The warmer months are finally rolling around and many people are getting outside to enjoy the nice weather. It is safe to say that during the spring and summer, most people are more physically active, participating in activities such as biking, hiking, walking or running. Just like good nutrition, being physically active plays a large role in keeping our bodies healthy.
Physical activity and exercise play a large role in maintaining or improving health. Over the last few decades, our lifestyles have become more and more sedentary. Screen time has increased by one to two hours per day, we sleep on average one to two hours less and most people work desk jobs, sometimes sitting for eight or more hours per day. According to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, it is important for Canadians to achieve a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity of aerobic activity per week. Moderate-intensity activities, like swimming or a brisk walk, should make the individual breath harder and sweat a little, while vigorous-intensity, like running, will cause the individual to be out of breath and sweat more. So take advantage of the warmer days and head outside for a nice walk! Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none.
It is also very important to note that exercise is important for so much more than just for weight loss! While losing weight can be a by-product of being more physically active, exercise will help you live longer, it can help prevent long term health conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, improve sleep, physical fitness and also mental health.
In choosing a more active lifestyle, it is important to also incorporate more nutritious foods in your diet and, of course, to drink lots of water to stay hydrated. Healthy foods in the proper portions will help fuel your body for exercise and help you perform your best! Good quality carbohydrates like whole grain breads, rice, oatmeal, fruits and starchy vegetables will provide your muscles with the energy it needs for exercise. Lean protein sources like poultry, fish and yogurt will help fuel and also repair muscles after vigorous exercise. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily are extremely important as these foods will provide fibre, vitamins and minerals essential to performance and health. Combining nutrition and exercise is an easy recipe for good health.
If you are one of the thousands of Nova Scotians who will be taking part in the Bluenose Marathon in Halifax over the May long weekend, you can visit members of our store dietitian team at the event. We will have local Superstore dietitians on site at Atlantic Superstore’s booth at the Active Living Expo during the marathon weekend, who will be available to answer any questions you may have about what to eat, and when, to fuel yourself for exercise and optimum performance. Good luck on your run!
This Tropical Coconut Water Smoothie is a great refreshing and nutritious treat after spending the afternoon walking or running outside, especially on warmer days. It is essential to replenish your electrolyte stores when you sweat a lot during exercise. The coconut water in this smoothie will do just that and also provides a delicious tropical flavour.
Tropical Coconut Water Smoothie
2 cups (500 mL) pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
1 cup (250 mL) mango chunks, fresh or frozen
1 cup (250 mL) PC Coconut Water
Half a large ripe banana
½ cup (125 mL) PC Plain 0% M.F. Greek Yogurt
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh lime juice
1. If using fresh fruit, place chunks together in a shallow dish and place in freezer for 1 hour.
2. Place frozen fruit, coconut water, banana, yogurt and lime juice in blender. Puree until very smooth.
3. Divide among four glasses.
Per serving: 130 calories, 0.3g of fat, 55mg of sodium, 28g of carbohydrate, 3g of fibre, 4g of protein
Kerri Robichaud is a Registered Dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in Amherst, Nova Scotia.
Have a nutrition question? Want to book an appointment or shop with the dietitian? Book online at www.atlanticsuperstore/dietitians, contact me by phone at (506) 866-2115 or by email at email@example.com.