by Lindsay Flagel
With spring approaching, it’s time to move your indoor exercise out into the warming outdoors. Do you lack motivation? Grab a friend and change that! Afterward, invite them over for a delicious snack made fresh from this season’s produce. Here are tips to effectively transition from your indoor workout schedule:
Make a date
Schedule a weekly day that works for you and your friends to take a walk. Bundle up, bring tea or coffee, and chat with your friends while exercising. A sufficient amount of time is 30 minutes, but longer is always better. If you want more of a challenge, bring 3-5 pound ankle weights to wear on either your ankles or wrists. This will help build lean muscle.
Change up the trail
A change of scenery is always nice when taking walks. Take a trip to Lake Michigan once a month, or once every other month. Walking in sand will intensely work your calf muscles.
By now, you’re exhausted of typical winter activities such as bowling, which according to MyFitnessPal, you could burn upwards of 200 calories in an hour. Maybe 2015 is the year you start jogging and increasingly turn into a runner. Running with friends is the best way to keep each other accountable for goals and improving your breathing. Improve your “runner’s breath” by talking with friends while out for a crisp morning jog.
Other group vigorous exercises include:
- Zumba: dance the stress and calories off!
- CrossFit: a high intensity, educational fitness program. Find your local CrossFit location. There are eight locations surrounding the greater GR area and four locations in the Holland area.
Last minute, in-season produce recipes
After you and your friends burn calories outside, invite them over for a healthy, light-hearted snack. Popular produce still in-season includes kale, pomegranates, and oranges. Individually, they’re all nutritious, but combined, they make for a great addition to card games or socializing on the patio on a sunny day. Below are two easy, healthy and satisfying recipes for a post-workout social hour.
When buying kale, select deep blue-green leaves in a small bunch. In one cup, kale has 33 calories, three grams of protein, and two and a half grams of fiber. Blending kale into a smoothie is always a healthy choice but can be an acquired taste. Kale chips have a nice crunch to them, and you can add salt to taste.
- 1 head of kale, washed thoroughly
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Cut pieces of kale into 1-1 1/2 inch sections. Toss kale with olive oil and salt before laying leaves on a baking sheet. Cook 20 minutes, turning halfway.
Sweet and Spicy Pomegranate and Orange Salsa
Pomegranates attract those who enjoy a bitter taste and a tart flavor. Choose pomegranates that are heavy, bright in color, and without a blemish. Oranges are always juicy in flavor. Pomegranate and oranges mixed with a spice make a sweet, spicy, and fresh salsa.
- 1 cup of chopped orange slices (or two clementines)
- 1/3 cup of pomegranate seeds (half of a pomegranate)
- 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
- 1 chopped jalapeño pepper (add more or less based on spice tolerance)
- 2 tablespoons of cilantro
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
If you have a food processor, combine all the ingredients and pulse three times or to the texture you like. Or, simply combine in a bowl and serve. Adjust quantities to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or add a meat option, such as shrimp or chicken.
Lyndsay is currently finishing her MPA with a health concentration at GVSU. Outside of class, she spends her days writing or practicing yoga to maintain a healthy mind-body lifestyle.