Believe it or not, it's already the month of April! We might not be quite out of winter yet, but there’s so much happening just beneath the surface that in a few short weeks, we’ll see everything come back to life.
The spring is the perfect time to rejuvenate and get over the gloominess of winter. In fact, if the winter weather has kept you inactive for months, now is the time to get back into the action. For most people, the change of seasons from winter to spring is something to look forward to. But it also means a time when people tend to get sick or seasonal allergies start to flare up. This can make things miserable for a lot of people. As the weather fluctuates between freezing cold and warmer, sunnier days, it also wreaks havoc on our immune system and our sleep. Frequently, our bodies can’t keep up with the constant changes and we get physically run down. But there are some things everybody can do to help during the time of transition from one season to the next.
With our busy and hectic lives, we can sometimes forget what is important when it comes to fitness and nutrition. In this blog, I’d like to help you with six easy tips for staying healthy this Spring.
1. Eat a diet based on whole foods. Adopt a healthy regime and cook using whole foods and use recipes that provide sound nutrition and taste great. Fuel your body with the good stuff! Our modern diet is full of restaurant and processed food, and that’s OK from time to time. Everyone enjoys going out to socialize with friends and family at restaurants.
2. Eat at least 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day from every colour of the rainbow. They are high in antioxidants, A, C, E, zinc and selenium which will all boost your immune system. I can not emphasize this enough, but ANY fruit or berry is always a great choice of healthy snack. I personally prefer Apples, Pears, Bananas and Peaches because they are quick and easy to consume. Berries are not only highly nutritious but also a low-carb fruit choice. For example, blueberries provide just 11 grams of carbs in 1/2 cup (74 grams). For a delicious, low-carb snack, combine 1/2 cup (74 grams) of blueberries with 2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.
I’d go one step further and urge you to pair those fruits with something like Peanut butter. I usually do Apple slices with sugar free peanut butter. Sometimes Banana with peanut butter and honey. Peanut butter contributes protein and healthy fats, while apples are high in fiber and water, making them particularly filling. In fact, 1 medium apple (182 grams) is over 85% water and has more than 4 grams of fiber.
* FRUIT JUICES: Any way you pour it, it's just not good for you. If you crave fruit juiciness, go for the whole fruit, which gives you all the benefits of fiber and fullness without the concentrated sugar and high calorie count. Lower-calorie "lite" versions aren't any better; they're loaded with artificial sweeteners and they train your body to crave more sugar.
3. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates. Consuming excessive amounts of these foods will deplete the immune system. Things such as “Low-sugar”, “No Artificial”, and “zero calories” should do the work in getting your attention, but make sure you read the labels and be aware if the packages are lying or not. As I mentioned in this article, I started small by quitting to add sugar/sweetener on my coffee. It might seem like a small thing but I promise I was able to change my entire lifestyle based on that.
4. Keep adequately hydrated! Whether you are someone who is looking to feel more energised or a professional athlete, keeping your body hydrated is the bare minimum you can do to optimise mental and physical performance. As a professional swimmer, I always have to make sure my body is at its maximum level of hydration, so I can perform at my best during everyday workouts and swim meets. Walking around with a water bottle or sports drink bottle has become part of who I am. Staying hydrated not only helps me to stay on top of my physical performance, but also I make sure I am always at my best mentally.
If plain water doesn't do it for you, try chilling it in the fridge or with ice. Still too bland? Try flavoring your cup with a wedge of lemon, lime or orange, or chilling some in your fridge at home with citrus or strawberries.
Depending on my daily workout, I do switch or add a sports drink into the mix of my daily hydration. Walking around with a water bottle or sports drink bottle has become part of who I am. Staying hydrated not only helps me to stay on top of my physical performance, but also I make sure I am always at my best mentally. Products like Hydra-Guard Sports Drink also help me to make sure I have my proper amount of Vitamins and essential electrolytes. One bottle has 20% the equivalent Daily Value of Calcium we need alongside with only 5g of REAL Sugar and no artificial anything.
5. The mornings are warming up, and spring means the sun rises earlier each day. So take good advantage of this change. Get out and exercise before starting your day, whether it's going for a run or walking the dog. Exercising before work can begin your day on a high note with clarity and energy. Being physically active is beneficial to your overall well-being. And when the weather is nice, warm and sunny, it makes it even easier to get out there and start an exercise routine. You can indulge in activities like golfing, tennis, gardening etc. However, follow the right techniques to avoid hurting yourself. Exercising will help you feel so much better and instantly happier as it will help you to improve your sleep and cope with stress and you will feel calmer as a result!
Choosing minimally processed, real foods that provide maximal nutritional benefits is the main idea behind the switch to clean eating lifestyle focused on longevity. My biggest advice is to start slow and small, with one or two products you heavily consume already and then see how that goes and start implementing it with other product categories. The main goal is to consume foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
With the increase in demand, the availability for natural and organic products of all types has also increased so it shouldn’t be hard to find substitute foods and drinks for what you already have been consuming. Things such as “Low-sugar”, “No Artificial”, and “zero calories” should do the work in getting your attention, but make sure you read the labels and be aware if the packages are lying or not.
One of my favorite parts of the whole process is to search and get to know more about products that fit into my fit lifestyle and are on the same page as me in terms of longevity in what I do. I might be a professional swimmer now and somehow be ‘forced’ into watching my diet and what goes into my body, but I know for a fact that one day when I don’t swim anymore I will still be very worried and concerned about my health.
Luckily the availability for low-sugar natural products has been on the rise and I have been able to refuel and replenish my body with the right amount of calories, vitamins and electrolytes while staying on track of my lifestyle goals. Products such as Hydra Guard Sports Drink are available on the market and online and they help me on a daily basis with my training routine.
Paul Millsap, 4x NBA All-Star and Hydra-Guard Partner has always made his nutrition and health a priority, which reflects his elite performance and extremely successful career in the NBA. Paul’s ability to maintain playing at the highest level has been nothing short of amazing. It's a professional career that every athlete strives for.
The key for longevity in any athlete’s career is to take care of their bodies first and that's something that Paul has obviously done very well. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink caught Paul’s attention in early 2019, when he officially partnered with them in efforts to bring the brands healthy benefits more readily available to more households across the country.
"Being a professional athlete naturally encourages me and my family to live a healthy lifestyle. Hydra-Guard Sports Drink raises the bar to unprecedented heights with its beverage innovation. It’s packed with electrolytes, and being an all natural sports drink with low sugars is a game changer, this product is changing the industry," says Paul.