Beat the Heat- Cool Summer Workout Tips

New England summers can be brutal. The humidity and heat make it hard to motivate yourself to get outside and exercise.

Here are some tips on how to stay cool during your summer workouts!

1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Make sure you are drinking water all day- not just before or after your workout. Make sure you are sipping four to eight ounces of H2O every 15-20 minutes during your workout.

2. Go for a swim. Swimming is a great way to exercise because it works out your whole body! There are many different strokes that you can do to target and tone different muscles.

3. Run or walk in the rain. There are not many things more refreshing than a summer rain shower. As long as there is no thunder or lightening, running/walking in the rain is a great way to exercise and stay cool at the same time.

4. Find a shady trail or breezy beach. There are many trails in the woods with trees that offer shade in the summer heat. Beaches are also a great place to go for a walk or run because the water keeps the air a cooler temperature and creates wind.

5. Join a gym. Gym’s offer a great, air conditioned atmosphere that allows you to escape from the heat. If you can’t afford a membership then look up some YouTube videos online and workout at home!

6. Workout in the early morning or late evening.  The temperature is coolest in the early morning before 10 a.m. and late evening after 6 p.m.

7. Slow it down. If you are exercising in the heat make sure you take it slow and pace yourself. Don’t expect to go as fast as you would if it was only 65 degrees.



Fun and Healthy Spin on Pizza!

Here’s a confession: I am hooked on pizza. Who can resist that ooey-gooey cheese, crunchy crust and flavorful toppings?!

So, what can you do to make pizza delicious AND guilt free? Make a crust out of veggies!

There have been many wacky pizza crust ideas like cauliflower pizza crust, zucchini pizza crust and even eggplant pizza crust.

Here’s one more: spaghetti squash pizza crust!!!

Why choose spaghetti squash?

  • It’s easy!

Out of all the vegetable pizza crusts out there, this has to be one of the most simple and straight forward to make.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees!

Step 1: Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the innards (seeds and icky middle part)

Step 2: Cook the spaghetti squash in the microwave for about 10 minutes for each half until it is tender and easily pulls apart with a fork

Step 3: Fork out all of the squash strands and place them in a paper towel to squeeze out as much of the excess liquid as you can

Step 4:  Measure out 3 1/2 cups of squash strands and mix together with 1 egg, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/4 of mozzarella cheese

Step 5: Spread the squash mixture onto a baking sheet covered in tinfoil. Try and make a nicely pressed, even and thin layer out of the squash.

Step 6: Bake your crust in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Take it out, flip it over and bake it for another 25-30 minutes.

Step 7: Once the crust is baked through and nice and crispy, cover with your favorite toppings! Bake in the oven for another 4-6 minutes until the cheese is melted goodness.

  • It’s Healthy!

By switching from regular crust to spaghetti squash crust you are adding fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, Magnesium and Potassium to your diet!!

Eating half of the pizza will also boost your vegetable intake by a serving!

Doesn’t it look delicious!? 

It’s Springtime: Create your exercise routine!

      Top 5 reasons people don’t exercise  : 

1. I don’t have time

2. I don’t have any motivation

3. I don’t have access to a gym or equipment

4. I don’t enjoy exercising

5. I don’t know how to exercise



1. Set specific, manageable goals

The Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise each week. That boils down to 30 minutes of exercise a day for 5 days a week. You could even set it up so you have the weekends off! Easy peasy.

2. Make your exercise time a priority- schedule it into your calendar!

Take a look at your schedule for the week and pencil in 30 minutes of exercise a day for 5 days. Treat exercise as part of your homework or work assignment-if you miss a day you lose points!

3. Invest in some fun workout gear

New studies are showing that it is actually possible to dress for success. The better you look, the better you feel and the more you will want to kick a workout’s butt!

Girls: Invest in a cute but comfortable pair of running sneakers, pair of leggings for cold weather, shorts for warm weather and a couple of your favorite colored workout tops and sports bras.

Guys: Even though your workout clothes might not be a priority, a fashionable yet comfortable pair of running/workout shoes can make a workout much more enjoyable!

4. Find a friend, class or group

Finding a gym or workout buddy can be a great way to help you stay motivated. Can’t find someone who is on the same schedule? Research yoga, Pilates or even Crossfit classes in your area that offer classes at many different times throughout the week!

