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FEED YOUR BRAIN is our phrase for everything we do to inspire and enable a healthier generation through learning and information. In our stores, we have Feed Your Brain menus, Feed Your Brain wallpaper and now we have our first online example – our Feed Your Brain blog!

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>How to Sleep Deeper

Sheltie sleeping A deep, restorative sleep is attainable with a few lifestyle changes and positive habit-forming behaviors. A better diet, less screen time and a fair amount of exercise can go a long way—as will outfitting your bed with a whole lot of comfort. Chronic sleep deficiency can have a real effect on longevity, so getting a better night’s sleep may just save your life.

 

Put Away That Tablet

At least 30 minutes before bed stop using phones and tablets. At all ages, reading, watching or playing on those devices can have extremely detrimental effects. Research suggests that it creates an undesirable environment for falling asleep and it plays a role in how tired you are the next day.

The light from the screen can have lower melatonin levels and strain your eyes. If you need something to fall asleep to, read a real, printed book in bed. It might even make you nostalgic for the good old days.

Open Your Wallet (for Sheets)

Thread count matters. High quality, 100% cotton bedding (organic if you can) makes a difference in your nighttime comfort. In addition, do your research to purchase the best mattress your budget allows. It might mean spending quite a bit more initially, but it’ll pay off in the end. A great mattress is worth its weight in gold. Sometimes, literally.

Learn Your Position

What kind of sleeper are you? Side, back or tummy? This will help guide you on what pillows to use for support. If you’re on your back, use one for your head and one for under your knees. On your side, keep a firm pillow between your knees to alleviate pressure on your lower back. If you’re an insistent stomach sleeper, place a pillow under your stomach/hips. This will help you get a good night’s rest.

Eat Better

Try to avoid acidic foods and alcohol as much as possible, especially just before bedtime. These are acid reflux triggers and heartburn is the last thing you want when you’re trying to rest up for a busy day. Avoid fatty, fried foods to keep gastrointestinal distress at bay. Make sure your dinners are filled with lots of alkaline-forming greens, root veggies and whole grains instead. To ensure your food is on the proper path to digestion, it’s a good idea to stop eating at least two hours prior to hitting the pillow.

Protect Your Prostate (for the Gentlemen)

If you’re a male and you find yourself getting up fairly often to empty your bladder in the evening, you may want to get your prostate checked. A growing prostate could be putting a lot of pressure on your system. Regulating you prostate gland with attention to diet can help keep you in bed and out of the bathroom.

 

With just a few small shifts, you’ll be on your way to dreamland in no time. In the evening hours, make your bedroom a sanctuary reserved exclusively for sleep. Free from distractions like food and technology, you’ll be ready to drift off to a deep and restful slumber.

The healthy habits you embark on during daylight—veggie meals, exercise, meditation, will ensure you get the nightly restoration your body needs. The culmination of all of these actions can potentially add years to your life. Sweet dreams, everyone!

>Exercises to Do at Your Desk

Man Stretching at DeskStanding up and moving throughout the workday is crucial for optimal wellbeing. So take every opportunity to get out of your chair and move that body! While it’s best to take a complete break from the office environment, multiple walks outside may not be realistic for everyone. If you’re indoors without a standing or treadmill desk, here are some simple exercises and stretches you can do to keep the blood flowing, even on your busiest of days.

 

 

 

Shoulder Less of a Burden

Sit up very straight, interlock your fingers behind your head and let your chin touch your chest. Exert some slight downward pressure and breathe. Feel your neck become a little bit looser. For your upper shoulders, bring your left arm straight across your chest and put your right forearm just behind your left elbow. Pull. Repeat with the right arm across your chest. This will open up your upper back and truly make a difference in your posture.

Staving off Carpal Tunnel

Stand at your desk and place your hands, palms down. Then turn the fingers towards your body as far as they can go. Lean forward and stretch the forearms and upper arms/shoulders. You won’t have to move much to get a good stretch. Hold for about 15 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.

Reach for the Ceiling

Sit up tall in your seat. Raise your arms above your head, intertwine your fingers together and push your palms up. Try to move your biceps behind your ears, which will help open up your side abdominal muscles. Breathe deeply and reach as high as you can while keeping your tailbone stable and glued to your chair. This should help open up room in your spine and give your tired arms and shoulders a break.

