Skating Uphill - August 2018

Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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“Because It's Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime!

– The Uphill Skater –

Indeed it is hot, muggy, buggy, and a bunch of other not too pleasant things. Just remember though, how you longed for this when it was so cold last winter. I remember it, and I love it. Heat is good for lots of things. It is good for my bones and joints, good for the ocean temperature, good for ice cream eating, among many other things. There are a few things though, and wouldn’t you just know it, that we need to look to for self-protection this summer.

When I say self-protection, I do not mean that you need to carry a gun, but I do mean you need your kit at the ready for those hot days that turn out to be ever hotter than expected. It is difficult to know what 88 degrees may feel like at the beach at 4:00 p.m. after you have been there since 11:00 that morning. So, here’s some beach and hot weather stuff you should know.

First of all, and we all know this, you must have sunscreen. I am not even going to talk about skin cancer or sunburn, but I will warn you that it’s essential to your personal health to use at least SPF 30 as you begin your beach days. I love to get a tan, and that is all right, just take it gradually and keep plenty of sunscreen in your bag. I have also found a product called Sun Bum, which is applied after your shower and helps to take the burn/sting/redness out of an overdose of happy times in the sun. I really like it, and it is also hydrating for your skin. I don’t use it on my face, but it’s good everywhere else.

Next is what you drink, and I do NOT mean wine. Alcohol is very dehydrating and that “beer on the beach” is a bad thing. Please drink lots of water. Flavored water is fine. I prefer peach. Gatorade is good. Fruit juice works too. Even diet soda is a better choice than not drinking enough. With so many good choices, skip things that dehydrate rather than hydrate.

Okay, so we have been looking in your cooler, and what do we see? We always used to take a Styrofoam cooler filled with ice, not only for drinks, but also for other favorites. We love chunks of watermelon and frozen peaches and blueberries. Frozen fruits will last a long time and are really refreshing on a hot day when you just need something icy and do not want an artificially sweetened Popsicle.

What else should be in your all-purpose beach kit? The universal item is bug spray. Remember DEET and also remember to use a spray that does not irritate your skin. When you are sandy and hot, many insect repellent sprays can further irritate delicate skin. Try one of the new powders, or a dry spray. Give it a try before you go out for a whole afternoon to be sure you do not have a reaction. Oops, a bug got you anyway. Keep some calamine lotion to ease the sting of any type of bite. This is especially important for children who might scratch a bite and develop a site infection.

To that end, also include a little first aid kit in your bag of tricks. I do not mean a blood pressure cuff, heart monitor, and scalpel. I do mean some antiseptic solution, bandages, tweezers, and some dry talc. Just these little things and whatever else you think you have used in the past for your particular needs should be included.

Chair, mat, and umbrella are a must, as are sand toys if this is a family day. I know a guy who goes to the beach daily and only takes a towel, but he gets in, swims, gets out, and goes home. What kind of a beach day is that, I ask you?

Finally, don’t forget your phone and do not forget relevant phone numbers. Not only might you need to make a call, you may also see something that requires placing an important or emergency call for someone else.

It’s not much trouble to keep your stuff in a bag near the door and just pick it up when you head out. Big things like umbrellas or shade tents can stay in the car and the little cart that you use to pull things from the car to the beach can also just stay there. Make it easy on yourself. After all, it is SUMMERTIME!  Love, Judith

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