Get Some Spring into Your Spring

By Jeannine Re McNamara, RD

Spring Cleaning

As the weather gets warm and the days get longer, many of us find ourselves extremely busy. In addition to the usual activities of daily living, we complicate things even more by trying to do all our indoor and outdoor “Spring Cleaning” and adding the task of “getting into shape for summer”, to our plate.

The change in weather, combined with all this extra activity can leave many of us feeling sluggish. But there are a few tips you can follow to help improve your energy level and provide more time and energy for all the wonderful activities that come with the start of the warmer weather.

Drink Plenty of Water

• Water flushes out toxins from your body. If toxins build up they can drain your energy.
• Also with the warmer weather you need more water to stay hydrated.
• Being even slightly dehydrated can drain your energy as well.
• Be sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily, which is eight 8 ounce glasses.
• For those of you who don’t like plain water: spice it up with fresh lemon, lime or cucumber.

Challenge Your Muscles

At age 30 your metabolism begins to decrease. Muscle, however, improves how you burn calories and fat
• Adding exercise to your day even 15-20 min 3-5 times a week can actually improve your energy level
• Add strength training with weights or resistance bands to your workout at least 2x week, to improve your muscle mass
• By increasing muscle you will increase the total calories burned even when you are at rest.
• Your metabolism is also increased for hours after resistance training

Eat Breakfast Daily

Studies have shown people who eat a healthy breakfast weigh less
• Breakfast jump starts your metabolism for the day.
• Breakfast prevents excess hunger, reduces cravings and makes it more likely for you to be able to stick with your healthy eating goals.
• Breakfast can be traditional healthy breakfast foods: egg white omelet, yogurt, cereal, protein shake; as well as nontraditional: small sandwich or even a small portion of last night’s dinner leftovers.
• Suggestion for breakfast on the run: almond milk, frozen berries, low fat plain yogurt, and some vanilla or cinnamon flavor, all blended together

Fight Stress

This is essential to losing weight!
• Physical & Emotional Stress stimulates the production of hormones that slow down metabolism and increase fat storage
• So reduced stress = improved metabolism
• Tip: try doing some slow deep breathing when feeling stress, concentrate on the ins and outs of your breath. And you will see you will feel less stressed after a few minutes.

Get Enough Sleep

• 7-8 hours a night is optimal
• Decreased sleep increases physical stress which again increases hormones that promote weight gain
• Fatigue also triggers cravings and increased appetite; challenging your ability to stick to a healthy eating plan.

By following these simple rules, you will find that not only do you have more energy; but combined with some healthy eating, and the extra activity you are able to sustain, you may find yourself losing some weight as well! Happy Spring All!