Stretch Your Glutes

For those with sciatica, this stretch could be a real relief. Sit up straight in your chair and put your left ankle on top of your right thigh. Place both hands on your lower left leg and with a straight back, slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch in your hips and upper glutes. Your hips get so stiff from being stuck in the seated position all day. This a great way to open up the hips and relieve some tension from muscles surrounding the sciatic nerve. Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh and repeat.

 

Perform these exercises regularly to promote better health and longevity. Heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses may be related to an extreme lack of physical activity. Add in some breathing exercises and you’ll keep your mind centered as well, which has a direct correlation to your physical health.

>They’re Not Just Pretty…Edible Flowers Guide

CalendulaFlowers are certainly beautiful in your garden and as a centerpiece on your table, but their beauty goes well beyond skin deep. There are plenty of flowers that also provide impressive flavor, as well as health benefits when eaten. Always remember to use flowers that are clearly identifiable and haven’t been treated with pesticides. In addition, only certain areas are edible on some flowers; so make sure to do your homework before consuming.

Not sure if you’ll like anything with a floral taste? Try a Nirvana Smoothie from Organic Avenue. It contains hibiscus, lavender, valerian and passionflower for a subtly sweet, calming experience. Below are just a few of the many edible flowers you can enjoy in your own recipes at home.

 

> Calendula – More commonly known as marigolds, these have a clove-like scent and are perfect for salads. The petals have been used since the 17th century to make chartreuse.

> Dandelion – Bees know a good thing when they see it. Your buzzing pals love dandelions and you should, too. The leaves are great in salads or steamed, and the petals will add pizazz to any dish. Plus, dandelion tea has a sweet, honey-like flavor.

> Apple Blossoms – The blossoms can be candied for garnish. Eat apple blossoms in moderation and never consume the seeds.

> Fuchsia - These have an acidic flavor and add a creative touch to any dish. You can also eat the berries.

> Gladiolus – The flowers actually taste a lot like lettuce. They’re beautiful sprinkled on desserts.

> Angelica - Licorice is the first thing that comes to mind when you taste angelica flowers. The leaves have a stronger taste and are excellent in salads. Young leaves make great tea, and stems can be eaten raw.

> Basil – There’s a good chance you already cook with basil, but the flower is edible, too. It tastes a lot like the leaves and gives a pop of color to any dish.

> Impatiens - Float these on drinks or use them as a salad garnish. They have a very sweet flavor.

> Pansy – These have a mild grassy flavor. They are great as garnish for soup, dessert or fruit salad.

> Violets - The sweet perfume flower of violets makes them ideal for desserts. Bakers love to use them for cake toppers.

> Catmint - The strong minty flavor of catmint makes them great for rice and pasta dishes. They are also commonly used in lamb dishes.

> Hollyhock – These flowers are often crystalized to decorate mousses and cakes. They can also be used to create syrup to use in pudding and other desserts.

> Sunflower – The seeds, buds, and petals are all edible. They can be added to salad, and the green buds are delicious when blanched and tossed in coconut oil and garlic.

 

Other flowers for culinary use include begonia, borage, cape jasmine, evening primrose, chrysanthemum, poppy, tulip, cornflower, banana blossom, elderberry, bee balm, lemon verbena, lilac, rose and snap dragon. Check your local farmers’ market for what’s in season, and consult with the growers for additional tips on how to incorporate these beautiful flowers into your spring dishes.

>Mad About Matcha

Iced MatchaWe all need a caffeine fix every now again, and many of us require daily stimulation, especially from a cup of joe. Don’t get us wrong, we’re fans of coffee, especially when it’s organic and triple-certified like ours. However, for those who want a boost but are sensitive to caffeine, matcha green tea may be the answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Energy

Matcha contains caffeine, but as a result of its unique phytonutrients, the caffeine is released more slowly into the bloodstream. This provides even, sustained energy for up to four hours. There’s also an amino acid compound found in matcha called L-theanine, which activates the brain’s alpha waves, making you feel relaxed, even while stimulated by the caffeine. Some may call this a state of ‘calm alertness’. No blood sugar spikes and crashes here—simply smooth sailing with a daily boost of matcha.

Chlorophyll

Increased energy is just one of the amazing benefits of pure matcha powder. Made from whole stone-ground green leaves, matcha is a rich source of chlorophyll—the green plant pigment that aids in the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells have a crucial job; they’re responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Besides oxygenation, chlorophyll also balances the blood’s pH, making matcha a less acidic choice than other caffeinated substances.

