Health In A Minute: Late Summer 2014

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For Her

iStock_000014077590_LargeStunner Shades: Don’t Forget Your Sunglasses
No one likes to squint in the sun and just about everyone agrees that a stylish pair of sunnies is a great summer accessory. But did you know there are even more important reasons to put your shades on? First, up to 10% of skin cancers are found on the eyelid. Second, sunglasses may guard against cataracts, which can be triggered by UV exposure. Third, a sunburn of the eye (called photokeratitis) can be painful and cause blurred vision and light sensitivity. But don’t just reach for the old pair you’ve had for years, as those can cause your eyes to dilate behind the dark lenses, exposing them to even more damaging rays. Pick a pair that blocks 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB light and you should be in the clear.

Source: Oprah.com

The Perfect Staycation: Active and Fun
Staycations are a great money-saving summer activity, but they can easily turn into a weeklong excuse to be a couch potato. To keep your family active, and to boost the fun, add these things to your list. But don’t forget to relax a little, too. An afternoon in a hammock can leave you recharged and ready to take on the next activity.

  • Pair off into teams and have some friendly competition. Whether it’s ping pong, basketball, or soccer, it’ll get your heart racing and burn off calories.

  • Make a staycation soundtrack and have a dance party in the living room.

  • Splash around in a pool or glide down a homemade slip and slide. Even running through backyard sprinklers will do!

  • Gather the family and go on a bike ride through town.

Source: Forbes, Yahoo

 

For the Kids

iStock_000000465115_LargeBack to School: Readjusting to the Routine
Three months of fun and games can make it hard to get back into the routine of school. To help your child readjust, first try putting yourself in their shoes. Remember how tough it is to go back to work after a vacation? That’s what they’re experiencing. Also try to reassure your child that you’ll still set aside time for games and activities in the hours after school – the end of summer doesn’t mean the end of fun! Help your child look forward to school by being enthusiastic about their education. Make a day out of purchasing fun school supplies, and your excitement just might rub off on them. Finally, help your child pinpoint what they like best about school. Even if it’s just recess at first, keep the discussion open throughout the school year and see how interests change as they learn more and more.

Source: Nemours, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Get Outside: Hopscotch, Jump Rope, Hide and Seek, More!
Getting outside and away from the TV screen is an important way to teach kids vital skills. Playing outside can promote social skills, increase attention span, reduce stress, and provide Vitamin D, just to name a few. So even though video games can provide endless entertainment, why not teach your kids some old school classics? Buy some sidewalk chalk and map out a hopscotch course, double Dutch with some jump ropes, and play hide and seek!

Source: Care.com

 

For the Whole Family

iStock_000013391578_Large Lawn Mowing: Tips to Make it Safe
Serious accidents occur every summer from lawn mowing mishaps. To avoid injury and to keep this summertime chore safe, consider these tips.

  • Make sure to wear sturdy shoes while mowing.
  • Only use a mower with a control that stops the blade from moving if the handle is let go.
  • Pick up toys or stones before mowing to avoid injury from flying objects. 
  • Use a stick or broom handle, never hands or feet, to remove debris in lawn mowers.
  • Drive up and down slopes instead of across to prevent mower rollover.
  • Add fuel before starting the engine, not when it is running or hot. 
  • Never allow children to ride or play on lawn mowers – lawn mower accidents are the leading cause of major amputations for children under 10.  

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, Amputee Coalition of America

Camping Smarts: Don’t Leave These Off Your ChecklistiStock_000018093251_Large
Pitching a tent and roasting s’mores is a perfect summertime activity. Before you roll up your sleeping bag and hit the great outdoors, be sure to add these items to your checklist to keep you in tip-top shape while you’re away from the comforts of home.

  • A food thermometer. Be sure to cook foods to proper internal temperatures to avoid food poisoning.
  • Layers of clothing. Having enough clothes for cold nights, and light-weight options for hot days, can prevent temperature-related illnesses like hypothermia and hyperthermia.
  • Sunglasses. Be sure to see the tips earlier in this post!
  • Bug spray with DEET. Sprays containing 20% or more DEET can protect skin from bugs for several hours.

 

 

For Him 

Health Benefits of Fish Oil & Omega 3iStock_000004352617_Large
According to the American Heart Association, eating two servings of fatty fish per week is a healthy move for most middle-aged and older men. Research continues to confirm that the omega-3 fatty acids found in oily, dark-fleshed fish offer genuine health benefits. Here are a few:

  • Eating fish regularly can help ward off the serious heart rhythm disturbances associated with sudden cardiac death.
  • Fish oil appears to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, mental decline in old age, and prostate cancer.
  • Eating fish also provides other important nutrients like selenium, antioxidants, and protein.
  • People who eat fish tend to consume less meat and cheese, and they may add other healthy foods to their diets, such as vegetables and brown rice 

Top Tip: Remove the skin and fat before cooking to minimize exposure to Methyl mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Source: Harvard Men’s Health Watch