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In the Spotlight

Friday, June 15, 2012

5 Healthy Summer Habits


With this new onset of the summer season comes many health concerns that you should be aware of before you plan your summer activities. The heat and sun can lead to many serious illnesses and accidents. Make sure you start your summer off right by knowing how to keep you and your family happy and healthy during this fun time of year!
Here’s a list of 5 things you should know for having healthy summer habits.
1. Sunscreen is important. This is not new information. However, make sure you choose sunscreen that does not have cancer causing ingredients in it. Recent studies warn against the ingredients PABA, benzophenone-3, homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC) and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4- MBC) due to the possible link to skin cancer.
2. Summer is a great time to get the necessary amounts of Vitamin D. While you can get small amounts in your diet, the best way to reach your needed Vitamin D levels is by sun exposure to the skin. Make sure the skin does not have sunscreen because it may interfere with the absorption of Vitamin D. 15-30 minutes is adequate unprotected exposure for Vitamin D. Be sure to practice safe sun habits. If you have any questions consult with your physician.
3. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Summer is a time of plenty when it comes to fruits and vegetables availability. Farmers markets are up and running. There are so many options available during this time of year that you can get creative and have fun! Vegetables and fruits have many properties for protecting your health from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and much more! By eating more vegetables and fruits you can give your body the vitamins and minerals it craves and protect your cells from the damage free radicals cause.
4. Avoid long periods of vigorous activity during the heat of the summer. Make sure you take frequent breaks and drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Summer can be a dangerous time for long periods of activity outside in the sun and heat. Keep your family protected by offering shade, frequent breaks, and lots of fluids. Make sure you drink plenty of water. Summer is hot and in a lot of places very humid. These factors can lead to dehydration very quickly. Remember to drink plenty of liquids and water is by far the best option for prevention dehydration, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke.
5. Increase your social and activity calendar! Summer is an awesome time for getting together with friends which has shown to increase your happiness and fulfillment in life. It also offers a great time for increasing your activity level with offering many options for activities that get you moving from swimming to tennis to golf. What do you enjoy? What makes you happy in life? Studies have shown that people who are happy and active life longer, healthier, and happier lives. What can you do this summer to increase your health?
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