Total Access Medical - Direct Primary Care Blog

Summer Health Tips: July is National Parks & Recreation Month

Posted by Richard Stamps on Jul 13, 2015

Last month, it was all about safety. This month, it's National Parks and Recreation Month,


which means it's all about having fun! Help celebrate with these summer health tips that'll keep you moving, smiling, and laughing.

1. Embrace the obvious summer sports.

Swimming, beach volleyball, tennis, golf—all of these are great activities that get our bodies moving. The great thing is that so many of these activities don't feel like traditional exercise. They just provide lots of sweaty fun.

2. Embrace those "other" summertime sports.

Think Frisbee, badminton, even horseshoes at the weekend BBQ. Anything that gets you up, outside, and moving is a good thing.

3. Don't underestimate the power of walking.

Studies show that "A brisk daily walk of just 20 minutes could add years to your life." So how do you get your family psyched for walks this summer? How about "walking" vacations? No, you don't need to label it as such. Simply plan fun activities that naturally involve lots of walking.

For example, visiting national parks usually entails walking and hiking. Visiting historical sites (e.g. the Constitutional Walking Tour comes to mind) involves huffing it up and down streets. Even "ghost tours" (google it) will require comfortable walking shoes.

Can't get away? How about a walk to the library, post office, or some other destination in town? Even ten minutes here and there can have a huge impact on your health.

4. Bring positive nutrition practices into the summertime fold.

Summertime is the perfect time for fun activities that shine the light on healthy foods. Think strawberry picking, for example. It's a great activity to do with kids and adults alike.

Another great option? Getting involved in community supported agriculture (CSA) programs. These programs are good for local farmers as well as local people in the community. Get your family excited to try different veggies!

That said, having a summertime treat every now and then is perfectly fine. Think ice cream, campfire s'mores, or even a tasty margarita (with or without alcohol). The key is moderation.

5. Take precautions.

We stressed summer safety in one of last month's articles, but it's worth repeating here. Take necessary precautions as you go about your summer activities. Sunscreen, sunglasses, bike helmets, bug spray, etc. can make a big difference in keeping your plans fun and safe.

6. Don't forget to snooze.

Summertime can wreak havoc on our normal day-to-day schedules, but that doesn't mean you should skimp on sleep. Your body needs rest. (And if you ignore this tip, you'll feel it somewhere down the line.)

7. Remember, occasional lazy days are OK, too.

Spending a day in your jammies reading, napping, and catching up on your favorite shows might just be what you and your family need to help recharge. While being active the majority of the time should be the main goal for a healthy life, downtime is still important, especially when easing back into work and school schedules. Tip: when planning vacations, see if you can schedule in a day or two of downtime AFTER the vacation is over so that you and your family can acclimate to regular schedules.

We hope these summer health tips were helpful. Have fun!

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Topics: Recreation, Summer