Did you know that heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S.? Today is Heat Safety Awareness Day, so here are tips to playing it cool when the heat is up.
We all want more time outdoors when the weather is nice. Relaxing by the pool, biking, walking the pooch—it’s just good to get out. It’s also good to be aware of heat-related issues that can happen when we aren’t prepared or thinking about it.
Here are some heat safety tips while enjoying the great outdoors:
Bring the water along. Staying hydrated is the main way to keep your body safe in the sun. Drink at least 4 oz. every hour whether you are thirsty or not.
Be aware of heat-related warning signs and what to do. If you are feeling nauseous or light headed, that may be a sign that your body is overheated. Get to a cool, shaded spot where you can relax while sipping on water. If you start to feel worse, call for help.
Invest in a cooling towels to keep around your neck when outside. A cooling towel or a personal fan work great for those outdoor sporting events.
Wear sunscreen and reapply. SPF 15 or higher is recommended. Sweat/waterproof just means it won’t instantly come off, but it will eventually; remember to reapply every hour or so.
Get out of the sun often. If outdoors, even when swimming, take regular breaks in the shade or inside to cool off.
Check out the heat index. It feels hotter to the body when the humidity is high. So, in addition to looking at the temperature, get the “real feel” temp.
Cover up. Avoid dark colored clothes and opt for loose fitting, light colored ones. Also, wearing sunglasses and a hat will give you added sun coverage.
Be safe while enjoying vitamin D and the fresh air! <3
Most of us focus on the outward appearance and tend to forget about the inside, but our mental health is just as important. Since May is Mental Health Month, here are 5 mental exercises to keep your mind sharp.
Research has shown that keeping your brain active can increase the vitality and possibly generate new brain cells according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Here are 5 ways you can keep your brain active:
Play games. Even though playing games in a relationship is not cool, playing games, such as cards or board games, stimulates the brain. There are memory apps you can get and free online mind games as well.
I know it can be hard to sit down with a book because you feel like you have so much you need to be doing. But carve out some time every day to read something that interests you.
Continue to learn. Take a course here and there at the community college, participate in a fun cooking class or learn to sew at the local craft store. Not only are there always things you can learn, but it helps keep your mind active.
Writing is a way to get in touch with your creative side and brings your imagination to life. It’s also very therapeutic. So, journal to start writing a memoir or a fun story you have.
Talk to people. One of the worst things we can do is isolate ourselves. We need to verbalize and interact with others. So log out of social media or turn off Netflix and go hang with a friend.
If you are a seasonal allergy sufferer, you know how miserable it can be this time of year and lasting all the way through fall. Here are 3 keys to minimizing allergy symptoms this season.
Allergies are one of the leading chronic diseases in the U.S.; with a reported one out of five Americans having allergies of some sort. That’s a lot of people sniffling, sneezing or experiencing something more serious—like anaphylaxis.
Allergies come about when our immune system raises its defense against something it thinks is dangerous to our body. There are several types of allergies such as those ingested, breathed in or substances we touch; but for the purposes of this article, we are going to focus on the ones specific to what’s referred to as allergy season. Those are:
Pollen and Mold Spores.Pollen—The only way for a plant’s reproduction is through pollen that gets carried off in the air causing problems for many allergy sufferers. Tree pollens kick off the allergy season as early as January; grass pollens follow in the early springtime; with weed pollens rounding them out in late summer/early fall. Mold—Even though indoor mold can be a yearlong problem (and outdoor mold in Texas due to the climate), it still makes the list based on its dormancy during colder temps. Mold is fungi that grows where it’s damp, dark and humid. Their spores float through the air and can be found everywhere.
Minimize pollen/mold spore allergy trigger- Cut the grass or other yard work while wearing an allergen mask; keep windows shut in the house and car to avoid pollens or mold spores from blowing in; take shoes off at the door, change clothes and shower when coming in from outside. Avoid the outdoors when pollen and mold counts are high or on windy days.
Insects. Fire ants, honeybees, hornets, yellow jackets and wasps are out during the warmer months.
Minimize insect allergy trigger- Don’t mess with the nests and avoid the area all together; avoid having or being around sugary drinks outside; and wear shoes when outside to avoid risk of stepping on a nest.
Dust mites. Dust mites are a year-round issue and we can never fully remove them from our lives, but due to them flourishing in warm and humid temperatures, they make the cut as a seasonal allergens issue.
Minimize dust mite allergy trigger- Keep humidity below 50 percent; use a HEPA filter for your furnace, A/C and vacuum; use allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers and wash bedding weekly; avoid carpet, especially in the bedrooms.
If you have any of the airborne allergy symptoms, get tested by an allergist. Many symptoms can be controlled or manageable. For allergic reactions that can lead to anaphylaxis, such as insect bites, wear a medical alert bracelet and always carry epinephrine. Take care!
It is recommended that we get at least 30 minutes of physical activity, at least five days per week. Is that happening for you? If you are like most, finding time to do the things that are a “must” is tough enough—let alone, exercising. Here are some tips to staying physically active during a tight schedule:
Prioritize it. Of course, there are things that we do that are downright time-killers (i.e. sucked into hours of social media or FB stalking). So, what helps is to prioritize our schedule. Having crazy-good time management skills is the number one key to success in nearly every life goal. Get up an extra 45 minutes early for a brisk jog (it’s okay to sleep in your work-out clothes if you have to).
Schedule it. To be efficient in time management requires a good system for monitoring and scheduling your time. If you have a smartphone, use your calendar. It is completely customizable and can sync with your email account. My preference is digital, however, good ole’ post-its or a wall calendar will work too. For others in the house to be included, I may jot a note down on a dry erase board in the shared area. Figure out a system and put it in place.
Make it convenient. Being intentional about incorporating physical activity is sometimes all it takes. For example, a change in mode of transportation, time with friends or lunch break can become a convenient way to stay active. Some ideas:
Meeting friends for lunch? Meet at Katy Trail for a walk instead or hang at the park for basketball or tennis.
If you live near work, walk or bike there.
If you work in a multiple floor building, try to always take the stairs.
For your lunch break, drink a healthy smoothie and head out for a walk.
Exercise while you watch your favorite movie or tv show.
Curl the gallon of milk as you put the groceries away.
Do what you enjoy. Working on your fitness doesn’t have to be a chore. Go biking, walking, hiking, rollerblading, walk the dog every day, throw a frisbee in the park—whatever equals fun for you.
Commit yourself. If you are dedicating a block of time for fitness, stick to it. Eventually it becomes second nature. If you are fitting it in where you can, little choices throughout the day make a difference. If you can create a habit of parking farther away while running errands or opting for a lunch break walk instead of the sandwich at the desk, for example—it counts.
It’s National Physical Education and Sports Week, so hopefully these tips get you going. Always be aware of your surroundings, stay cautious and carry your pepper spray.