The warmer-weather months are the ideal time to get outdoors, stay active and focus on your health goals. Staying fit and eating healthy can come easy when you keep a few simple tips in mind.
(BPT) - The warmer-weather months are the ideal time to get outdoors, stay active and focus on your health goals. Staying fit and eating healthy can come easy when you keep a few simple tips in mind.
Explore Mother Nature
If the gym is getting boring or just isn't your style, it's time to find inspiration outdoors. Warmer months are when Mother Nature truly shines and it's the perfect opportunity to get outside and get active. Hike local parks, visit a beach and take a paddleboard class, rent a kayak with a friend and explore a regional river — the opportunities are endless.
"You might find inspiration in your own backyard by enjoying playful stuff you used to do as a kid like jump rope, hopscotch, hula hoop or play on the swing set,” says registered dietitian and nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner. "Kid stuff can burn lots of calories, plus it adds fun and fuels your spirit."
Avoid mid-day heat
During hot weather, be aware of peak heat periods. Typically, this is in the afternoon, generally between noon and 5 p.m. It's wise to spend time outdoors earlier in the morning or later after dinner so that you don't have to worry about heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion.
Eat a wholesome breakfast
Before heading out for a morning adventure, don't forgo the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Give your body the fuel it needs so you can enjoy your activities to the fullest.
Longer days bring more sunshine, and while those rays can be amazing for getting outdoors, it's important to adopt sun-safe practices. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, everyone should use sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays), is SPF 30 or higher and is water resistant. Additionally, consider wearing sunglasses and a hat to protect the face and eyes.
Drink up and snack smart
Your body sweats as a way to keep cool. During warm weather this can happen quickly, especially if you are working out or being active outdoors. Always keep a bottle of water close by and drink up regularly. Some people even set a reminder on their phone.
"And don’t think that plain water is the only way to stay hydrated in the summer," says Blatner. "You can also get hydrated with unsweetened sun tea, water infused with fruit, or by actually eating water-rich fruits such as watermelon and pineapple."
Visit the local farmers market
Want a healthy eating tip from a professional chef? "Seek out fresh fare from your local farmers market and enjoy all the flavors of the season," says Chef Jonathan Poyourow, a registered and licensed dietitian, and assistant professor at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts.
"Choose produce in a multitude of colors so you can enjoy a bounty of flavors and get a variety of vitamins and nutrients. For instance, green broccoli is a good source of fiber and carotenoids while yellow peppers are high in vitamin C."
Next, try some chef-approved recipes to tempt your taste buds. For example, this tasty sheet pan recipe can be customized by using the local fare you just picked up at the market.
While the oven is preheating, chop all of the vegetables into bite-size pieces to ensure they will roast quickly and evenly in the oven.
Arrange the chopped vegetables in a single layer onto the sheet pan in rainbow order: red bell pepper, grape tomatoes, radishes, carrots, orange bell pepper, yellow squash, yellow bell pepper, broccoli, zucchini, radicchio.
Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle the salt, pepper and oregano evenly on top.
Using your hands, lightly toss the vegetables on the sheet pan while keeping the rainbow order intact until they are all evenly coated.
Place the sheet pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes or until all vegetables are slightly tender.
Remove baking sheet from oven but leave oven on. Create room throughout the sheet pan for six eggs and then crack the eggs over the vegetables.
Return sheet pan to oven and bake until whites are set and yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and scoop vegetables and one egg into bowl or on top of your choice of rice, quinoa or greens.
Follow these simple precautions for working out in the heat
(BPT) - From tornadoes and floods to hail and lightning storms, the United States experiences a broad array of extreme weather. Fatalities do occur, but many people are surprised to learn that the weather event that causes the greatest number of deaths is heat.
According to the National Weather Service, heat causes the greatest number of weather-related fatalities each year. In fact, an average of 130 people a year lost their lives as a result of heat from 1986-2015. This is a higher number than all other weather events, including hurricanes.
From coast to coast, many regions are experiencing heat waves and extreme temperatures this summer. The toll the heat can take on the body should not be underestimated. It's important to take precautions to ensure safety in the heat when exercising, entertaining or working outdoors or in non-air-conditioned areas like the garage.
Hydration: The top tip for giving your body the power to beat the heat is to stay hydrated. You need water to sweat, which cools the body. When sweat evaporates, it cools the air around the skin so you can maintain a comfortable body temperature. Be certain to avoid sugar or caffeinated drinks, as they are not as effective as plain old H2O. Rest: Whether at work or play, be sure to take breaks from the heat. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, both of which are dangerous conditions caused by too much time in hot temperatures. Frequent breaks from strenuous activity allow the body to rest and cool down. Shade: High temperatures paired with the UV rays of the sun can be a dangerous combination. If you must spend time outdoors, try to do so in the shade. Shaded surfaces, for example, may be 20–45 degrees cooler than the peak temperatures of unshaded surfaces, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Cooling: While air conditioning is not an option for open areas like the patio, deck or garage, consider achieving cooling in these spaces with a portable evaporative cooler. Using the ambient air and the natural process of evaporation, these coolers produce chilled air to create a comfortably cool environment. Portacool portable evaporative coolers offer a variety of sizes to accommodate spaces from 1,000 to 6,000 square feet. They operate with a standard 110-V, are energy-efficient and are equipped with heavy-duty castors for easy mobility. Clothing: Loose-fitting clothing made from lightweight materials can help keep your body cool during hot temperatures while shielding you from sunburn. This type of clothing can breathe, meaning that air can easily circulate to your body and keep you cool. Be selective when it comes to colors. Choosing light-colored attire is wise because it can reflect heat more efficiently than darker tones. Peak hours: While it's not always possible, it's wise to avoid being outdoors during peak heat periods of the day. This is typically noon to 5 p.m. So if you must work in your garage or plan to exercise outdoors, start early in the morning. Consider planning family cookouts for later in the evening when the sun lowers and temperatures start to drop.