12 Tips for Summer Recreation
Considering the busy schedules in most households, a few lazy days of summer can be a welcome break from your regular routine.
“Whether you’re taking a few days off to stay at home, going on a girls’ weekend to Vegas, or taking the kids to the beach, your fun can be dampened when someone’s sick,” says Dr. Amy Phillips, one of our OB/GYN doctors at UAMS. “A few precautionary steps can help ensure you and your travel companions all stay healthy. Your summer memories should be filled with great times and lots of laughing, not trips to the doctor."
“A great new feature of the new electronic health record software at UAMS is MyChart, which lets you monitor your health and communicate with your doctors anywhere you have computer access. With the MyChart app for your smart phone, staying on top of your health is easier than ever,” she says. “With a few taps you can have a complete list of all your medications, and you can send your doctor a message about any health concerns.”
Whether your time off involves a car, a train or a couch, these healthy tips will help you stay well during your vacation.
If you’re taking some time for a “staycation,” take some steps to make sure you stay healthy.
Learn something new. Take a break from reality TV, game shows and sports, and watch a documentary, educational program or show about a health topic. Did you know many on-demand libraries of TV programs also include exercise programs? Use your on-demand search tools to find something that appeals to you.
Clean out. Take a few minutes of your extra time at home to clean out your medicine cabinet. Pack up any unused, out-of-date prescription drugs and take them to a drug take back location. Find a drop-off location near you.
Go Shopping. Find a local farmer’s market and discover the fresh, local produce available in your area. Make a habit of buying the freshest food possible to maximize the vitamins that make it into your body.
Get Fit. Incorporate exercise into your time off. Go swimming, biking, hiking, take a walk. Try out a new restaurant and walk around and explore the neighborhood before heading home. You may start new habits that you’ll want to keep up after you return to your usual routine.
On the Road
If you’re packing up the car and heading off for rest and relaxation, the most important first step is arriving safely.
Make sure your car is healthy too. Take your vehicle in to have the tires, battery, belts, fluids and air conditioner checked. If you’re towing a boat or trailer or driving in extreme heat, you may need to change to a higher viscosity motor oil. Don’t forget to check the spare tire too.
Start fresh. Before you back out of the driveway, make sure you’ve had plenty of rest and a healthy meal. Don’t rely on caffeine to keep you alert.
To keep yourself alert, eat smaller, more frequent meals during the drive. This will help keep your glucose levels. Stop at grocery stores rather than gas stations or fast food restaurants. You’ll find more healthy choices and better prices.
Don’t go for the long-haul. Allow time for a 5- to 10-minute break every two hours. Grab a snack, stretch your legs and get some fresh air. This will keep you more alert and let kids burn some energy. Check out these 10 fun game apps to play on the road.
In the Air
If you’re planning to fly, make sure you don’t share more than a destination with your fellow passengers.
Wear socks. When you take your shoes off for the security check, your feet are exposed to lots of germs and dirt, and you can easily get a bacterial or fungal infection if your feet are sweaty or you have any openings in your skin.
Keep your hands clean. Research suggests you are 100 times more likely to catch a cold or other infection on a plane than in your day-to-day life. Use a paper towel to touch faucets and door knobs in the bathroom, and use hand sanitizer after touching seat backs, tray tables and other surfaces on the plane.
Drink lots of water. Humidity on commercial airplanes is sometimes lower than the Sahara desert. This is why you often feel thirsty during and after flights. Drink plenty of water for several days before your flight, as well as during the flight and for a few days afterwards. You are more likely to pick up viruses if you’re dehydrated.
Be prepared. Keep important medications and a small first-aid kit with emergency supplies in your carry-on bag. Also make sure you have a list of current medications, including dosage, and insurance cards.