When the best weather of the year arrives, you want to be out there soaking it up. Here’s what you need to know to make your outdoor workouts as effective as they are fun.
Suggestions for a safe, comfortable open-air workout:
- Pack plenty of water. In the heat, you’ll need about 8 ounces for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise. Keep about 16 ounces of water in an athletic water bottle for immediate use and another 24 to 48 ounces in a thermos to keep it cool. You can also opt for a water carrier that fits like a backpack.
- Choose an area with a bathroom nearby.
- Use a sports watch with a stopwatch function to keep track of your exercise intervals and water consumption.
- Wear a wristband or bring a towel to mop up sweat.
- Dump the baseball cap. Most are made from heavy cotton that keeps heat from escaping and absorbs sweat like a sponge.For better sun protection, go for a runner’s cap made of breathable material like CoolMax with mesh sides for better ventilation. Keep the colors light: white, yellow or blue.
- Always wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. You may want to invest in a wraparound style to keep the glare out of your front view and peripheral vision. Look for brands with rubber ends, since they prevent slippage when you sweat.
- Apply sunscreen on your face and any exposed skin, such as arms and legs, if you are going to be outdoors for more than 15 minutes. Getting a little sunshine will probably do you good, but you don’t want to risk a burn.
- Pin your house key and car keys in your pocket so you won’t lose them.
- Stuff a washcloth or rag into a backpack so you can wipe your face and sunglasses as needed.
“People with high happiness set-points are human just like the rest of us. They don’t have special powers, an extra heart or X-ray vision. They just have different habits. It’s that simple. Psychologists say that at least 90 percent of all behavior is habitual. So, to become happier, you need to look at your habits.”
How’s your “practice” of happiness? Ask yourself these two questions:
- What is the No. 1 habit I can develop in my life that will have the greatest positive impact?
- What is the No. 1 habit I can remove from my life that will have the greatest positive impact?
Don’t get ticked off by Lyme disease this summer. Some tips for protecting yourself.
- Lyme disease is generally transmitted to people through the bite of a deer tick, and is caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.
- Lyme is most common in the Northeast United States, northwest California and the Great Lakes region — but it can be contracted in every state and is one of the country’s fastest spreading diseases.
- Medical professionals often rely on the appearance of a telltale rash in a classic “bull’s eye” shape. But some studies and estimates indicate that fewer than 60 percent of Lyme patients ever exhibit or notice a rash of any sort. Other symptoms include headache, memory loss, fatigue, and swollen knees.
- When diagnosed and treated early, Lyme can be cured. If left untreated, Lyme invades the skin, joints, heart, nervous system, and brain, and can lead to long-term disability.
- A little protection goes a long way. Walk in the middle of trails, and avoid sitting on logs or leaning on trees. Wear a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and closed-toed shoes or boots. Wear white or light-colored clothing, and consider applying Deet, which contains toxins but also protects against tick bites.
- After outdoor exposure, check yourself for ticks immediately, and again three days later. Ticks are attracted to warm, moist places, so be sure to check your entire body. Adolescent ticks are the size of poppy seeds and may look like freckles.
A Beginner’s Guide to Natural Beauty Products
There are some tangible differences between conventional body-care products and those containing fewer synthetic ingredients. Here’s what to expect if you go au natural.
You might find that nonsynthetic products seem a little pricey at first, but there are good reasons for this. Petroleum products like petrolatum and mineral oil are industry byproducts and practically free. Still, you don’t have to break the bank to have safer body care. First, many natural products are concentrated, so a little goes a long way. Second, you can look for natural cosmetic companies with products that do double-duty, like Suki Naturals lip and cheek stain. Finally, there are a number of products you can easily (and cheaply) make at home with recipes from the Internet.
When you’re avoiding synthetic preservatives, you might find your new natural products start to smell old or lose their texture sooner than you’re accustomed to. This is actually a good sign. Like the fearsome Twinkie that lives forever, a lip balm that never goes bad is a signal of something vaguely Frankensteinian in its composition. You can handle a shorter shelf life by buying smaller packages and seeing how long it lasts before you need to buy it again. Simply weeding out less frequently used products and sticking with those you like to use more often can also help cut down on wastage.
Nonsynthetic shampoo and toothpaste will get you plenty clean, but you’ll probably notice fewer bubbles. Foaming and lathering are both largely ineffective side effects of synthetic detergents that harm skin, though we’ve come to associate them with cleanliness. Nonsynthetic cosmetics can also have unfamiliar textures and consistencies. They might separate because of the absence of chemical emulsifiers (a good shake usually does the trick), and some lipsticks or mascaras might feel grainier than you’re used to. As with all products, nonsynthetic cosmetics vary in quality, and you’ll likely have to try a few before you find what you like.
(One great place to find guidance is at www.organicdivas.com, where founder Ann Garrity does product research for safety and quality before listing products. She also has a full section of trial-size items.)