Antioxidants  

Matcha is most widely known for its antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in the body, which would otherwise damage healthy cells and tissue. They’re essential for a strong, healthy immune system. One eight-ounce matcha is equivalent to ten cups of regular green tea, in terms of antioxidant and nutrient content. Matcha is a great source of vitamin A for healthy eyes and glowing skin, as well as minerals calcium and magnesium, for bone, muscle and brain health.

 

You may already be getting your daily matcha fix from our signature protein-packed Matcha Chia Glo, or the rich, chocolaty Revival Smoothie, but just in time for summer, there’s a new matcha drink to work into your rotation. At select OA stores, experience our made-to-order Iced Matcha Latte. It’s a great source of plant-based protein from the Cashew Hemp Mylk (cashews, hemp seeds, chia seeds). This blended beverage also contains about the same amount of caffeine as a large coffee, to provide you with energy and focus for your busy day—without a potential java jolt and crash. Best of all, the Iced Matcha Latte is cool and refreshing to revitalize you on the season’s most sweltering days.

>How to Be Swimsuit Ready (and Still Enjoy Food!)

Beach PartyMemorial Day is on its way, and if the weather allows, it’s the first weekend many of us will be making an appearance in a bathing suit this year. While it’s most important to eat to support our internal health, we also know that looking great on the outside is a happy side effect of a healthy diet—especially when plant-based foods are the focus of your plate. Here are tried and true ways to achieve a leaner physique and flatter tummy—and have lots of energy to enjoy all that the warm weather has to offer.

 

Digestion is the Key

Prior to putting on that new swimsuit, lots of people are looking for an easy way to ‘de-bloat’ and achieve a flatter midsection. While there are no quick fixes in life, when your digestion is on point, it makes a huge difference in both how you look and feel. Think about it—if all of your food is digesting efficiently, nutrients assimilated properly, and everything leftover exiting the body, how could there possibly be an inflammatory response in your belly?

The best way to avoid a digestive traffic jam is to follow a ‘light to heavy’ approach. The foods that break down the quickest should be consumed first, followed by foods that require more time in the digestive tract. This ensures that the nutrients from everything you put in your body get to where they need to go without obstruction.

For example, do you think your bowl of starchy quinoa pasta is fully digested before you put that fresh, juicy watermelon directly on top of it for dessert? The pasta is going to take 2 to 3 hours to get to your stomach, whereas watermelon wants to move through in just 20 to 30 minutes. The water-containing fruit sitting on top of the heavier main course is what may cause gas, bloating and overall digestive upset. You can check out our full article on food combining here, but here are the key takeaways:

> Eat fruit alone on an empty stomach, or blended in a smoothie (bonus points for adding greens, as in our Lite Weight Smoothie) 30 minutes before eating anything else. Try not to do fruit for dessert—this is an easy way to create unwanted bloat.

> Try not to mix starch and protein in the same meal. Starch (grain, potatoes, winter squash, legumes, etc.) requires different digestive enzymes than protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy). They’re also processed in different parts of the digestive tract. Good news is that non-starchy vegetables are neutral (greens, summer squash, carrots, beets, etc.) and combine perfectly with both starch and protein foods.

> Eat a salad or crudités as your first course before anything cooked. The water and enzymes in the raw veggies will set the stage for proper digestion and help process the heavier foods that follow. This action is crucial, especially if you ‘mis-combine’ and eat starch and protein together in the main course.

> Limit liquid intake during meals. It’s best to drink water or green juice 30 minutes prior to eating, and only sip water (or your summer cocktail) at the table if necessary. Too much fluid will dilute the digestive juices crucial for breaking down your food. Wait at least an hour after the meal’s conclusion before guzzling anything down. Another tip to beat the bloat—pass on carbonated beverages like sparkling water and champagne. They create more gas pressure in the body.

 

Cleanse with Food

If you’re ready to kick it up a notch this month, why not try a few days of all-raw, plant-based eating? A focus on water-containing fruits and vegetables with a healthy amount of nuts and seeds for high-quality protein is a great method to get your digestive system back on track and look and feel your best.

If you’re in New York City, swing by Organic Avenue to pick up a day or two of our Love Easy cleanse (available in-store only). This program follows the ‘light to heavy’ approach, and even includes dessert! A knowledgeable OA Advisor can tailor the program to suit your individual dietary needs and make sure there’s a variety of delicious foods and juices on the menu each day.

