Hydration

Hydration is important because our bodies are comprised of mostly water, and proper balance determines how our systems function, including our nerves and muscles. Drinking an adequate amount of fluids helps remove wastes and other toxins; control body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure; and maintain a healthy metabolism.

If you are drinking 8 8oz glasses of water a day, you are probably doing pretty well! But the exact amount of water an individual needs really depends on that person. The average person should be drinking enough water so you are going to the bathroom every two to four hours.

If drinking water is hard for you – there are other ways you can meet your intake needs. Think of foods that are mostly comprised of water. For example, my favorite, watermelon! Have you ever wondered why taking a bite of juicy watermelon on a hot summer day is so good? Your body is craving that water to help regulate your body temperature and stay hydrated. Oranges and salads also have high water content.

So how do you know if you are dehydrated? If you haven’t gone to the bathroom in several hours and your urine is darker in color, that is usually a sign you need to drink more! Also, one might experience  headaches and cramping if they are suffering from dehydration.  Remember water is best!! Coffee and soda pop won’t really help you stay hydrated just because they are a liquid. Your body needs water!!

If you exercise you also need to make sure you are replenishing the fluids you might be losing through sweat. Especially on a hot day – if you go out for a run or other exercise, take water with you and try and drink some every ten minutes or so.

Water is so important to our health, we wouldn’t survive without it. So next time you reach for that coke, swap it out for a water instead! You will save yourself unnecessary calories and sugar, the water will help aid in digestion and make you feel fuller longer, thus keeping you away from those unhealthy snacks throughout the day! You will be glad you did!

Safety First!

Wear A Sunscreen

Apply a sunscreen 30 minutes before you step outside to do your exercise. The Food And Drug Administration (FDA) recommends to limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun's rays are the strongest. A sunscreen that is water-resistant for 80 minutes could be effective if your physical activity will require a tremendous amount of sweating.

Dress Accordingly

Wear light-colored and lightweight clothing that is made from moisture-wicking fabric; this keeps moisture away from the skin and dries quickly.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Outdoor fitness training during the summer months will require you to keep your body extra hydrated. Even if you are not thirsty, drink plenty of water. For extra precaution, drink a glass of water before going outside to workout; this will ensure your body is hydrated during the first 45 minutes of your physical activity.

When Running or Walking, Be aware

Avoid using headphones, or at least use one earbud, so you can hear approaching strangers or cars. Carry your cell phone at all times. Consider carrying pepper spray as well.

Eat the Colors of the Rainbow!

Eat the Colors of the Rainbow!

Hopefully you have already heard meals should have a variety of colors. That is not to just make the meal look more appetizing! The more colors in your meal the more nutrition and health it will provide your body! The colors are important because they have different kinds of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are substances in plants and can provide health benefits beyond what essential nutrients provide. Thousands of them have been identified and they are known to have disease-preventing properties. Here are the produce colors of the rainbow:

Blue/Purple: Provide anthocyanins that are particularly heart healthy and may help support healthy blood pressure. Some Examples are eggplants, blueberries, blackberries, prunes, and plums.

Green: Rich in isothiocyanates which can help assist the body in removing potentially carcinogenic compounds, and indoles which may have anticancer properties. Some examples are broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts

Red: High in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with a reduced risk of some cancers. Some examples are tomatoes and tomato products, watermelon, cranberries

Yellow/Orange: Provide carotenoids and can be converted in the body to vitamin A, important for vision, immune function, and skin and bone health. Some examples are carrots, mangos, cantaloupe, winter squash, and sweet potatoes.

Flavonoids are the largest class of phytochemicals and are mostly colorless, but they are powerful antioxidants, helping prevent damage to body cells and tissues. They are in many plant foods some including berries, grapes, onions, broccoli, parsley, beets, peppers, citrus fruits, tea, and legumes.

After hearing about all of the benefits fruits and vegetables provide why aren’t we at least eating the 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables recommended? Let’s start now or at least at the next meal! It’s easy. Include fruits and vegetables at every meal and maybe as a snack or two. They can easily be added to casseroles, cereal, or sandwiches. Add an extra fruit and/or vegetable side dish to meals and substitute fruits, vegetables and beans for meat in recipes. Plan your meals around produce instead of meat and start improving your health today!

Stretching

Flexibility is a main component of fitness.STRETCHING improves our flexibility!

Having adequate flexibility is key to decreasing the likelihood of accidents/falls, and it improves performance in our jobs and everyday activities that require movement.

Stretching as a Warm-up to exercise

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  • Allows blood to pump to your muscles (increases blood flow)
  • Raises body temperature and heart starts to pump faster
  • Prepares our body to do work

Stretching as a Cool-down to exercise

  • Provides quicker recovery (less aches and pains tomorrow)
  • Removes toxins
  • Improves overall flexibility

It is important to stretch at least 1-2 times per day. Make sure to hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds with a gentle pull of the muscle. Make sure you are not bouncing and that each stretch is a static stretch. Take deep breaths as you stretch to help you relax.

What are Habits

Every habit starts with a psychological pattern called a "habit loop," which is a three-part process: 1. A cue, or trigger 2. The routine/behavior itself 3. The reward, which helps to remember the "habit loop.”

Some habits are positive (brushing teeth, eating on time, etc), They allow the brain to somewhat shut down so you can devote mental activity to something else. Others are less so.

There are four stages to changing a health behavior: 1. CONTEMPLATION "I'm thinking about it." 2. PREPARATION "I have made up my mind." 3. ACTION "I have started to make changes." 4. MAINTENANCE "I have a new routine."

Don’t create too many habits; be sure to add variety and stay motivated. Mix up your routine with new activities, physical activity buddies, foods, recipes, and rewards.