Friday, February 4, 2011

Staying Healthy in Winter Weather

by Emilie Hunt, RD, LDN, Clinical Dietitian
Sinai Hospital of Baltimore

Every time you listen to the radio, turn on the TV or surf the web, there seems to be another snowstorm brewing. Snow days give us an excuse to skip our workout and cozy up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate.

But whether it's rain, sleet or snow, the USDA recommends all Americans get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily to maintain weight or 60 minutes if you are trying to lose weight. With children stuck inside, parents may wonder what they can do to keep their family active. In addition, our New Year’s resolutions to eat healthy are often forgotten during the pre-blizzard trips to the store.

Here are a couple of ideas to help keep your family fit and eating healthy through the winter weather.

Exercise away the winter blues:
  • Encourage kids to play outside- and join them. Building a snow man or pulling a sled can shed those winter pounds.
  • Shovel your sidewalk or driveway- and offer to help your neighbor! An hour of shoveling snow can burn up to 400 calories.
  • Try walking at your local mall. Did you know that the lower level of the Owings Mills Mall is one half of a mile?
Fill up on these healthy and hearty winter meal tips:
  • Soups are a great way to get your kids to eat veggies- try a broth based soup packed with fun-shaped noodles and a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Serve with whole grain crackers.
  • Make your own pizza! Keep whole wheat pizza crust in the freezer and get creative with your toppings. Use low-fat lunch meat and a variety of veggies that you already have on hand as toppings.
  • Craving hot chocolate? Try No Sugar-Added Hot Chocolate with Added Calcium. The added calcium provides as much calcium as a glass of milk!
To learn more about Sinai Hospital, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

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