Whether you’re on day two of Love Easy, or just eating lots of colorful salads at home, taking a short break from denser, cooked foods will free up energy that would otherwise be used to break down those heavier meals. This energy is now available to fuel that run on the beach, swim in the pool or hike in the mountains—and most importantly, to enjoy the company of your friends and family, which is what life is all about.

>Gift Guide for the Wellness-Minded Mama

Tulips & Gift BoxWe adore our moms, but each year, it can be a challenge to decide what to gift the woman who gave us life. Do we go the traditional route with flowers, or try something more creative? If your mother leads a healthy lifestyle, or is working on making wellness a focus, here are some gift ideas she’ll be sure to love.

 

 

 

Naturally Beautiful

Most traditional skin and body care products contain potentially harmful ingredients. To support your mom’s health, introduce her to some of the super clean, yet effective lines out there (if she’s not already a fan). Tata Harper and May Lindstrom are two of our favorite beauty brands—Tata’s Resurfacing Mask is a must-have in everyone’s medicine cabinet, and May’s Blue Cocoon is a luxurious moisturizing balm for ultimate skin nourishment. Check out No More Dirty Looks, our favorite resource for the latest in clean skincare, for even more options.

If you’re a DIY fan, you can always surprise mom with a handcrafted product, like a body butter made from ingredients such as shea butter, coconut oil and her favorite essential oils. Place the moisturizer in a cute jar with a ribbon and you’re good to go!

 

Get Fit Together

If your mom enjoys exercising or is beginning a workout routine for spring, why not gift her a fitness class? Spin and dance cardio are high-energy group classes with uplifting music. If she prefers something gentler with a lower-impact, yoga and Pilates are fantastic options, too. Rebounding class (bouncing on a mini trampoline!) is also popular at many studios—it’s easy on the joints and great for cleansing the lymphatic system.

Whatever workout fits your mom’s lifestyle; make sure to join her if you’re fortunate enough to live close by. There’s nothing your mother wants more than quality time with you. Now that the weather has warmed up, meet for a weekend jog or long walk—followed by brunch at her favorite healthy restaurant, or a meal you’ve prepared for her with fresh, organic ingredients. It’s not a bad idea to stop by Organic Avenue for a post-workout Power House or Revival Smoothie, either!

 

Relaxation and Rejuvenation

Every mom, whether or not she still has children at home, needs the opportunity to take a break and pamper herself. Moms are notorious for expertly providing for their family members, often at the expense of their own needs. Book your mother a 60-minute massage or detoxifying facial. If you’re in New York, Aire Ancient Baths is a sanctuary featuring pools of various temperatures and a de-stressing steam room, perfect for a weekend retreat.

If a body treatment isn’t your mom’s thing, perhaps a meditation class could be her style of recharging. Check out Well and Good’s list of the top meditation teachers in NYC for ideas. If she’s unable to get to a class, there are also recorded sessions to point her toward, like these guided meditations from Deepak Chopra.

 

Baked with Love

If your mom has a sweet tooth, instead of buying a box of chocolates, create a treat in your kitchen using high-quality, plant-based ingredients. This is a much healthier option than anything you’ll find in a store—plus it’s infused with positive energy and the love you have for your mother. If baking isn’t your thing, don’t stress. We’ve got you covered with a quick and easy ultra-healthy macaroon recipe.

 

Cacao Coconut Macaroons (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Yields 20-24 macaroons

Ingredients:

14oz bottle of Organic Avenue Coconut Mylk (canned works as well)

4 teaspoons maple syrup

¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (or sea salt)

2 teaspoons coconut flour

2 tablespoons cacao powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

> Preheat oven to 350°F

> Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

> In a small saucepan, whisk together Coconut Mylk, maple syrup and salt over low heat, until well-combined.

> Add coconut flour and cacao powder, and bring to a boil. Stir for 2 minutes until thickened.

> Cut flame, and add vanilla extract and shredded coconut. Stir until well-combined.

> Using a tablespoon, transfer the batter onto the baking sheet. Use your hands to shape them into balls, if necessary.

> Bake at 350°F for approximately 20 minutes, until the macaroons are slightly crispy on top.

> Allow macaroons to cool on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

> Enjoy with a tall glass of Coconut or Cashew Hemp Mylk!

