Regular exercise and a balanced diet do wonders for mental and physical well-being, but did you know that simply spending time in the great outdoors touts many of the same benefits? It’s true: nature offers boosts to mood, energy levels, and immunity. This spring, add an extra boost of wellness to your workout with some open-air fun, and be sure to fuel that fun with nutritious snacks.
1. Swimming is a tried and true way to beat the heat. Even in cooler temperatures, hanging out in a pool with friends and family is such a fun way to stay active that you won’t even notice you’re exercising. Your arms, legs, and core get a workout as you propel yourself through the water, and swimming is a low-impact, joint-friendly way to build endurance and flexibility.
All of that fun will work up an appetite, so re-fuel with a smoothie full of healthy carbohydrates and glycogen to replenish energy. Snack on some protein like a tuna sandwich or hummus dip to stave off muscle soreness. Here are some ideas for perfect post-swim snacks.
2. For a more challenging outdoor cardio workout, go for a hike. Luckily, peaks are almost as abundant in Arizona as pools. Hiking aficionados and nature enthusiasts from across the world visit our state to scale mountains and take in the natural landscape. With hundreds of trails in the Phoenix area alone, it’s easy to find a good fit for a hiker of any age and skill level.
It’s crucial to stay hydrated before, during, and after any hike, especially in the Arizona heat. Always carry water with you! Stay energized with lightweight snacks like trail mix, dried fruit and seeds. Check out these ideas for portable and nutritious snacks to bring along on your hiking adventure.
3. Finally, a fun-filled family day is always just a stroll away to your neighborhood park! Most parks have racquetball, volleyball, tennis, or soccer courts; just bring a ball from home and enjoy your game of choice with loved ones. Parks are also safer than mountains or roadsides if you want take the kids out for a bike ride, and the expansive green fields can be used for playground games such as tag, hide-and-seek, and scavenger hunts. Who needs a gym when a park is right around the corner?
It’s important to stay fueled with nutritious snacks at your park outing, even if your home is just a few blocks away. As always, bring plenty of water, and avoid salty snacks, as they can dehydrate your body and leave you thirsty. Snacks that are high in protein will keep you and your family full longer, so you can enjoy the park until sundown. Here is a list of healthy and inexpensive snacks to fuel a day of fun in your neighborhood park
An Arizona spring brings new opportunities to experience natural beauty while we work to become our healthiest, happiest selves. We can’t wait to take advantage of everything the new season has to offer!