As the seasons change, your food consumption and exercise routines should change too. Eating foods when they’re in season is ideal because they’re fresher, meaning they taste better. Also, they don’t have to travel as far to get to your table, so they’re more cost effective. Buying seasonal produce also supports your local economy and lowers your carbon footprint.
During the summer, farmers markets are plentiful and can be found in many cities and towns. During the winter, you can usually find indoor markets. To find a market near you, try sites such as localfarmmarkets.org. Many farmers markets accept WIC and SNAP. Since the fall is often the transition time between outdoor and indoor farmers markets, there may be a few weeks where you don’t have a local farmers market, so check out a local farm store for fresh produce instead. Some grocery stores carry local produce as well. You can also shop at All Clean Food for organic, plant-based meals that are easy to prepare.
The spring and summer are great times to start your own garden. Eating healthy is easier and more affordable when your options are literally in your backyard. Your geographic location will affect how successful your plants will grow, so check your gardening zones before deciding which plants to grow. In the summer, you can start canning and freezing your produce. Likewise, in the fall, use fresh vegetables to make freezable meals, such as soups and stews, to eat during the cold winter months. Root vegetables can be stored through the winter in dark, dry places.
Broccoli, peas, and asparagus are spring vegetables and can be used together in a stir-fry or salad. In the summer, berries, squash, lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes are abundant. Grilled squash, salads, and berry smoothies are healthy ideas for these summer plants.
During the fall, look for apples, pumpkins, root vegetables, and cranberries. Incorporate fall vegetables into soups, bisques, and stews. Cranberries and apples make great jams, sauces, and side dishes. Leeks, leafy greens, and squash are plentiful in the winter. Stuffed squash with quinoa or brown rice is a healthy and filling meal. Stews and pot roasts are also great winter ideas.
Make the most of eating healthy by learning some new recipes. There are tons of free recipes and cooking tutorials that you can access online right from your smartphone. If you’re going to use your smartphone when cooking, make sure you purchase a screen protector to shield your screen from drops and bumps.
Switching up your exercise routines with the seasons reduces the chances of you becoming bored or burnt out. In the spring and summer, take advantage of the many outdoor activities available. Being outside helps you stay active and promotes mental health. Go for a hike, ride your bike, surf, or kayak. Swimming is a great activity that works all your muscles as well as your heart and lungs.
The spring, summer, and fall often mean it’s time to amp up the yard work. Instead of using a riding lawn mower, mow your grass with a push mower to get in some walking while you mow. Pulling weeds and planting flowers and plants is good exercise. Likewise, raking leaves in the fall is a solid workout too.
Even though winter brings lower temperatures, that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors. You can go hiking in the snow with snowshoes. Skiing and snowboarding will work your legs and torso muscles. If you need to shovel your driveway, go ahead and help your neighbor too; shoveling snow is an intense physical workout. Even building a snowman, partaking in a snowball fight, and making snow angels will keep you active in the winter.
Of course, if you’d rather stay indoors, you can pop in a workout video or head to your local yoga studio for a lesson. There are many other indoor workouts too. As long as you’re staying active and having fun, it doesn’t matter if you’re inside or outside.
With the food and fitness choices above, you’ll be able to stay healthy no matter the season!