The Norman Transcript

May 26, 2014

Ways to stay cool with a healthy twist

Transcript Staff
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — With summer temperatures reaching 110 degrees during peak summer months, the Cleveland County Nutrition and Fitness coalition seeks to share some healthy options for individuals of all ages.

In Oklahoma, snow-cone shacks and ice cream stands line the city streets with tempting flavors and goodies. If you must stop for a sweet treat, stick with the smaller size to avoid unnecessary calories. Taking smaller bites and eating slower also can prevent you from overeating these items.

Some other fun, healthy ways to stay hydrated and cool include:

For families and children:

· For those who have younger children, instead of buying prepackaged popsicles, try making them at home. Combining and freezing 100 percent juice and fruit chunks can make delicious, refreshing summer goodies. Not only are these options healthier, but it also can be a fun activity for kids to participate in.

· The same thing can also be done with milkshakes. Instead of swinging by the drive-thru, get your kids involved in creating a homemade milkshake by using frozen yogurt along with any sort of fruit add-ins your heart may desire.

· Another great activity for kids can be taking them on a mini field trip to the local farmers market. Several fresh summer fruits and vegetables are available, along with plenty of other creative activities and booths.

· Lastly with children, creating fun ice cubes made out of different molds can not only be a fun activity, but also a way to stay hydrated in the summer heat.

For everyone:

· Green smoothies can be a nutritious, thirst-quenching option for all ages ranging from children to elderly adults. Using ingredients such as but not limited to, whey protein powder, 100 percent juice, green leafy vegetables (including kale and spinach), Greek yogurt, almond milk, low-fat milk, and frozen berries can create a healthy, tasty treat. This also can be a successful way to include vegetables and fruits in your every day diet.

· Simply freezing grapes, mangos or blueberries is also a creative option for combining healthy eating and cooling off.

· You also can get liquids from some of nature’s most delicious treats including watermelon, peaches, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Hydration during our summer months is especially key. Be sure you are getting at least eight cups of water per day, especially if you or your loved ones are out in the sun for long periods of time. Sipping water throughout the day will ensure proper hydration. Don’t forget about your pets as well.

Although exercise is an incredibly important component of creating healthy lifestyles, Elizabeth Moody, Outreach Coordinator and Dietitian for the Cleveland County Nutrition and Fitness program, cautions individuals about exercising in the heat.

“Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to exercise when the weather starts getting hot,” Moody said. “Decreasing overall activity time and intensity can also prevent health issues in extreme temperatures.”

She also added that if you must work out during the day while outside in the heat, be sure to stay hydrated and listen to your body.

For more tips on how to be healthy this summer visit, www.ShapeYourFutureOK.com.

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