Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Summer Is Here?

on May 30, 2011

Memorial Day is the official kick-off to summer but I’m still waiting for spring and I’m still a little nervous that it could still snow!  Let’s hope the weather warms up and we can enjoy some time outside.  Here’s a few tips to help you have a Healthy Summer:

1- Get outside and Exercise!  Walking, runnin , bike riding, rollerblading, jump roping, frisbee throwing, tag playing, swimming, etc.  There are plenty of parks and trails or even your own yard and neighborhood.  One caution- the air quality in NE Wisconsin can be trouble for those with breathing issues, this is a great site to check before venturning outside http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.local_city&cityid=198

2- Protect your Eyes.  When outdoors, wear sunglasses that block at least 99% of ultraviolet A and B rays. Sunglasses can help prevent cataracts, as well as wrinkles around the eyes, so don’t cheap out, buy a good polarized pair. When playing sports or doing tasks such as mowing the lawn, wear protective eyewear. Ask your eye doctor about the best type; some are sport-specific. I have an eye appoointment on Tuesday and am going to ask about computer glasses.  Watch for this in a future blog.

3- Hit the Farmers Markets!  I’m not sure that the farmers will have a good crop with this rotten spring, but I can’t wait to get out there and buy some fresh fruits and vegetables.  Summer is a great time for low calorie, low fat, high nutrition foods like watermelon, berries of all kinds, corn, melons, asparaugus,  and tomatoes. There are too many reasons to to hit the Farmers Market to list here so just do it! 

4- Go lite with Alcohol. Summer’s a great time to skip drinks with hard alcohol and choose a light, chilled alcoholic beverage (unless you are pregnant or should not drink for health or other reasons).
A sangria (table wine diluted with juice), a cold beer, or a wine spritzer are all refreshing but light.  There are lots of great summer craft beers to try, in moderation , of course, defined as one to two drinks daily — alcohol can protect against heart disease.

5-Take a Vacation! Improve your heart health: take advantage of  the great summer weather to take a vacation!  Vacations have multiple benefits: They can help lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress hormones such as cortisol, which contributes to a widening waist and an increased risk of hear disease and heart disease. Even a couple days off at home without the phone or internet can be very refreshing!

6- Sleep Well. Resist the urge to stay up later during long summer days. Keep the same bedtime and wake-up schedule and don’t drink alcohol within three hours of bedtime. I love a good nap on my day off but it is a  good idea to avoid naps during the day unless you take them every day at the same time, for the same amount of time. I guess this means I will need to nap at the office as well! 

Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day and a Healthy Summer! 

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