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Put a SPRING in Your Step with Regular Exercise & A Balanced Diet

You spent some cozy nights relaxing by the fire. You hunkered down while the snow fell outside. And you enjoyed a comfort food or two. Now that the weather is warming and the days are longer, no more excuses for lounging—it’s spring!

Hopefully, the winter weather hasn’t put too much of a damper on your trips to Curves or your overall weight loss routine. If it has, that’s OK. All you can do is move forward and get back into your healthy eating plan and full body workout once again.

Good news is, spring is the ideal time to renew your weight loss plan and mix Curves strength training and indoor classes with outdoor workouts in the sun and fresh air. Walking, hiking, biking, swimming, and other outdoor activities are all wonderful additions to the full body workout you get with Curves. Walk, bike, or jog to and from your local Curves ladies only gym to maximize your daily workout routine.

Benefits of fresh air physical activity

Exercising outdoors feels good and is healthy for your body and mind, too. For one, outside activity gives you a dose of vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and healthy bones. Vitamin D also helps with cell growth, immune function, and reducing inflammation.1

Plus, research shows exercising in the sun and fresh air will lift your spirits and put an extra spring in your step. One study found that those who exercised in nature were more likely to be upbeat and optimistic.2

Yet another bonus: exercising outside—especially if you do it without headphones—provides a total escape. No work emails, social media, or texts—just an elevated heartrate in natural surroundings.

Outdoor exercise also counts toward your total number of daily steps and calories burned. When you engage in 30 minutes of the following outdoor activities, here are the number of calories you will burn (for a 155-pound person):

  • Brisk Walking: 167
  • Hiking: 223
  • Bicycling: 298
  • Gardening: 167
  • Swimming: 223
  • Jogging: 223
  • Dancing: 205
  • Kayaking: 1863

Freshen your Healthy Eating Plan

Spring is the time of year when everything blooms and turns green, and it’s the top season for fresh produce. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend you fill at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. Half your snacks should consist of fresh fruits and veggies, too.4 Vegetables are particularly good parts of a weight loss eating plan because they add bulk with few calories. So, incorporate a variety of fresh, healthful produce into your healthy eating plan. You can sneak fruits and vegetables into almost any recipe, adding different texture, color, and flavor to springtime meals.5

Some of the most delicious, nutritious spring fruits and vegetables include the following:

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Pineapples
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips

Here are some tips on incorporating tasty spring fruits and vegetables into your favorite recipes:

  • Throw some fresh strawberries into your morning oatmeal
  • Add chopped onions, celery, turnips, spinach, or kale to scrambled eggs
  • Toss in fresh pineapples to add some sweetness to your lunch salad
  • Top your sandwich with avocado, cucumber, spinach, radishes or kale
  • Munch on raw celery or carrot sticks instead of chips
  • Add chopped vegetables, spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard to stir fry, spaghetti sauce, burritos, or any other main dish
  • Mix peas into your rice to an extra nutritious, tasty side dish
  • For dessert, have a bowl of strawberries topped with cocoa powder and a dollop of plain yogurt6

Another plus in the spring season—with warmer weather, you will have more opportunities to eat meals outside, which research shows can help support a weight loss eating plan. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, when you eat slowly, as people usually do when they are dining outdoors on a beautiful day, you tend to eat less overall.7

Spring is the season of renewal and rejuvenation, the perfect time to refresh and reset in all areas of your life, including your whole body workout and healthy eating plan. So, harness the springtime energy and optimism, and take it with you as you continue your health and wellness journey at Curves!

Sources:

  1. National Institutes of Health
  2. Extreme Physiology & Medicine
  3. Harvard Medical School
  4. ChooseMyPlate
  5. Eating Well
  6. Heart.org
  7. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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