We know that regular exercise is crucial to long term health. It’s up there with complete nutrition and sleep, in terms of things you just have to do. During the cold winter months, it’s easy to tell ourselves, “not today, it’s time to hibernate.” Fortunately, winter has moved out and spring is here to stay (for a few weeks, at least). Meaning, in short, it’s time to get moving again! Get moving outdoors, that is.
Moves That Make You Feel Good
Whether you’re a runner, a walker, a cyclist or a strength trainer, there’s plenty to be said about taking your workout outside (or working out in general, for that matter). Whether it’s the sun shine, the fresh air, the cool grass or the chirping birds, outdoor activities not only make us feel better, but they also make us more likely to keep coming back for more. Physical activity on uneven surfaces and inconsistent grades add a different dimension to workouts, activating muscles that would otherwise stay quite on a treadmill or stationary bike – you get more bang for your buck!
Moves That Do Something Good
If you’re new to working out outside, don’t let a horde of fluorescent-clothed sprinters keep you from getting your run/walk/ride on. Everyone starts a health journey the same way – by starting, regardless of how they think they look. If you need some motivating, grab a group of friends and make a date out of your workout. Even more, move for a cause! We’re big fans and supporters of Charity Miles, an free app that enables people to earn corporate sponsorships for charity while walking, running or biking. Some of our favorite nonprofits that benefit from Charity Miles users include Every Mother Counts and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. It’s easy to use; just download the app and get moving – the app does the rest!
Moves for Things That Taste Good
Fortunately or unfortunately, your workout doesn’t stop when you hit the showers. Don’t waste the burn from your sweat session by reaching for the bag of chips. Instead, reach for something that is going to help you recover and refuel for tomorrow. Smoothies are great choices, as liquids are absorbed and digested more quickly than solid foods. They can quickly enter the Calorie Danger Zone, though, when you make one yourself. Be careful with what you add to your blender and when in doubt, measure it out.
Choose a combination of foods that are rich in complete proteins, fast acting carbohydrates (so they’re absorbed more quickly), as well as fruits and vegetables that are rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Kefir is an excellent choice as a base, as studies show probiotics may enhance recovery in fatigued athletes. Blueberries, bananas and pineapple also contain specific vitamins and enzymes that help combat muscle soreness and inflammation, and support quick recovery. Drink up and get back out there tomorrow!