Get Ready for Summer

Photo: mandlyinlovewithlife With summer comes a plethora of great things; outdoor entertaining, beach parties, fireflies, a bounty of fresh produce, and great opportunities to get fit. And though you might prefer one over the other, say beach parties over exercising, neither should be ignored. Winter is officially over. So, get out there! It’s time to get moving,  and enjoy the sunshine. Here are some tips to help you out.

Photo: Ruthieki

Utilize the longer days. Now that it doesn't get dark until much later, take advantage of it, and exercise outdoors. Recent scientific studies propose outside physical activity benefits you more than working out on exercise equipment. You step differently when running outdoors, for one. Also, it takes more effort to run outside than on a treadmill, because indoor exercisers do not experience changes in terrain or experience resistance due to wind velocity. Getting active in nature is way more satisfying then staring at blank walls in the gym. So, go to the park, the beach, or hit the streets of your neighborhood and rev up your exercise sessions.

Take advantage of summer produce. Some of the most prized fruits and vegetables are in season during the warmer months! Peaches, tomatoes, peppers, melons, plums, basil, corn, eggplant, summer squash. Summer is prime time for BLTs, salsas, watermelon with a sprinkle of salt, pestos, and corn on the cob. Preserve summer’s bounty by freezing fruits to put in future smoothies, and canning vegetables.

Cook outside. Alfresco entertaining is a great way to spend time with friends and family. Grilling adds flavor to foods and is a super-quick cooking method. To minimize the risks associated with charred foods, marinate your meat to help reduce carcinogens, and minimize fire exposure by not cooking meat past its goal temperature: 145 degrees for steak and pork, 160 degrees for ground meats, and 165 degrees for poultry.

For more Health & Wellness stories:

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Healthier Homemade Dips and Chips

Eat, Fast and Live Longer

The Art of Mindful Eating

The Health Benefits of Avocados