Labor Day 2022 is coming up on Sept. 5th. Find out how you can celebrate this holiday weekend in healthy ways.
Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, is coming up on Sept. 5th. This holiday allows you to celebrate with friends and family or spend a relaxing weekend alone. Whether you plan to host or attend a gathering, unwind at home, or do a bit of both, this is also a great time to focus on your health and well-being. From the foods you eat to the activities you do, the following tips can help you enjoy a fun and healthy Labor Day 2022 weekend.
Make Healthy and Delicious Recipes
Labor Day festivities usually include cookouts or barbecues with plenty of hot dogs, hamburgers, and other greasy foods. These gatherings also tend to have unhealthy foods to snack on, such as bowls of potato chips, as well as cookies, ice cream, popsicles, pies, and other calorie-laden sweets for dessert. When it comes to beverages, you’ll often find coolers full of soda, iced tea, lemonade, and other sugary drinks.
Whether you’re having people over or heading to someone else’s gathering, consider making healthy dishes for the celebration, such as the following:
• Combine 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves and 7 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves in a sealed plastic bag
• Place the bag in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate
• Take the chicken out of the bag, and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on it to season it
• Grill chicken on medium-high heat for about 6 minutes per side
• Grill or boil 5 ears of corn, then remove the kernels and put them in a large bowl
• Add a diced tomato, chopped red onion and diced green bell pepper to the bowl with the corn
• Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, fresh cilantro, salt and pepper
• Mix 3 cups plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl
• Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread the yogurt mix on it in a 10- x 15-inch rectangle
• Top the yogurt mix with 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
• Freeze for about 3 hours, then cut up and serve
Play Outdoor Games for All Ages
While it’s fine to sit around and catch up with loved ones for a bit, staying active can make Labor Day 2022 a healthier holiday. When your gathering includes people of all ages, the following outdoor game ideas offer a fun way to keep everyone up and moving.
Set up some lightweight bowling pins, and use a soccer ball, beach ball or another outdoor ball to knock them down. If you don’t have bowling pins to use, you can create some makeshift ones instead. Try putting sand in empty bottles to use as bowling pins. Adults and kids can both have a good time seeing how many strikes they can get.
Water Balloon Hot Potato
This is a great game to play when it’s hot out. Fill up water balloons, then have everyone stand in a circle and pass around one balloon at a time until it breaks. To get everyone moving more, you can play dodgeball with water balloons or a game of toss.
Tossing a Frisbee around is a classic backyard game that all ages can play, including the family dog. Just keep in mind that you might need to do lower, easier throws if you’ll be playing with smaller kids. See who can catch the most tosses for some friendly competition.
Visit a Local Park This Labor Day Weekend
You don’t have to stay in your own yard this Labor Day 2022 weekend. Consider having a picnic at your local park instead. Bring nutritious foods to enjoy, such as salads, nuts, fresh fruit, and sandwiches made with lean meat. Pack some bottled water, so you’ll have plenty to drink with your food and stay hydrated in the sun and heat. Bring a soccer ball to kick around, fly a kite or take a walk around the park to get some exercise while you’re there.
Spend Some Quiet Time on Nature Trails
Your Labor Day weekend doesn’t have to be filled with social time and busy activities. Spend some time on your own or enjoy some quiet time with your loved ones to unwind after the festivities. Doing so can help you feel more relaxed before heading back to work.
Look for nature trails to explore in your area. Hiking on these trails can have a calming effect while also giving you a way to stay physically active. A 2021 scientific review shows evidence that exposure to nature has beneficial effects on mental health, sleep, cognitive function, and other aspects of health and well-being.
Whether you have a busy Labor Day 2022 planned or a simple, quiet weekend, practicing mindfulness can have a positive impact on your health. A 2021 analysis of research studies found that mindfulness can have a beneficial effect on people with anxiety disorders. Mindfulness has also been associated with other health benefits. This simple practice involves focusing on your current surroundings rather than letting your mind be distracted by worries about the past or future.
You can practice mindfulness in different ways. For example, you might focus on the sights, sounds, and smells you’re currently experiencing. Focusing on your breathing is another way to practice being mindful. Set aside time to practice mindfulness, or work on being mindful while you’re out and about for Labor Day.
Make Healthy Living a Regular Habit
Focusing on your health can extend beyond Labor Day weekend. Applying these healthy tips and ideas to your daily life can help you feel your best on a regular basis. Building good health habits now can also help you prepare for the upcoming fall and winter holidays.