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Make sure your summer is full of fun with these tips!

On June 2, the Wall Street Journal highlighted some interesting new research that found seniors who engage in fun, social activities are happier and less likely to develop dementia later on in life.  Similarly, at every age, staying active and interacting with others are two essential components for good health. With that in mind, I’ve provided a few fun and healthy ways for you to stay active with your friends and family this summer!

The heat of July and August can be oppressive, but early morning and late evening are excellent times to be outside, if the midday sun is just too much. But no matter what time you go outside, Tip Number 1 is “Don’t forget the sunscreen!”

Any outside activity is great when you like doing it – especially if you are doing it with others. So Tip Number 2 is “Either go someplace where people are doing an activity you want to do, or invite people to join you when you are doing something you enjoy.” Whether your pleasure is taking a walk, planting a garden, playing golf, or floating down a lazy river, it’s more fun when you can share.

Many of us, as we have aged, have moved away from the neighborhoods we lived in for decades. This puts the burden on us to make new friends and identify places to go for fun and recreation. It may not be easy but it really is important.  Churches, senior centers, community recreation facilities, libraries, and your local newspaper all contain dozens of resources about places to go, things to do, and people wanting to do them. Tip Number 3 is “Do your homework and find things to do that interest you.”

If outside activities are not your thing, there still are lots of things you can do inside (in the air conditioning!) that are fun and will keep you moving. So, Tip Number 4 is “Don’t limit yourself about where you look for something to do.”  One of the most fun things I’ve done recently was to go bowling with my grandkids. I don’t think I’ve been bowling in more than a decade. Surely, no one was more surprised than I was when I bowled a strike! Moreover, I jumped up and down in excitement so many times that I’m sure that counts as some of my daily exercise!

Remember, whether you enjoy swimming, playing yard games, golfing, bowling, or playing tennis, these sort of activities can actually improve all facets of your life.  I hope you will try your hand at some new activity this summer.  Be sure to let us know how you plan to get active and enjoy yourself this summer on Facebook and Twitter!

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The Perfect Summer Checklist

sea-nature-sunny-summerIf you are like many people, summer is your favorite time of the year. Gardening, golfing, playing outdoor tennis, swimming at the beach, or just enjoying the extra hours of daylight are what we’ve been waiting to do all winter long.

But even though summer is the perfect season for so many wonderful activities, remember to take a few extra minutes to get yourself ready to enjoy them safely and comfortably.

Summer checklist:

Sunscreen: Of course, we need to wear it all year round but the greater intensity of summer sun and heat means we need to reapply sunscreen frequently while we are out. Even “all day” products don’t always protect you the entire time you are outdoors, especially if you are in the water or working up a healthy sweat.

One great tip is to keep sunscreen in a convenient place in your car where it’s handy and visible. Then it’s at-the-ready when the sun is beaming down through the window or in case you’ve forgotten to apply before you left home.

Remember that some medicines can make your skin more sensitive to light. Check with your pharmacy or provider’s office if you have questions about anything you take.

Hydration: I know, I know… we hear this over and over but it bears repeating. Keep water with you every time you exercise or engage in an outdoor activity, even if it’s only a short walk.

And like the sunscreen, keep a few bottles of water in your car—you never know when summer beach traffic, a car problem, or some other event may intervene.

Insect Repellent: You name it, summer has them whether they are flying, crawling, or dropping down from trees.

Outdoor activities in the late afternoon and evening, of course, make you a prime target for mosquitoes.  But they are by no means the only problem. Gardeners and hikers should especially take note that the tick population in several states is at an all-time high this year. Be sure to check yourself when you come in, especially if you live in a high infestation area.

There are good repellent sprays and surprisingly good (though a bit pricey) repellent clothing—though not all of the garments work for every activity or sport.

Grandkids: One of life’s greatest joys is doing almost any activity with grands and summer gives us so many more opportunities!  Don’t forget to check that your sunscreen and first aid supplies are kid-friendly and that your car has an extra supply of drinks.