Fortunately, the pollen counts are dwindling, too. Soon, all the beautiful flowers of spring will wither under the scorching June heat. But that means, sunscreen is ESSENTIAL to heading outside for any length of time. Only a few minutes in the summer heat can damage your skin. More than just painfully red, sunburn indicates damage. In addition to increasing the risk of skin cancer, unprotected sun exposure can increase aging, making skin appear "older" and more wrinkled AND contribute to dehydration.
Get the facts on sun exposure here:
Remember to protect children from the sun, especially. Their sensitive skin is much more prone to damage if not protected. Use sunscreen with at least SPF of 30 or greater and hats, shirts and/or cover-ups whenever possible. And just because a sunscreen says waterproof does NOT mean it lasts all day!! Reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours while exposed to the sun, and directly after sweating a good deal or swimming.
Get more info on Skin Cancer Facts from the American Cancer Society here:
Summer can be a busy, crazy time, just like any time of year, but for me it gets a lot less hectic without going to and fro with my kids. If you have young ones, you can probably relate. So for me, summer is a great way to get back on that exercise plan I've been too busy to maintain throughout the school year. While the weather outside is getting less conducive to outdoor recreation, it doesn't mean workouts are impossible. The best times of day to go for a walk or run are the early morning or late evening hours. With the sunlight lasting longer, there's an even greater chance to involve the whole family. Get the kids out of the house after dinner and stroll around the neighborhood. A brisk walk at least 3 times a week will make a HUGE difference for everyone in the family's health. Eating healthier is easier, too. Use the added daylight hours to grill. The kids can play outside while you cook up the evening meal.
Vegetables are ever plentiful right now, so you can get them fresh and provide a variety of healthy options for you and your family. Don't have your own garden? Why not start one? In addition to the exercise benefit from working in a garden -- the tasty rewards you get when it's harvest time are hard to beat. It's not too late to get some plants in the ground now for a summer harvest. Others need to wait to July or August for a Fall harvest, but that gives you plenty of time to prepare between now and then. Check out this very handy information sheet from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0063/ANR-0063.pdf
And don't worry -- even if you are like me and have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is -- there's hope for a fresh veggie summer. Pike County has no shortage of vegetable growers who are happy to help you out! Check out the Pioneer Farmer's Market behind First Methodist Church (the corner of Oak and Academy Street) for home-grown produce from folks you know right here in Pike County. What a win - win that is -- supporting your local growers and getting a healthy meal for yourself and your family!
Need some ideas on what to do with those fresh vegetables (and fruits) you have now? No problem! Here's a few recipes to try this summer!
Try this fiesta-inspired salad with beans, corn, and avocado
Put the veggies on center stage with this yummy dish:
Refresh yourself with a delicious and nutritious drink:
Finish it off with this yummy treat that even the kids can pitch in to help make: