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Healthy summer habits to keep year-round

Li Zhongfei

With warm weather, extra free time, luscious seasonal produce and seemingly endless hours of sunlight, it's usually a bit easier to stick to healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle habits in the summer.

But the return to busier schedules and shorter days doesn't mean you should let your well-being fall by the wayside. Check out this list of healthy summer habits you'll want to keep going all year round...

Find time for a workout

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The summer provides the perfect climate for outdoor activities like hiking, biking and swimming. With a few extra layers, you can keep jogging or biking well into the fall. But after that, while moving most of your physical activity indoors may not be as fun, finding time to exercise is still important. The key is to plan your day to fit in a workout, whether it's an early morning run or lunchtime trip to the gym.

Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, sledding and ice skating also provide great workouts that can help build muscle, endurance and balance.

Watch your waistline

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Swimsuit season may be over, but that's no reason to give up on your diet.

The key to sticking to a healthy diet is planning ahead, says Lori Rosenthal, a registered dietitian who specializes in weight management at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "At the beginning of the week, look at your schedule, plug in meals and snacks and make a grocery list," she told CBS News. "If you know a specific day will be hectic, pick something quick, easy and portable."

Colder temperatures often mean heavier foods, and holiday parties from Halloween to New Year's can throw off anyone's healthy eating plan. Avoid going to parties on an empty stomach and just try a sampling of your favorite foods, as opposed to piling everything from the buffet onto your plate.

Apply sunscreen

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It's a myth that you can't get sunburned in the winter. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing sunscreen every day you will be outside -- not just in summer -- to protect yourself from the sun's harmful UV rays.

If you are participating in outdoor sports or will be outside for an extended period of time, be sure to use sunscreen on all exposed skin, including ears, around the eyes, and on the neck, the underside of chin, scalp and hands. Use a lip balm with SPF on your lips. In winter, the snow reflects the sun's rays and the wind can wear away sunscreen so bring a travel-size bottle and reapply regularly. Remember, skin cancer is the most common -- and the most preventable -- cancer.

Stay hydrated

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With the sun beaming all day and humidity weighing down the air, chugging water becomes second nature in the summer. But when temperatures cool, it might not be as easy to remember to drink your fill of H2O.

But hydration is important in maintaining good health and should be a priority year-round. While the conventional wisdom has been to drink eight glasses of water per day, there actually aren't any standard guidelines.

Earlier this year, the Harvard Health Letter set recommendations at 30 to 50 ounces a day, an amount equal to about four to six glasses of water. The Institute of Medicine has determined that generally, adequate intake of all fluids -- including, but not limited to, water -- per day is roughly 15 cups for men and 11 cups for women.

Cook safely

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Grilling mass amounts of food for summer barbecues requires taking care to ensure the safety of all your guests. It's just as important to keep these rules in mind to avoid getting sick when cooking at home.

According to the FDA, meat should be cooked to the following internal temperatures: red meat - 145 degrees; poultry - 165 degrees; pork - 145 degrees. Avoid washing raw meat and poultry, since that practice can spread bacteria. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling these foods. Use separate cutting boards for meat and poultry products and wash all utensils, cutting surfaces and counters with hot, soapy water after use. Store all leftovers in a shallow covered container and refrigerate.