It’s almost time to kick off summer with Memorial Day weekend. Between picnics and backyard BBQs, there are a lot of hearty and heavy foods that are usually consumed at these events. Luckily, there are ways to make heart-healthy choices while still enjoying the festivities. Below, we’ll provide you with some helpful tips that you can use for a fun and healthy Memorial Day weekend.
1. Fill up with Fruits and Veggies
If you’re attending a Memorial Day cookout, try filling up your plate first with fruits and veggies. These add great fiber that will help you feel full and are packed with nutrients and vitamins that your body needs to function correctly.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, eating a diet with fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, among other positive health implications.
Plus, if you go for the fruits and veggies first, you will have less room on your plate and in your belly for other less-healthy items.
2. Stay Active
If you know ahead of time that you’re going to indulge over Memorial Day weekend, try to get in some extra steps or physical activities on these days as a way to support your heart health.
The American Heart Association explains the benefits of aerobic exercise on your heart and overall health, and how any sort of physical activity is better than none at all. So, even if you’re not able to get in your normal amount of physical activity or exercise, try to get in some movement over the holiday weekend between the festivities.
3. Avoid Mindless Munching
Anytime we attend large gatherings and outdoor cookouts, it can be easy to mindlessly snack all day and in between meals. Especially if you’re attending multiple Memorial Day weekend activities, you may not realize that you’re overindulging until you start to feel a belly ache settling in.
Instead, try to be mindful of what you’re consuming, and focus on portion control as a way to support good heart health and avoid overeating, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is always a good idea for your overall health, but especially over the holiday weekend. When you’re sitting out in the sun, drinking alcoholic beverages, and staying physically active, you could become dehydrated more quickly. This means you’ll need to be more conscious about your water intake as you enjoy the holiday.
The American Heart Association also makes it clear that good hydration makes it easier for the heart to pump blood through the vessels. So, there are many reasons why you may want to carry around a water bottle over Memorial Day weekend.
5. Don’t Stress It
Above all, remind yourself that Memorial Day weekend is just a few days out of the year. You can do more harm than good by stressing over the food choices you made over the holiday weekend and letting those negative thoughts spiral into negative diet habits going forward.
So, enjoy rich foods in moderation and try not to beat yourself up if you ate something at a Memorial Day cookout that you normally would avoid. You can jump right back into your healthy habits on Tuesday morning.