Tag Archives: stay healthy

11 Ways to Stay Healthy This Summer

summer33It’s hard enough to keep a healthy routine going on a daily basis. Summer can definitely bring its own challenges. Your routine may change based on school or work schedules. There are more daylight hours, along with hot and humid weather.

You can maintain your healthy routine and incorporate summer fun into those long, lazy days.

Here are 11 easy ways to keep you and your family safe and healthy this summer:

Set a schedule
When school gets out, your routine may go out the window. Or, you may change your work hours to enjoy more of the summer weather. Keep up your good habits, such as eating regular meals, exercising and getting enough sleep. With additional daylight hours, it is tempting to spend more time on the run and get to bed later.

Fuel up with breakfast
Start the day with a healthy breakfast. A balanced breakfast includes protein, carbs and fiber. You and your kids will have a sharper mind, more energy and better nutrition to tackle the day.

Protect your skin
Sunscreen isn’t just for the beach or swimming pool. You need to apply sunscreen any time that you’re going to be outside, even on a cloudy day. You may spend more time outside during the day than you realize. You want to especially protect your most exposed areas, such as your face, ears, neck and backs of hands. These areas are most affected by skin cancer.

Stock up on healthy snacks
Studies have shown that kids gain less weight during the school year. That’s because schools have scheduled meal times, portioned meals and prevent kids from snacking through the day. Adults also tend to grab unhealthy snacks on the go during the warm summer months. Having healthy snack options on hand can be good for your entire family to create healthy eating habits.

Drink plenty of water
We know that drinking water helps promote good health. With warmer temperatures, it’s even more important than ever to stay hydrated. Even if you’re simply relaxing outside, your body temperature is still rising. Drinking water keeps your body functioning properly and can even help you lose weight.

Eat together as a family
A family that eats together stays healthy together. Dinnertime can be an opportunity to build your family relationships. Kids may be having a rough time with friends or other concerns. The dinner table is a place for kids to express themselves, which can help kids learn to talk about problems rather than turn to unhealthy eating habits. Regular eating times and dining together can also allow you to encourage healthy eating habits. It’s a chance for adults to relax and unwind, too!

Limit the Internet
You and your family may spend too much time on computers, tablets or smartphones surfing the Internet and playing games. Make it a point to turn off the devices and spend more time together as a family. You can have a picnic or go watch an outdoor movie. You can declare dinnertime or family fun night device-free zones.

Get outdoorsy
Exercise is great for the whole family and can be more fun when enjoyed together. You can pick different outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, swimming, playing frisbee or starting a neighborhood baseball game. Many city parks have ball diamonds and sand volleyball courts.

Sleep well
With the long summer days, it can be tempting to stay up late. Keep up your good sleeping habits and stick to the same bedtime and wake-up schedule.

Take a vacation
Spend some time relaxing and enjoying what summer has to offer. Even if you only have a few vacation days, you can still find time to unwind. You can plan a stay-cation and camp out in the back yard or spend time at the local swimming pool. Take a day off during the week and go to an amusement or water park.

Have fun!
Try something new. Make it a point to unplug and spend time relaxing over the summer. Get outside, enjoy the weather and act like a kid again!

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10 ways to avoid getting sick

Stay healthy and avoid getting sickA cold in the summer? The flu in the fall? When I was young, it seemed like we only got sick in the winter.

Now, we have to fight off sickness all year long. My daughter had a head cold last week. My husband, my son and I were all slowed down by upset stomachs this weekend. Why are we getting sick in the summer?

The reality is germs are around all the time. Viruses, such as those that cause colds and the flu, live longer on surfaces in the winter (about 5-7 days). In the summer or during warm weather, germs die off much faster (in about 24 hours).

These days we spend our time shut up in the house, in an office, or commuting to work. If you touch things that others are touching and then rub your face or touch your mouth, you are exposing yourself to germs.

Maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle can go a long way toward keeping you healthy. Here are 10 things you can do to avoid getting sick this summer and fall:

Wash your hands
The most effective way to combat germs is wash your hands often. Every time you touch a door knob, stair railing, phone or pen, you may be coming into contact with a virus. By washing your hands frequently, you can help minimize your chances of getting sick.

Keep your cool
When it’s warm outside, you can overdo it and become sick. However, most heat-related illnesses don’t happen from overexerting yourself on a hot, muggy day. Heat stroke occurs when your body simply can’t regulate your temperature. A chronic illness can put you at an even greater risk for health problems in hot weather. So, keep cool and protect yourself during hot weather.

Focus on the positive
Having a positive attitude can improve your immunity. People who are described as happy, enthusiastic and calm tend to be less likely to catch colds. A positive outlook may help you become more resistant to germs.

Protect your food
Summer and fall typically mean more picnics, backyard gatherings or dining out on your patio. Warmer temperatures and the lack of access to clean water when eating outdoors can increase the chances of contracting food poisoning.

Be sure to clean produce thoroughly before peeling or cooking. Keep your sodas or drinks in a separate cooler from your cold dishes since the drink cooler will be opened more often. You will be able to store your perishable foods at a more constant temperature. Make sure cold foods stay below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and check grilled foods with a meat thermometer to make sure they have been properly heated to kill bacteria.

Say no to stress
Constant worrying causes your cortisol levels to rise and stress hormones can weaken your body’s overall immunity. So, worrying about getting sick – along with chronic stress – can actually increase your chances of getting sick. Take time to relax.

Work your body
Exercise can calm the mind and relieve stress. In addition, getting your heart rate up, strengthening and toning can all help boost your immune system. So, getting in the routine of exercising can help you stay healthier and stave off sickness.

Eat for health
What you eat can also help you maintain good health and ward off germs. Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains and lean meats.

Go to sleep
Sleep is one of the best ways to keep healthy. You need a good, solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. If you can get into bed and fall asleep right away, stay asleep through the night and wake up refreshed, then you are more likely to be protected from colds and viruses. A good night’s sleep also raises your melatonin and improves immunity.

Hang out with friends
While you may think that spending time with others would increase your chances of getting sick, it actually helps you stay more healthy. There is evidence that being an extrovert can help protect you from developing colds and illnesses. Your friends may even help you live longer!

Watch out for bugs
Ticks, mosquitoes, spiders and many other summer insects can make you sick. Use insect repellent every time you’re outside to prevent bug bites. West Nile virus and Lyme disease are very real health concerns. Watch out for bug bites and treat them with anti-itch cream and antibiotic ointment to avoid itching and getting an infection.

Keeping the main aspects of your life in balance, including eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep and managing stress, can help keep you healthy. What are your tips for staying healthy and avoiding colds and illnesses all year round?