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing moms out there! We appreciate all you do, not only for your children, but also for everyone whose lives you touch.

xoxo,

Organic Avenue

>Fight Your Springtime Allergies with Food

Spring is underway, and we’reDandelion finally getting a taste of warm weather here in New York City. We’re committing to outdoor workouts, leaving our desks for lunch, and ditching the subway to walk to our destination whenever possible. There’s only one downside to this transition. Even if you’re a relatively healthy person, it can be difficult to escape an allergic reaction to the change in seasons—especially in our modern environment.

If your allergies are severe, make sure to check in with your doctor. However, there are many plant-based foods that have been shown to alleviate some of the sniffling, sneezing and itching associated with the onset of springtime. Our top 5 picks are listed below.

 

1. Garlic

We know what you’re thinking—you don’t want to walk around all day with garlic breath. Nevertheless, this root contains a powerful compound, allium satvum, which simultaneously minimizes symptoms and strengthens the immune system. If you’re worried about less-than-pleasant breath, down a Lemon Shot following the garlic-containing food or beverage to neutralize alliinase, the odor-creating enzyme.

OA Products: Oregano Candida Cleanse Shot, Medicinal Green, Savory Chickpea Soup

 

2. Walnuts

These protein-rich tree nuts are also chock full of vitamin E, an antioxidant that comes in handy during allergy season. Vitamin E prevents free radical damage to our cells, which would otherwise create an inflammatory response in the body.

OA Products: Broccoli Slaw, Overnight Oats, Sweet Peach Crumble

 

3. Apples

Although they peak in fall, if you can get your hands on an apple in the spring, it might be beneficial for symptom prevention. Apples contain quercetin, a flavonoid with natural antihistamine properties—preventing cells from releasing the chemicals that cause runny noses, itchy eyes, and the other uncomfortable symptoms of the season.

OA Product: Brussels Sprouts & Apple Slaw

 

4. Oranges

This bright, sweet citrus fruit contains essentials oils that prevent histamine release and can potentially assist in clearing nasal passages. Other fruits like grapefruit and lemon may have similar properties.

OA Products: Orange Juice, Sweet Greens

 

5. Tomatoes

Our favorite ‘fruity veggie’ is loaded with vitamin C, the essential immune-boosting antioxidant and antihistamine. In addition, tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant compound that may reduce symptoms associated with asthma. Cooking tomatoes actually increases the lycopene content; so get your fair share of both raw and cooked tomatoes for all of their health benefits this season.

OA Products: Tomato Garden Vegetable Soup, Savory Chickpea Soup

 

Although these 5 foods may have extra-special allergy-busting properties, just by incorporating any whole, plant-based foods into your diet this season, you’ll be doing your immune system a favor. The less you reach for processed foods and more you fill your plate with fruits and veggies, the less likely you’ll be to suffer from wheezing, sneezing and itching over the next few months. Don’t hesitate to stop into Organic Avenue to chat with a knowledgeable Advisor about the many nutrient-rich food and beverage options available this spring.

>Hikers & Bikers! High-Energy Trail Mix Options

HikerHiking and biking are two of the most enjoyable workouts you can do outdoors—so much so, that you won’t even feel like you’re exercising. The scenery is ever changing, so you won’t get bored with your surroundings—and you’ll burn a ton of calories. Since you’re expending so much energy, it’s always recommended to pack a snack on your journey. This holds true even for a short hike or ride, because there’s always the possibility of getting turned around or lost. In that case, you’ll need nourishment to get back on track!

Your snack choice needs to be easy to transport in your backpack and effortless to consume. It also helps to have a high melting point, especially in the summer. Trail mix is ideal. You can buy it, but it’s often easier and less expensive to make your own. Plus, you’ll have full control over the ingredients, creating the cleanest fuel possible for your body. This is the safest way to steer clear of the added salt and sugar in many pre-packaged mixes. Below are some recommended ingredients and easy-to-prepare recipes.

 

Papaya Pineapple Trail Mix

> 2 cups almonds

> 1 cup cashews

> 1/2 cup dried pineapple

> 3/4 cup dried papaya

The perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors, this mix tastes best with extra-crisp almonds. The easiest way to achieve the crispy texture is to soak raw almonds, and then dry them thoroughly at a low temperature in a dehydrator. If you don’t have access to a dehydrator, check out our favorite sprouted, probiotic-enhanced almonds from Sunbiotics.

