Nutrition for winter activites

Healthy eating for an active lifestyle during the winter months.

Winter is definitely here! If you are an active person, you are probably waiting for the snow. What does that mean for you and your family’s physical activity plans? You may decide on some winter sports events or simply play in the snow with your loved ones. Winter sports and activities are played in cold conditions on ice or snow and often at moderate to high altitude. Playing sports and playing outside in this very cold weather requires a nutritious balanced diet to keep us healthy and active.

A healthy balanced diet for this time of the year and these special activities requires a high intake of carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle repair and recovery, fluid for hydration and a range of vitamins and minerals to support immunity and general well-being. To achieve this, we should focus on consuming foods such as bread, rice, pasta, cereal, lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and healthy unsaturated fats. Visit My Plate from the USDA website for more information about healthy eating for an active lifestyle.

Something very important to take into account is that, if you are going to exercise for a long period of time, you need to plan ahead and make sure you have nutritious, high-carbohydrate snacks and fluids with you. Some nutritious choices to support your energy levels include:

  • Water
  • Sports Drink ( 4-8 percent carbohydrate and 20-30mmol/L sodium)
  • Fruit juice
  • Jam/honey sandwich made with white bread
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cereal Bar
  • Yoghurt and fresh fruit
  • Sports bar containing carbohydrates and protein
  • Formulated recovery beverages containing carbohydrates and protein

A nutritious diet rich in carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals with plenty of fluid is vital if you’re taking part in winter sports or being outside playing in the snow. It will help you avoid winter illnesses and low energy levels.

Following the above tips are healthy and an easy step towards achieving a balanced diet during winter activities. If you would like to learn more about healthy lifestyles, visit USDA’s My Plate page. Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating.

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