5. Start slowly and track your progress

If you don’t think that 30 minutes a day for 5 days per week is a manageable goal, start slower! Exercising for even 10-20 minutes a day is a good way to get started

Track your progress by recording it in a notebook or downloading an App to your phone. This can help you to see how much you are improving each day and where you are now compared to where you started.

Pedometers are also great little tools that help you keep track of your steps and motivate you to get moving. Clip it on your belt and set yourself a challenge to increase your steps each day!

6. Reward yourself

When you reach one of your goals-reward yourself! Preferably with a non-food reward like a movie, massage or tickets to your favorite sports team.

Insider: March Madness for Financial Fitness

Hey everyone! Good news. Faculty and staff are in the Get Moving UMass groove. Departments around campus are exercising and eating healthily as a team!

I had the pleasure of talking with Christina Williams who is part of the financial aid department here at UMass. Christina is part of  a committee called C.A.K.E whose responsibility is to come up with something fun for the whole office to participate in once a month.

So guess what they decided to do for the month of March!?


March Madness was a challenge aimed to get the whole financial aid office to get moving. The office was split into 4, random teams and given a team name: Team Dawley, Team Whipple, Team Stefanoni or Team Kellogg. Sound familiar?? Channel 3 graciously donated pedometers for everyone to help keep track of their steps. Participants gained points based on how many steps they walked each week. Whoever had the most steps at the end of the challenge got the secret, special, prize. The prize ended up being a whole week of free spin classes at The Town Bike in Northampton!

Teams were also assigned one day to bring in a healthy snack for the whole office. People brought in all sorts of delicious items including fruit salad, smoothies, carrot and celery sticks with peanut butter, hummus, grapes, strawberry salad, whole grain bread and more!

Challenges like this are a great way to get people involved in  fun, healthy, team building activities! Which department will get moving next?

Create Your Own Post-Workout Smoothie

After a good workout you need to refuel your body! The key to any post-workout meal is to eat complex carbohydrates and lean protein. Also, don’t forget to hydrate with plenty of fluid. Smoothies are a simple, easy and yummy way to meet your body’s needs. There are hundreds of different smoothie recipes but we don’t always have the right ingredients! Creating your own smoothie recipe is simple and easy once you know how to do it.

Here are some quick tips to help you put together your own great post-workout smoothie with the ingredients you have at home:

  1. Pick at least 2 complex carbohydrates to go in your smoothie (If you want to do a fruit and vegetable smoothie make sure you have 2 parts fruit to 1 part vegetable so it still tastes fruity and sweet!)
  2. Pick at least 1 lean protein to put in your smoothie
  3. Pick at least 1 hydrating liquid to put in your smoothie
  • The measurements listed are approximately for 1 serving so take this into account if you are making a smoothie for more than 1 person!
  • For a thicker smoothie you can freeze the fruits/vegetables you use or use yogurt instead of liquid
  • If you are using yogurt AND a hydrating liquid, use 1/2 cup of each

Complex Carbohydrates

  • 1 cup Spinach or kale
  • 1 cup Frozen or fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries etc.)
  • 1 Banana

  • 1 Apple
  • 1 cup Honeydew
  • 1/2 cup Kiwi
  • 1/2 cup Mango
  • 1/2 cup Papaya
  • 1 cup Peas
  • 1/2 cup Carrots
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 cup Pineapple
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh cooked broccoli florets
  • 1 cup Oranges
  • 1/2 Lemon or lime
  • 1 cup Cucumber slices
  • Cherries
  • Grapes

Lean Protein

  • 2 tablespoons Flax seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons Chia seeds
  • Low-fat, plain yogurt or Greek yogurt (Try to get yogurt with the LEAST amount of sugar)
  • Protein powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter or any type of nut butter
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, almonds or any other nuts you like
  • Hemp seeds or powder

Hydrating Liquids

  • 1 cup low-fat milk, almond milk , soy milk, rice milk etc.
  • 1 cup 100% pure orange juice-no sugar added!
  • 1 cup Coconut water
  • 1 cup 100% pure fruit juice like pomegranate juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice etc.
  • Non-sweetened ice tea or green tea

Fun Extras 

  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Seasonings like ginger, mint, cinnamon, lavender, turmeric, etc. (To taste)