CenCal Health Offers Tips to Stay Healthy this Summer

Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, July 14, 2014 — The summer is full of fun activities, travel and water sports. However, some of these activities can be dangerous if you do not take the right precautions. The sun can wear us down, cause heatstroke, sunburns and other health related issues. In addition, road trips, BBQs and picnics can often lead to unhealthy food choices. CenCal Health has collected a list of healthy tips that will make the summer healthier:

Protect your family from the sun: Wear wide-brimmed hats, always apply water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapply every two hours.

Keep cool: Wear lightweight, light-colored, loosely-fitting clothing. If outdoors, try to stay in the shade between noon and 3 p.m., the hottest times of the day.

How to treat sunburn: If you do get sunburn, taking cool baths or showers can help relieve the pain. After getting out of the tub or shower, gently pat yourself dry, but leave some water on your skin. Next, apply a moisturizer containing aloe vera or soy to help trap the moisture in your skin. Try to avoid the sun while your skin is healing.
Pack healthy snacks for road trips: Finding healthier snacks at road stops can be difficult. Pack apples, grapes, raisins, whole grain fiber-rich crackers or another favorite low fat, low sodium healthy snack to take with you.
Drink plenty of water: During the hot summer months, heat and sweat can leave your body dehydrated. It is incredibly important to keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least eight to nine glasses of water a day. If you get tired of water, add some low-calorie flavoring to water such as a piece of fruit, or opt for healthy alternatives like green tea or coconut water. Avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, as these tend to dehydrate you.
Stay active: Summer is a great time for being active. Even if you live where it gets hot or humid, there are ways you can stay in shape year-round. Be careful when you exercise in temperatures of 80 Fahrenheit to 85 Fahrenheit. Find shade, take regular breaks, and drink plenty of fluids. When the heat gets unbearable, try indoor activities at your local YMCA or rec center like basketball, swimming, yoga or racquetball.
Organize active outings with friends and family: Sometimes the heat makes us want to stay indoors, which may lead to inactivity. Pick one outdoor activity — going on a hike, taking a nature walk, playing games such as tag with your kids, cycling, roller blading, or swimming — to shed that cooped-up feeling of gym workouts.
Keep picnic’s healthy: To prevent food borne bacteria from paying a visit to your picnic, keep eats as cold as possible during transport—40 degrees or colder. Transport picnic foods in the passenger seat; your trunk can reach temperatures of 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours, and if you have doubts, throw it out.

Healthy BBQ: Try barbecuing lean meats. Fish, especially oily fish like tuna and salmon have great nutritional benefits including omega-3 fatty acids. Rub a fillet with lemon juice and parsley or rosemary for enhanced flavor. Try grilled corn on the cob. Leave the husks on, and grill for about 30 minutes over medium flame, rotating occasionally. Remove from grill, let cool for about 5 minutes, remove husks and enjoy.

Marinating your meat: A common mistake is soaking raw meat, shellfish, fish, or poultry in marinade before grilling and then returning the cooked food to the same dish or using the soaking marinade for basting. Dispose of all soaking marinades after using and put the cooked meat on a clean plate.

**Healthy tips courtesy of hellomagazine, the American Heart Association, and

About CenCal Health
CenCal Health is the largest local insurer in the region, providing health coverage for approximately 20 percent of residents in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. CenCal Health coverage is accepted by the vast majority of local health providers. CenCal Health also provides education and assistance to its members in order to reduce potential health problems, including diabetes and asthma, amongst others. For more information, visit Find CenCal Health on Facebook.

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