Hydration, Electrolytes, and Exercise

  Hydration is a key factor when it comes to physical activity. Our bodies need adequate water intake to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, and bring important nutrients throughout your body for energy. When you’re not well-hydrated, it can greatly impact your performance with exercise, and even more importantly, it can take a toll on things like organ function and blood pressure. From light intensity to high intensity and on hot days and even cold days, it is imperative to practice good hydration before, during, and after exercise. What Factors Affect Hydration? Many factors can affect hydration during exercise and activity. During physical activity, your body loses fluid through sweat. Sweating can occur on hot summer days, as well as cold winter days, and every other day in between. Sweating can occur without it being visible. For example, did [...]

Mocktails: Happiness in a Cup

  A mocktail can be a perfect addition to an evening of partying or relaxing at the pool. Try something healthy and refreshing to enjoy this summer. Use the tips below to create a signature drink without the worries of excess calories. Ingredients: Recipes can use a variety of ingredients such as club soda, tonic water, juice, and coconut water. Seltzer water, club soda, or tonic water: Which one is better? Seltzer water and club soda are calorie free and great ingredients for mocktails. Unfortunately, tonic water is high in added sugar. To put it in perspective, 12 fluid ounces of tonic water has 33 grams of added sugar (about 8 teaspoons of sugar). If you use tonic water, be mindful of your portion size since calories can add up quickly or try no sugar added tonic water. Tip: If [...]

Hydration and Mental Health

  Staying hydrated is an integral part of health and wellness. However, it is often overlooked, especially when water is out of sight and out of mind. You’re probably familiar with how hydration is necessary during exercise, fighting a cold, or proper digestion. But did you know that adequate hydration is important for our mental health too? Let’s take a closer look at how it can affect us mentally. Improved Brain Performance According to the National Council on Aging, “even mild dehydration – as little as 2% fluid loss – can affect memory, mood, concentration, and reaction time.” Getting adequate hydration throughout the day can balance all these areas and positively impact our brain performance. As you age, the risk for dehydration increases, and cognitive function can decrease. This shows that proper hydration and water intake are key factors in [...]

Make a Hydration Station

  Make a Hydration Station in your Fridge! All the good-for-you foods are packed with water: fruits and vegetables. We get most of our hydration from drinking fluids, but about 20% of our hydration needs are met by the food we eat. Prepare fruits and vegetables once or twice a week to keep in the fridge. Wash and slice (if needed) and put in snack-size containers. When someone in the house wants a snack, they can quickly grab good nutrition and hydration. Some fruits and vegetables have a higher water content than others. The following is a list of produce picks with high water content. Pick a variety of fruits and vegetables from the list below to create great nutrition for your Hydration Station: Fruit Vegetables Apples Cucumber Watermelon Tomato Peaches Celery Strawberries Zucchini Cantaloupe Bell pepper Oranges Cauliflower Grapefruit [...]

Great Ways to Exercise Outdoors

Summertime is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than getting outside. In fact, June is National Great Outdoors Month! This is a great time to explore our nation’s beautiful and numerous parks, trails, and natural wonders. Here are five ways to get moving in the great outdoors. Go for a Walk or Run Whether you are on a quick lunch break or training for a race, a walk or run around the block is a great way to be active this summer. Very minimal equipment is needed for this kind of exercise, making it easier to squeeze into your day. All you will need is a supportive pair of gym shoes, extra water for hydration, and sunscreen. If you’re on the go, consider a small running belt to bring along any additional items like your phone, [...]

Spending Time Outdoors to De-Stress

Our days can be full of hustle and bustle, from long hours at the office to shuttling kids around all evening. It’s easy to see why stress can increase as our free time decreases. While we can’t always control the stress that comes our way, we can work to manage it better. Spending time outside is a beneficial strategy for stress management. Studies have shown that time spent in nature, even just a few minutes, can positively impact the body and mind in many different ways. Lift Your Mood Vitamin D is certainly important for maintaining strong bones, but did you know that recent studies have found it to help improve mood? According to Healthline, research has shown that Vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and decreasing the risk of depression. If you need a little [...]

Eat the Rainbow this Summer

In nutritional terms, absence of color often equals absence of nutrients and nutritional value. There are some exceptions, but most of the foods that are white are poor choices for today’s health-minded person. As a matter of fact, one of the ways to assure a healthy diet is to include a wide variety of different colored fruits, vegetables, and grains. The vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables come from ingredients that contain valuable phytonutrients that include antioxidants, vitamins, and other minerals. Antioxidants help protect the body against aging and disease by ridding the body of toxic substances called free radicals. Vitamins and minerals promote health and decrease the risk of disease. Swap the White for Whole Many foods without color such as white breads, white rice, sugar, and salt pose problems for long term health. There are several reasons to [...]

June is Men’s Health Month

In the United States, June is designated as Men’s Health Month to raise awareness about the ways men can improve and maintain their health. The five most important things that men (and women) can do for their health are to be tobacco free, stay physically active, eat a healthy diet, maintain a healthy weight for your height, and get recommended screening tests. In addition to the top five, there are other health behaviors that can increase your likelihood of living a long, healthy life. Below are details about important health behaviors for men: Be Tobacco Free - This includes smokeless tobacco products as well. Visit CDC.gov for resources to help you be tobacco free. Stay Physically Active - Aside from being tobacco free, exercising is the best thing that you can do for your health. There are 336 thirty-minute segments [...]

Keep the Party Going! Food Safety

  The air is warmer, the sun is shining, and cookouts are quickly approaching. Did you know that approximately 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses each year.  So, don’t commit these party fouls with these common food safety mistakes this summer.  Keep the party in the yard and not running to the restroom! Mistake 1: Washing your meat before cooking. Wash your hands, not meat or poultry. Washing meat or poultry can spread germs to countertops and other items in your kitchen like fruit, which can make you ill. Washing your hands not only keeps you safe but protects your guests as well. A study found that “only 5 percent of people who used the bathroom washed their hands long enough to kill the germs that can cause infections.” Grab that soap and be sure to wash [...]

Nutrition and Mental Health

  Eating healthy can help us to look and feel our best physically. But little is discussed about how the food we eat can affect our mental health. Eating a diet rich in nutritious foods can help us to feel more alert and think clearly. Well-balanced meals and snacks can also help us to concentrate and improve attention span. On the other hand, eating a diet high in unhealthy foods can affect our brain in a negative way. An inadequate diet can lead to fatigue, impair decision making skills, and slow down reaction time. A poor diet can aggravate or lead to stress and depression. Stress and Depression It has been shown that sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation throughout our bodies. Chronic inflammation can contribute to mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. According to the Academy of [...]