As we begin our second full week of June 2012, I am compelled to focus, yet again, on Summer. Today, I will address its many pleasures, as well as its pitfalls. Unfortunately, they usually go hand in hand.
Food, Fun and Fitness is what the Summer, as well as the other seasons, should be all about. They are for me! So here are some things to watch for so that your Summer doesn’t turn into a Bummer.
During this time of year most everyone loves to be outdoors frolicking around enjoying what Southern California is known for the most…the warm weather. Unfortunately, so does bacteria. While fun in the sun may in include barbeques and picnics, this enviable climate is also the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other pathogens found in food to multiply quickly and cause foodborne illness.
Did you know that one in six people in the United States get food poisoning each year and that more than 3,000 die?
Some quick reminders:
- Wash you hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after food preparation; especially when handling meat, poultry, seafood and egg products. https://emotiondemo.com/bodydesigns/body-designs-62-wash-those-germs-right-off-of-your-hands/
- Marinate raw food in the refrigerator. And never make a sauce out of it for later use after the food is cooked.
- Use a food thermometer to check internal grilling temperatures. Burgers should be cooked to 160 degrees. Roasts and steaks between 145 (medium rare) and 160 (medium). Avoid well done servings; as the carcinogens could be dangerous. https://emotiondemo.com/bodydesigns/body-designs-96-chill-at-the-grill/Poultry MUST reach at least 165 and fish look opaque and flake easily in order to be eaten safely.
- Don’t place cooked items back on an unwashed plate that held raw meat.
- Want leftovers? Foods should be placed in shallow containers, covered and in the refrigerator in less than an hour of sitting out.
- Having a picnic? Always fill coolers with plenty of ice or freezer packs to keep the items inside at a constant cold temperature and the ice from melting fast. Obviously keep the cooler (and yourself by the way – https://emotiondemo.com/bodydesigns/body-designs-56-you-cant-stand-the-heat/) out of direct sunlight for extended periods of time. Also place drinks and foods items in separate coolers; as the beverage cooler will be opened more frequently, allowing the food cooler to stay cold longer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10 people in the Untied States alone die each day by accidental drowning and many of these deaths are preventable. In fact, formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by as much as 88 percent among children between the ages of one and four. But “tread” smartly my friends. Just because one can swim that doesn’t mean danger isn’t present.
By the ocean or a pool?
Some more quick reminders:
- Constant supervision by lifeguards and/or responsible adults is a must.
- Learn Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
- Have a charged cell phone ready so “help” can be called in case of an emergency.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before or during swimming, boating or water skiing
- Know the meaning of and obey all posted warnings or flags by the pool or on the shore.
- Avoid swimming in clear indications of rip currents like water that is discolored and choppy, foamy, or filled with debris and moving in a channel away from the beach. If caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore; once free of the current, swim diagonally toward shore.
- Employ a buddy system; even in a pool. Heart attacks and other ailments can occur at any time.
- Also, if someone is flailing about in the water and you are unsure if they are in distress or just playing, call out to them and be sure they acknowledge your efforts before you move on.
Goin’ out for a workout? Not so fast! According to Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic, “air pollution and exercise can be an unhealthy combination”. As you know, “aerobic” exercise uses oxygen; and during such activity, one normally breaths mostly through the mouth. Unfortunately, this allows the “fresh” air you inhale to bypass your nasal passages, which normally act as filters for air pollution, and travel more deeply into your lungs bringing with it all the health dangers associated with air pollution.
Those dangers include:
- Damage to airways of the lungs
- Increased risk of asthma development
- Worsening of existing asthma
- Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes
- Increased risk of death from lung cancer and cardiovascular disease
What to do to limit the effects of air pollution and exercise?
Some quick tips:
- The evening before and just before you leave for you workout, check http://www.sparetheair.org/. Outdoor should be limited or avoided if the Air Quality Index (AQI) score is 100 or more
- Training in the morning, before Noon, is always best. The pollutants are normally are their lowest during that part of the day. In the evening, while it may be cooler, pollutants may still run high, depending on where you are exercising. Rush hour adds many more pollutants to the air than it does automobiles to California’s freeways and side streets of West Los Angeles.
- Avoid exercising near urban roads. Again, due to traffic emissions, pollution levels are likely to be highest within 50 feet (15 meters) of a road.
- Even the most avid Outdoorsmen (or Outdoorswomen) can occasionally exercise indoors, especially on days that present the highest environmental risk. If you are a cyclist, take a Spinning class; a runner, go the gym; a hiker, go indoor rock climbing or lift weights. Want something different? Find a yoga or Pilates studio and add flexibility to your workout as well as your body. The variety will also help you avoid plateaus.
So if your Summer is anything but lazy, apply these quick tips, as well as some sun block, and have a better time this year than you did last year. I know I will!