Summertime is the best season to work on your health goals by creating healthy habits! Not only do you have more downtime thanks to social distancing, but it’s also a great time to set new personal goals. In this blog, we feature 5 tips to help you get started!
UV rays are most powerful from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the summer season, according to APM Health. The sun creates two different kinds of UV rays that can harm your skin: UVA and UVB. While UVA rays can cause your skin to prematurely age, UVB rays can burn your skin. When picking out a type of sunscreen, make sure it is broad-spectrum so you are protected from both. Use a sufficient amount of sunscreen, especially on the face, and reapply every 2 hours. If you’re swimming, you should reapply sunscreen every 40 minutes.
Keep In Mind:
Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes before going outside.
Don’t forget to take care of your neck, tops of your feet, your ears and your lips if they are sensitive.
Summer is usually pretty sunny, but even on cloudy days, it is important to apply before going outdoors.
Make sure you are checking your sunscreen’s expiration date.
If you are out of sunscreen at the moment or yours just expired, try to stick to shaded areas. Shade can be a valuable resource during the summer to enjoy the beautiful weather while preventing skin damage and preserving hydration levels.
Have social media and the news been weighing on your mental health? This is the best time of the year to detox from technology use.
Instead of sitting in front of the TV or scrolling through your feeds multiple times, disconnect from your device and go out and create lifelong memories. Plan to meet up with your friends at a wide-open space in KC where you can still stay 6 feet apart while visiting. You could also hit a trail or visit a national park you’ve always dreamed of seeing. While this summer is a little different from previous ones, it is still important to have regular social interactions for your mental health – even if it’s just talking to a neighbor through a screen door. According to Psychology Today, “In a study of 7,000 California men and women, researchers found that isolation was a bigger risk factor for death over the nine-year study period than smoking, obesity and lack of exercise.” Just remember to follow CDC guidelines.
Many fruits and vegetables come in season during this time of year. Tomatoes, strawberries, green beans and bell peppers are all ripe during the summer, according to More Matters. Visit a local farmers’ market and pick up some fresh produce that can be thrown into a salad or made into a tasty side dish for dinner.
Here are some healthy recipes to help you have some fun in the kitchen!
8 ripe tomatoes, diced
½ cup basil, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cracked black pepper
1 whole wheat baguette, cut into 16 slices
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Dice tomatoes and place in a bowl. Mix in chopped basil, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and set aside. Slice baguette into about 16 slices (or however many the baguette yields) and bake for about 10 minutes.
- Serve bruschetta with warm bread slices and enjoy!
1 tbsp. Strawberry cream cheese
4 strawberries, cut in half lengthwise
½ tsp. graham cracker crumbs
- Spread cream cheese spread onto cut sides of strawberries.
- Sprinkle with graham crumbs.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 large shallots, sliced thinly
8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, sliced thinly
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ pounds green beans, stem ends trimmed
¼ cup chicken, turkey or vegetable broth
- Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling it around to coat the pan. When the butter is fully melted and has stopped foaming, add the shallots, mushrooms and salt. Sauté until all of the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms and they are beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the green beans to the pan and stir to evenly distribute the shallots and mushrooms. Pour the broth over the vegetables and cover the pan. Let cook, covered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand, still covered, for another 5 minutes.
- Serve the green beans in a serving dish or shallow bowl, pouring all of the mushrooms and shallots over the top.
12 sweet mini bell peppers (each about 2 1/2 inches long)
8 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
2 tbsp. seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup salsa
3 tbsp. light sour cream
2 tbsp. chopped scallions
Optional topping: sliced black olives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Slice off and discard the stem end of each pepper. Remove and discard seeds. Slice each pepper in half lengthwise, and lay them on the baking sheet, cut sides down.
- Bake for 5 minutes. Flip pepper halves. Bake until soft, about 5 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef, and sprinkle with seasonings. Cook and crumble for about 5 minutes, until fully cooked.
- When peppers halves are done roasting, blot to remove excess moisture. Arrange them in the center of the baking sheet. Top with beef, beans, cheese and jalapeño pepper.
- Bake until cheese has melted, about 3 minutes.
- Top with salsa, sour cream, scallions and black olives, if desired. Makes four servings.
Take advantage of the beautiful, warm weather and go outside! Evening walks or pool days are two great ways to get active during the summertime. With a lot of pools being closed due to COVID-19, consider visiting a local lake or pond. You’ll be able to dip your toes in the water and maybe even fish and catch your meal for the night.
While outside in the heat, it is essential to hydrate as much as possible, so make sure to bring a water bottle!
Summer downtime is a great opportunity to schedule that visit to the doctor that you put off all winter long. Annual check-ups are the best way to prevent illness. IV vitamin therapy is the perfect way to stay hydrated and energized during the warm summer season. This procedure only takes 10-15 minutes and results can be seen immediately. To learn more about IV vitamin therapy and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle, call KC Wellness Center at 816-214-5276 or visit http://bit.ly/2mjwoOh.