Summer is almost here. Are you and your body prepared for it? As much as you may love your fun in the sun, laying on the beach or camping, the summer also “cooks up” its own range of health-related considerations. To help you get prepared, we’ve pulled together a list of summer-specific health tips that should get you and yours well-positioned for a happy and healthy season of sun.
Natural Insect Repellant: Nobody enjoys being bitten by mosquitoes and the longer you stay outside, the higher your chances of becoming a victim. Rather than wearing your share of chemical sprays to repel mosquitoes, why not try something natural? Essential oils like peppermint oil, citronella, thyme, and cinnamon oil have been shown to keep mosquitoes at bay. Some are even more effective than DEET. You can diffuse essential oils outside or wear your choice of topical essential oil preparations.
Barbecue the Right Way this Summer: Summer barbecues are the highlight of the season. Cooking meat at very high temperatures can produce cancer-causing compounds. Among them are heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Safer ways to grill start with marinating your meats several hours prior to grilling which can minimize HCA formation as can
grilling your meat in foil. Removing charred portions of grilled meat can also help to lessen your exposure.
Be Sun Safe this Summer: While occasional sun exposure is healthy, sun burns aren’t. Make sure to take measures to protect your skin during the hot summer months. Prevention means blocking not only UVB radiation, but UVA radiation too. But it also means steering clear of suspect chemicals that are found in conventional sunscreens. Those suspect ingredients include oxybenzone, which could disrupt the human hormonal system, and Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), which may boost skin cancer risk.
Try Hydrating with Coconut Water: Coconut water is nature’s antidote for dehydration. We certainly encourage you to keep coconut water within arm’s reach. It contains healthy electrolytes which the body loses with sweat. And according to a clinical study, it hydrates just as well as water and sports drinks. Looking for other hydrating drinks? Celery, cucumber, and tomato juice work well, and, most importantly, don’t forget water! Avoid sugary juices, soft drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks as they are dehydrating.
240 Catherine St. Suite 100 Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2G8
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Special points of interest: For natural sunscreens check out the Environmental Working Group Sunscreen Guide at: www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen
For natural insect repellant recipes: www.wisemindhealthybody.com
Safer Holiday Travel: The holidays are a popular time for people to travel to see their family and friends. Whether you plan to travel by plane or car, there are steps you can take to make your trip safer and healthier. While the airport and plane may be full of passengers that you can see, it’s also full of millions of germs, viruses, and bacteria that can ruin your trip. The same goes for that car rest stop, the hotel room, and that roadside restaurant. Proper hand washing, hydrating and taking certain supplements are good preventative measures. One of the most common nutrients that people take when they think they are getting sick is vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that may improve immune function due to its ability to scavenge damaging free radicals. Another supplement helpful for preventing jet lag and its accompanying fatigue is melatonin. Melatonin can help your body adjust to time zones changes more easily. Why not be proactive this year to stay energized and healthy while you travel?
Lyme disease is an ever growing concern in many parts of Canada and the United States. By taking the right precautions and spreading the word, you can effectively protect your family from Lyme. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid tick-infested areas whenever possible. Although ticks favour moist, shaded environments; especially leafy wooded areas and overgrown grassy habitats, they can be found just about anywhere like your backyard, the golf course, and the beach.
Tips for Avoiding Tick Bites:
1. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Tuck your pants into your socks to prevent ticks from getting inside your pants.
2. Check your clothes for ticks often. Ticks will climb upwards until they find an area of exposed skin.
3. Wear light colored clothing to make it easier to spot ticks.
4. Walk on pathways or trails when possible staying in the middle. Avoid low-lying brush or long grass.
5. Apply insect repellent to your skin and clothing, especially at the openings such as ankle, wrist and neck.
6. Do a “tick check” on yourself, your family members and your pets.
Check out these two shows: Ticked off or Under our Skin for further information on Lyme disease.
• For further information on Lyme Disease Prevention, Safer Tick Removal, and Treatment, check out the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation Website at: www.canlyme.com
• If you think that you and/ or a family member have been exposed to Lyme Disease, please speak to Dr. Rodwin for further information and referrals to services.