Nutrition and Workout Tips for Spring and Summer
May 13, 2015
Spring is here and summer is upon us, which means its time to get excited and ready by focusing on your nutrition and workouts so you can look and feel your best during this glorious time of year!
Let’s start with nutrition. Eating natural foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is an important part of healthy nutrition as these foods are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants and are low in calories. Luckily, there are many great choices of fruits and vegetables that are in season during the spring and summer months. Some vegetable examples include tomatoes, broccoli, cucumbers, mushrooms, spinach, green beans and eggplant. Some fruit examples include strawberries, raspberries, peaches, mangos, plums, watermelons and grapes. For a full list of fruits and vegetables available by season, check out this list from the United States Department of Agriculture and incorporate into your meals and snacks.
It’s also important to eat proteins, which could include lean meats such as chicken, fish and turkey and/or beans, nuts, eggs, tofu or other soy products. During the warmer months, you can even put your lean meats on the grill for a healthy and great taste. Consuming protein will benefit your hair, skin, nails, muscles and tissues.
Carbohydrates and dairy can also be beneficial to your nutrition plan and can give you energy and contribute to strong bones during a time of year when you might be outside more and even more active. Some complex carbohydrate options include whole grain breads, pastas and cereals, steel-cut oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice. Some dairy options include low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt.
Finally, during the warmer months, it’s important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water based on your body weight and activity levels. For more information and education on your nutrition sources, daily intake and portion size recommendations, visit the United States Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate.gov website.
In addition to nutrition, exercise is also a very important part of getting in shape for spring and summer. This time of year makes it easy to be active if you like outdoor activities such as running, walking, biking, hiking or swimming or outdoor sports such as tennis, baseball, softball or sand volleyball. For those who want to work out indoors, there are plenty of great classes and equipment at your local gym or fitness apps, online workout videos or DVDs you could do at home.
No matter what types of activities you’re interested in, it’s important to be active most days of the week if possible for both adults and children. According to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, adults between the ages of 18-64, need about 150 minutes of moderate, cardiovascular activity per week, which could be broken down into 30 minutes, five days a week and strength training activity using weights, equipment or your own body weight, at least twice a week. For more details and the specific breakdown of physical activity by age group, check out their website here. Remember to warm-up before your workouts and cool-down and stretch properly afterward.
Hopefully these tips and ideas are helpful as you get ready and healthy for spring and summer! As always, remember to consult your doctor prior to starting any new nutrition or exercise program, especially if you have any health concerns.