Ask the Coach

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What are some tips for myself and my family to be healthier this summer?

Summer is here and time for fun in the sun with the family. Summer also brings temptations for too much sun exposure, sweet treats, allergies and other health issues.

It is important to use a sun lotion of at least SPF 50 in order to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. For sensitive skin, a mineral-based sunscreen is best. Avoid peak hours between 10 AM and 4 PM. If you are planning to be out in the sun for a long period of time, reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming. Don’t forget hats and protective sunglasses.

Louisiana hot summer months can leave your body dehydrated. A lack of water can be harmful and can make you crave food when you’re not actually hungry. It is incredibly important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight to nine glasses of water a day. Try adding some slices of cucumber, mint or lemon for a fresh flavor.
Fruit smoothies are great, but watch out for smoothies made with frozen yogurts, ice cream or too much fruit because they’re loaded with hidden calories! A better option is a green smoothie, made with both fruit and veggies – still sweet and delicious but much lower in sugar. Pack lunch and bring healthy snacks for family outings to avoid indulging in high-calorie snacks.

Summer can be tough for hay fever sufferers. Make sure you vacuum and clean your home regularly to get rid of excess pollen, try to shower and change clothes after you’ve been outside. Stock up on antihistamine products, nasal sprays and get more rest.

Summer exercise doesn’t have to stop because of the rising temperatures. On very hot days, change your exercise plan and take it indoors. Take a class, walk at the mall or try an online workout. It’s best not to work out in the blazing sunshine, but on a cooler day, there’s nothing to stop you heading out for a run or bike ride. Plan family activities that get everyone moving. Kids need 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Have fun!

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Carla Gray, BSES, HFS, CPT is a personal trainer and can be reached at
info@fitnessconnection.net or (504) 885-7855.

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