Essential tools for healthy summer living

Feature Article- Thu., May. 19, 2011
- Contributed Photo

Summer is the season of relaxation for many, but it’s easy to become lazy on your mission to better health. Plenty of temptations can negatively affect your well-being, but with the right tools, you can treat yourself to good health and good times.


Mix it up

Seasonal drinks and dishes are a highlight of summer, but too many hamburgers, ice cream cones, and cocktails can have a disastrous effect on your diet – and waistline. Fortunately, keeping your body bathing-suit ready doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or variety. And the best part is you need only one machine to create all your healthy summer recipes. The Vitamix 5200 creates a wide range of nutritious options that taste great. Whether it’s a whole-fruit smoothie, frozen sorbet, fat-free salad dressing, or veggie dip, this powerhouse machine can whip up endless healthy options. With this favorite tool of professional chefs, your new culinary prowess will make summer entertaining a snap. With hundreds of healthy options, the Whole Food Recipes cookbook included with the machine will help you make delicious and smart decisions all summer.


Sun safety

After months of dreary, cold weather, you may be eager to soak up the sun’s rays. As good as the warm sunshine feels, though, it can be damaging to your health. More than 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, with unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation as a leading cause. To lower your risk, make sure you have the right sun-safety tools: sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Any time you head outside, generously apply sunscreen and lip balm SPF 15 or higher, taking care to cover all exposed areas, including the back of your neck and tips of your ears. Sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UV rays to best protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them, and a comfortable, wide-brimmed hat will give your head and face added protection.


Feet first

Summer is the perfect time to become more active, enjoying the fresh air and scenery while you improve your health. Whether you’re planning to hike a trail, ride your bicycle, run a 5K or just stroll through the park, it’s important to make sure you have the right support. Walking in poorly-fitted or thin-soled shoes can cause back and joint pain, blisters and stress fractures, so invest in quality cross-training or running shoes that provide sufficient cushion and comfort. Make sure that the shoes fit properly and don’t hurt or rub any parts of your feet. Wear thick, sweat-wicking socks, and get ready to enjoy better health in the great outdoors.


Stay hydrated

With the temperatures rising and the sun beating down, it doesn’t take much to break a sweat on a hot day. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, replacing the water your body loses through sweat is important, as dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you know you’ll be outside for an extended period of time or if you’re heading out to exercise, make sure to bring a refillable water bottle or canteen. Fill it with ice and cold water, and drink 8 to 10 ounces about every 15 minutes.


With the right knowledge and tools, you can make this summer healthier and more enjoyable than ever. Invest in and incorporate these essential items into your lifestyle every day, and you’re sure to feel healthy and refreshed throughout the summer months.



Courtesy of ARA Content


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