Outdoor Summer Activities
There are plenty of reasons to get outside and enjoy the sunshine this summer. Spending time outdoors can increase energy, improve your mood and burn calories. Just remember to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated!
Below are some fun outdoor activities to get you moving:
- Swimming: This full-body workout burns about 476 calories per hour.
- Hiking: Burn around 442 calories per hour while spending quality time outdoors.
- Biking: This low-impact activity burns about 476 calories per hour and strengthens your legs.
- Volleyball: You can burn around 544 calories per hour playing this beach sport.
Shop the Farmers Market
Nothing is more frustrating than fruit or veggies going bad before you are able to eat them. Produce purchased in supermarkets is usually harvested long before it is found on grocery store shelves; in fact, it is estimated that produce travels an average of 1,500 miles from its source before reaching our homes. Because of this, many fruits and vegetables aren’t at peak freshness and need to be eaten within a few days of purchase. Your local farmers market can help bridge the gap from farm to table.
There are several benefits to buying locally sourced food: you support local farmers, you can buy in-season produce and your perishable food items will last much longer because they come fresh from the farm. During the summer months, farmers markets offer a rainbow of delicious and healthy options to choose from; sweet corn, bell peppers and eggplant are all in season during the summer months and can most likely be found in plentiful supply at your local farmers market.
There is often such a variety at farmers markets that you can always find something you’ve never tried before. Aren’t sure how to prepare your newly discovered fruits and veggies? Just ask! Many vendors are passionate about the food they produce and are often more than happy to offer preparation tips and tasty recipes for you to try.
Farmers markets aren’t just for produce. You can also find locally sourced eggs, meat, jams and baked goods at farmers markets. Flowers, crafts and jewelry are popular items as well. In addition, farmers markets are a great way to connect with your community; you can get to know your local farmers, catch up with friends and spend time with your family.
Now that summer is here, check out your local farmers market. Buying local is a great way for you to eat healthier and save money.
Pesticides and Produce
Many popular fruits and vegetables are grown with the use of pesticides, but some types of produce contain more pesticide residue than others. While you should rinse all produce with water before eating, consider spending more time washing the fruits and veggies below, as they have been found to have the highest levels of pesticide residue.
The Effect of E-cigarettes on Health
E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in recent years. While many adult smokers switch to e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit tobacco, teenagers are the largest and fastest growing population for e-cigarette use. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products reported that e-cigarette use among teens tripled in 2014.
While e-cigarettes are commonly believed to be a safer alternative to regular cigarettes, very little is known about their effect on the body. Research has found that e-cigarette vapors produce particles containing harmful chemicals. These chemicals can harm lung tissue and worsen acute respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. Consider limiting your use of e-cigarettes until further research has been conducted.
Over and over I talk about making changes that stick because it’s something most people want. (During speaking engagements, when I ask if anyone makes New Year’s resolutions, nearly everyone raises their hands.)
My method is one you’ve heard me talk about here many times: take big changes, break them down into small pieces, and work on them one at time until they become a habit.
This classic dish incorporates seasonal summer vegetables like eggplant and red bell peppers.
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 3½ cups tomatoes, diced
- 1 lemon, quartered
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Put a large pot on the stove over medium-low heat, and when it is hot, add the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, basil and oregano and cook covered until the eggplant is very soft—about 40 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve right away, garnished with lemon quarters and basil, or cover and refrigerate up to three days.
Yield: 8 servings. Each serving provides 77 calories, 2 g of fat, 0 g of saturated fat, 18 mg of sodium, 3 g of protein and 5 g of fiber.