finding brands, sizes, styles and cuts that fit your summer body's shape and size so you can be comfortable and confident all summer long.

Fuel your summer body: Food is fuel and our summer bodies need well-balanced, nutritious food to give us the energy we need to participate in activities. Summer is the perfect time to explore the local farmers' markets or try a new piece of produce you have been debating about experimenting with. At summer barbecues and cookouts, look for lean protein options or even grill some vegetable and fruit kabobs. Remember our diets should be largely fruits and vegetables, with whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean meats…and a sweet treat every once and a while, too.

Thank your summer body for all it can do: Think about it – your body does some pretty amazing things all day long without you realizing it. Your heart beats, your lungs breathe and your arms pick up your kids, grandkids or dog. Your summer body is strong enough to help you do a full weekend of yard work and clean the house. Our bodies do amazing things all day and all summer long. Thank your summer body for all it does and all of the things it has the ability to do that you haven't conquered yet.

Have confidence in your summer body: Confidence is contagious. Not only should you be confident in your summer body's skills, but also in your summer body's abilities and appearance. You are unique and fabulous, and there is nobody in the entire world just like you. Be proud of that! Being confident in your body can also help you to stick with the healthy lifestyle changes you are making. Whether it's giving birth to your three children, or being able to run a 5K, have confidence that your summer body is the right body for you just the way that it is.

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