January 31, 2018
Limiting sedentary behaviour is important for health and wellbeing, so why not make the most of daylight savings and get out and about for an evening activity.
Head down to your local dog park, the nearest beach or just around the block to increase your heart rate. Did you know that more than half of all Australian adults are not active enough? The guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of ‘moderate-intensity’ exercise on 5 days of the week for good health. This could include brisk walking, swimming, dancing and even household tasks like cleaning or raking leaves.
Get off to a good start by preparing a healthy, wholesome breakfast to energise you for the day ahead. Why not try high protein bread with avocado and egg, an omelette, oats with yoghurt and fruit or a smoothie. Even if you’re not a ‘breakfast person’, have something small or prepare something to have on the go for when you are ready to eat.
Did you know: protein is really important when it comes to satisfying hunger, so include some protein powder, natural peanut butter, milk or yoghurt in your breakfast smoothie!
Eating fruit and vegetables in season means eating food naturally grown and harvested at the time of year that you buy and eat them. This carries benefits to your health, as you’ll get the best tasting, freshest food available. With the summer season comes summer fruit! Cherries, melons, mango, pineapple, passionfruit, cantaloupe, raspberries and strawberries are just a few of the many fruits in season now! Vegetables in season include capsicum, cucumber, avocadoes, tomatoes and green beans.
Water is essential for health, helping to regulate your body temperature and transport nutrients to give you energy. If you’re not well hydrated, your body can’t perform at its best, and with the summer heat, it is even more important to make sure you’re filling up those water bottles. Start your day with a glass of water, and aim for a minimum of 100mls each hour throughout the day.
With the business of summer, it can be easy to skip meals. This only leads to increased hunger levels later on in the day, meaning you are more likely to snack on convenience foods! Always be prepared and pre-plan your meals and snacks for the day or week ahead. Make sure you eat regular meals, to help regulate your blood sugar levels, meet your energy needs and maintain concentration levels!
For all those summer outings to the beach, the park and road trips, bringing along some pre-prepared meals means avoiding takeaway. The convenience drive-through options are packed full of nasties! Pack a cooler filled with bottled water, and a selection of food and snacks such as sandwiches, yoghurt, fruit, nuts, tuna or veggies sticks with hummus.
If you do get stuck on the road though, aim to stop at service centre that has a ‘Oliver’s’ or healthy alternatives, and always look at the back packaging for sugar and carbohydrates.
Summer is the perfect time of year to serve up fresh seafood at your dinner party or family BBQ. Load up a platter of prawns, calamari and muscles, or serve up some grilled salmon with a fresh salad. Not only is seafood quick and easy to prepare, it is packed full of vitamins and minerals.
If you do load up on salmon, tuna and other oily fish you will also get the added benefit of unsaturated fats, including omega-3.
For those who are avoiding alcohol, but still want a refreshing summer drink… make your own alcohol-free mocktail! For a simple alternative, combine diet cordial, sparkling water, mint and your choice of summer fruit!
If you choose to drink over the summer, there are ways to make better choices. Avoid cocktails, as they tend to be made with many ingredients meaning they can be high in sugar. Opt for something lower in sugar and calories, such as a vodka and soda water, or a homemade punch using blended fruit and soda water.
Also be wary of the silent sugar packer- tonic water. Whilst not tasting overly sweet, tonic water contains almost as much sugar as coke – so multiple G&T’s in the sun are a big no-no.
Have fun, enjoy the summer season while it lasts and allow your self some well-deserved time off.
Relaxation leads to reduced stress levels, which is important for your mental health and wellbeing. Spend time with the family, go on a day trip, sleep in and read a good book.
Don’t get caught up or feel guilty for a little indulgence, but be kind to yourself by remembering that life is not all about fitting in your jeans!