Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mid-Summer Survival Tips

It's already the middle of July and summer is in full swing. Summer is one of the most social times of the year and you might find yourself running around for vacations, parties, BBQs, family reunions, and gardening. Based on my experience with the move from Chicago to Indianapolis, I've been logging many miles going back and forth. This weekend we have a family reunion in Michigan and we'll be on the road 3-hours each way. On Friday night, I'll pack dinner for us that's easy to eat on the road (sandwiches, rollups, with carrots or apple slices).

With road trips, you can plan ahead with healthy snacks so you're not forced to eat fast food as your only option. I pack granola bars, dried apricots, and water. Check out more tips on snacks you can keep in your bag.

All this fun also means that you'll be out be out in the sunshine enjoying the beautiful summer weather. This picture is from Aaron's parent's lake house before they built their year around house. We spend a lot of time at the lake house, especially in the summer. With the move to Indy, we're only 2 1/2 hours from the lake house so it's an easy drive for the weekend.

Exposing your skin in the sun means that you need to do everything possible to protect your skin, the body's largest organ. The sun over time can give you skin damage effects like premature aging and cancer. On one of my long drives between Chicago/Indy, I heard this Fresh Air podcast with the host Terry Gross interviewing a dermatologist, Darrell Rigel. He gave great tips on sun safety and helpful tips on applying sunscreen. You only have one body in this life so protect your skin! I see WAY too many people walking around with deep, unnatural tans and really it's sun damage! I protect my skin with high quality sun screen that I replace annually. A couple of tips:

  • Be practical on sun exposure. The middle of the day (11am -1pm) often is the most intense time of the day. You are more likely to burn in less time during this time of day so that means that you need to reapply sunscreen more often than other times of the day (early morning, late afternoon, for example.
  • Wear hats, sunglasses, cover up! I keep a straw hat at the lake house when I'm out in the sun. Covering your shoulders or thighs were your skin might be more sensitive is a smart move in the most intense part of the day.
Bump up your water intake and stay hydrated! Drinking more water in the summer heat is smart to help you replenish your body. In the summer heat your body sweats to regulate temperature and stay cool, but that means that you need to replenish your body with more water. You also get water from summer fruits and vegetables in addition to water alone.

With all the summer events and parties, don't forget to plan ahead. If you look at your week ahead, you can plan on nights when you can cook for packable meals that you can eat on hurried weeknights. You can get healthy meals whipped up from the grocery store salad bar/deli or one of my favorites is making versatile taco meat that you can make into taco salad, enchiladas, burritos, or quick tacos. In fact, that's what I'm making tonight - ground chicken tacos.

Have any summer survival tips of your own? Please pass them on!

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