Happy summer! This past Saturday, June 21, was the first day of summer. During the warm months each year I feel extremely motivated to be healthier than I was in the winter, especially having type 1 diabetes. My priority is to always look for new ways to maintain my level of enthusiasm in order to reach my goals. In 2014 I'm kicking off the summer with a few suggestions for both fitness and nutritional wellness.
1. Buy a jump rope.
Use it between strength training exercises, both indoors or outside, as a great endurance interval. Practice 3-5 minutes each set and change the footwork to make it fun and interesting. Good examples are jumping jacks with your legs, high knees, glute kicks with your heels, or hopping on one foot at a time.
2. Try a new balance exercise to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Grab a friend. Play a game by doing one of two options: either stand facing each other about an arm’s length apart, and pick up one foot and keep it off the floor the entire exercise OR, as a modification, kneel on both knees facing each other about a foot apart. Next, take turns pushing each other from different angles (on the shoulder is ideal) trying to throw each other off balance. See who can resist the force best by trying to stay balanced and still. The trunk has to switch its muscles on to keep you from falling over so you end up with a stronger center!
3. Try this healthy and tasty pre-/post-workout recipe.
Nutrition is the most important element in weight loss (and an important factor in diabetes management). A person can exercise until they are red in the face all day and still be overweight if they aren't on point with their eating habits. Here is a great pre-/post-workout snack that will give you energy and keep you satisfied:
Protein Peanut/Nut Butter Balls
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsps. chocolate or vanilla protein powder of your choice
- 4 Tbsps. nut butter
- One handful of dark chocolate chips (Optional)
Blend everything together and divide into small balls. A little goes a long way so try not to make them too big. You can always double or triple the recipe if you have more people to feed. Refrigerate a bit and then enjoy! I eat one with an apple for my pre-workout snack or one at night to cure a sweet craving!
Carb count: Size may vary, but they are usually no more than about 15 g carbs per ball.