It is going to be warm this Fourth of July. As you celebrate and are outdoors, there are some precautionary measures you can do to stay safe and healthy.
Perhaps most important, is to put sunscreen on. While being outside in the sun is a great way to absorb some healthy vitamin D, sunburns can increase the risk of cancer by 12%.
Eat light and stay hydrated to keep your body from overheating. Stay away from caffeinated or sugary drinks that will dehydrate you. Have fruit on hand as they are packed with vitamins, fiber, and water. Plan activities.
Whether it is a walk around the neighborhood, a volleyball game, swimming, or playing lawn games, it’s easy to find something that gets everyone up and moving around. Something often overlooked is cleaning the grill. A dirty grill can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Wipe it down then turn up the heat and let it burn off a bit. Also, remember to keep hot food hot and cold food cold to keep food at its proper temperature.
If you can’t keep certain foods refrigerated or in a cooler, consider taking them off the menu. Did you know many believe barbecuing originated in the Caribbean? It is estimated that over 74 million people will barbecue this weekend with 150 million hot dogs eaten.
Fourth of July can be a noisy holiday with fireworks and loud music so consider wearing earplugs to protect your hearing. Fireworks have a sound decibel of 150. Ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85.
While we all like to indulge during the holidays, there are some simple ways to have a bit more of a guilt-free day. Eating something healthy before you go and drinking at least one glass of water will fill you up so you won’t reach for as many of those unhealthy treats. While it may sound a bit silly, wearing slightly tight-fitting clothes is an easy way to remind yourself not to overeat.
Don’t try everything at the buffet. Look at what is available and make choices. Think about portion sizes. If it is a burger or hot dog day, try going bunless. This may also be a great time to try a veggie burger.
Have an ear of corn as your starch, but don’t slather it with butter. Corn is high in fiber and will fill you up. Try sprinkling on a spice like chili lime for a delightful and different taste. Did you know corn is viewed as an ancient grain that was first cultivated 9,000 years ago in southern Mexico?
One of the most popular holiday drinks, lemonade, has been around longer than you might imagine. Historians believe that lemons were brought from Asia to Egypt in 700 AD around the same time that Qatarmizat, a lemon-based drink sweetened with sugar became popular. Whatever your holiday plans and traditions, remember to be thoughtful about your choices to stay safe, healthy and have fun.