 

Granola Trail Mix

While some people are content eating fruit and nuts alone, others crave variety. If this sounds like you, then you’ll love this recipe, which includes a serving of crunchy granola. If we don’t have time to make our own, we crumble up a few pieces of vanilla Rawnola in our trail mix.

> 1 cup dried bananas

> 1 cup granola

> 1 cup dried cranberries

> 1 cup mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts and pecans are our faves)

> 1/2 cup raisins

> 1/2 cup dried apricots

 

Banana Raisin Trail Mix

This fruit-based recipe is super simple, but incredibly satisfying.

> 2 cups dried banana chips

> 2 cups raisins

> 2 cups almonds

> 1 cup assorted dried fruit

If you have a dehydrator, you can make your banana chips from scratch. In addition, the dried fruit pieces can easily be substituted for mixed seeds, like protein-rich pumpkin and sunflower.

 

Don’t hesitate to get creative and come up with custom combos based on your favorite nuts and dried fruit. If you’re a chocoholic, like we are, raw cacao nibs are another great addition—all of the rich flavor and antioxidants without added sugar. And, for a kick of energy and punch of protein before hitting the trail, pop by Organic Avenue for our popular Chia Berry Tapioca or chocolaty Revival Smoothie.

>Environmental Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

Carrot HarvestIn honor of Earth Day, here’s why making the decision to consume more plant-based foods is better for the environment—especially when you limit your meat consumption.

According to the United Nations, meat production and factory farming are responsible for

> 70% of freshwater consumption

> 38% of land use—that’s approximately the size of Asia

> 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions

Studies reveal that it takes 100 times more water to produce a pound of beef than a pound of wheat. You could save more water by not eating one pound of meat than you would by not taking a shower for 6 months.

Regarding land use, 20 people can be fed a complete plant-based meal for the amount of land it takes to feed 1 meat-eater, due to the space required for livestock production.

As Marc Bittman states, livestock production is one of the top two contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for at least 20 percent (and by some estimates 50 percent) of dangerous gases in the atmosphere—a greater impact than even transportation.

Eating meat generates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. If every American dropped one serving of chicken a week from their diet, it would save the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as taking 500,000 cars off the road. Even more of a reason to reach for quinoa or chia seeds for your daily protein source.

 

 

 

 

 

>The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors

Running Shoes and OJ

If you’re like most, when you think of exercise, you picture running on a treadmill in a dark, crowded gym. Now that the weather is warming up, there’s a better option. Plenty of people exercise outside. In fact, there are numerous benefits to taking your workout to the park, beach, field or street.

 

> Vitamin D3 – When the sun hits your skin, it creates a chemical reaction, converting a prohormone in your skin into vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for your body to absorb calcium to increase bone density, keep the immune system healthy, balance phosphorus levels and aid in muscle development. So, while lying in the sun for 8 hours at the beach isn’t good for you, a brisk morning walk in the sunshine is fantastic for your overall health.

> More Challenging Workout – You may be able to run 10 miles inside without a problem, but you’ll feel like your legs are made of Jell-O after 2 miles on a trail. It’s a challenge, but the constant elevation and terrain variations help to improve your balance and increase your heart rate. After a good workout outdoors, you’ll definitely want to stop by Organic Avenue for a Power House Smoothie to help rebuild muscle tissue.

> Improved Mental Health – Spending time outside has a powerful effect on the brain. Psychological tests have shown that those who exercise outdoors scored higher on measures of enthusiasm, vitality, self-esteem and pleasure. Individuals exercising outside tend to have lower risk of depression, anxiety, tension and fatigue.

> Easier Habit to Stick With – One of the main reasons people stop exercising is because they get bored. Exercising outside doesn’t feel like exercise, especially when you’re doing an activity you enjoy. There are countless fun ways to stay fit outdoors, including walking, running, hiking, cycling, inline skating, swimming, and paddle-boarding, as well as tennis, basketball, racquetball and practicing yoga.

> Less Expensive Option – Gym memberships can be pricey. Why spend money when you can slip on a pair of sneakers and exercise outdoors for free? Lots of complementary outdoor group fitness events take place in the warmer months. If you’re in New York City, one of our favorites is weekly Bryant Park Yoga.

 

Spring has finally sprung and summer’s just around the corner, so there’s no better time than now to take your workout routine outside. The benefits for your body are plentiful, and there’s simply nothing better than inhaling fresh air out in the sunshine.