Posts Tagged 'summer'

Save Your Summer!

Summer on a beach

With summer coming to a close, we need to take advantage of everything the season has to offer! When it gets too hot, we take the season for granted wishing for the fall and winter to come faster. Until then, let’s make use of the limited time left in the summer and focus on ourselves and all things health and wellness the last of the season can provide us! 

The Sun

Obviously the sun is present year round, but who wants to be outside during the brink of winter? It is recommended to get at least 10-15 minutes of sun a day. The benefits of Vitamin D serves as a significant contribution for overall health; protects against inflammation, lowers high blood pressure, helps muscles, improves brain function and may even protect against cancer. Everything Is better in moderation, so be sure to still stay on top of protecting yourself with SPF and avoid overexposure because that can lead to some negatives effects. Get the last of your vitamin D before it gets too cold to do so!

The Produce

Thanks to transportation, we have the ability to gather produce from all over the world year round. But nothing can beat a stroll at your local farmer’s market knowing that everything was locally grown and purchasing from them will do nothing but support your fellow farmers who work hard to produce their craft! Getting the best quality at the best price for produce is going to be difficult when it starts to cool down. Refresh yourself with all the fresh fruits and veggies the season has to offer before they are gone or hard to find!

Vegetables in Season Now:

  • Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Cucumber
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Garlic
  • Corn
  • Rhubarb

Fruits in Season Now:

  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Blackberries
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Tomatoes
  • Passion Fruit
  • Melon
  • Lemon
  • Limes

The Warmth of the Weather

Although the heat can get the best of us, just sweat it all out! Yes, it may feel gross, but that might change your mind once you are aware of the benefits and how it can help cool you down. It can help prevent you from getting sick due to all the toxins the sweat releases from your body. Sweat is notoriously known to contribute to acne, but believe it or not,  it can help help eliminate blackheads and blemishes because it helps your pores open up and release the build up inside. It also eases pain. Whether it be from a workout or waking up to back pain from sleep, it is the ultimate motivation to get up and go and what better place to do it then outside in the warmth!

The Activities

Getting outside and taking in that fresh air is what the warm weather is all about! Whether it be a dip in a local pool, beach, or lake, or resorting to a bike ride to go to your designated location instead of driving, or something as simple as a jog, is all the motivation to get yourself out and moving!

 

Enjoy all the benefits the summer has to offer before it’s too late and get ready to welcome fall with open arms!

Diana Banzon

 

Eye Health to avoid the Sun’s Stealth

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The sun and its heat have its way of being more prevalent during the summer season. Despite the common misconnection, the sun and its rays take no vacation and have its effects on us year-round, even when the clouds are blocking the direct sunlight itself. Many associate its harmful rays to only damaging the largest organ of our body, our skin, when in reality, its effects go much beyond that.

As a Sunglass Hut associate, I heavily advocate the benefits of investing in quality eyewear to protect the most delicate region of our bodies, our eyes! We tend to disregard the importance of the ability to see and the area that surrounds our source of vision. Here are a couple effects the sun has on eyes along with the area surrounding it, giving us more of reason to protect this area!

Eye diseases are a serious matter. Too much exposure from the UV light emitted by the sun has the potential to cause cataracts, growths on the eye, and forms of cancer. Although these conditions take a while to develop, preventative measures such as unitizing broad brimmed headwear and sunglasses make a world of a difference no matter how old you are.

With the area around the eyes being the most thin and delicate, it also happens to be the most prone to show the first signs of aging. Sun exposure decreases the collagen found in skin that essentially provides its moisture and elasticity. In result is causes eye wrinkles known as “crow’s feet”, eye puffiness, and undereye bags. To help combat this issue, utilizing facial moisturizer that contains SPF helps to counteract this damage.  To really target the situation, utilizing richer eye creams will hydrate the area affected and is also recommended to be applied nightly for those who are 30 and older. Preventative measures are always the best way to help decrease the issue in the first place by avoiding physical trauma such as rubbing the eye or having a heavy hand when applying or removing makeup.

Despite all these scary claims of the damage sun can do, the exposure can actually be beneficial to the eyes when done in moderation or when it doesn’t have direct in contact with its UV rays. Seeing natural sunlight can promote better function in the brain. This brings me back to the point where we shouldn’t be afraid of the sun, just be aware of our limitations when exposed to it.

 

Diana Banzon

 

 

Sun Fun

543562666 Happy little girl with big sunglasses looking at the sun.jpg

With warmer weather gracing Marquette’s campus recently, it is temping to want to bathe in the sun all day. From being trapped in Wisconsin’s winter tundra for so long, who could blame you? Sometimes being more aware of the sun’s capabilities is the best way to get the most out of every summer, while staying safe. Here are some facts to keep in mind when you are enjoying your time in the sun!

The most notorious negative that is always linked to sun exposure is skin cancer. On the contrary though, the sun and its rays can reduce the chances of other cancers such as pancreatic and breast, in specific. For both pancreatic and breast cancer, those who live in places with more cloud cover are more susceptible to it due to the lack of vitamin d.

Have you been feeling your mood change lately in accordance to the nicer weather and the sunny skies? That is no coincidence! Sunlight itself releases serotonin chemicals that reduces your stress and altering your mood for the better.

Your body makes vitamin D when you are exposed to the sun. Despite the benefits it offers to having healthy bones and brain, it is important to remember that there are safer ways to obtain it through your diets or supplements. It doesn’t take much to get the recommended amount of vitamin D through sun exposure, so don’t risk it if you know that you are tempted to overdo it. Vitamin D has the potential to protect the heart. Research shows that those who have been diagnosed with skin cancer are surprisingly less likely to have a heart attack. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to cardiovascular disease, so having a proficient amount of it in your system can only help benefit the heart.

When you think of lung health, you typically don’t associate its connection with the sun. But sunshine surprisingly has the potential to make the air we breathe dirtier. The UV rays trigger the release of chemicals that form smog that ultimately contributes to air pollution.

The sun has the potential to provide both good and bad results when it comes to our health. So I encourage you to go outside and catch some rays, but to also remember that everything is best in moderation.

Diana Banzon

Beat the summer blues

Although it is summer and there have been plenty of warm and sunshine filled days, this year has been particularly stormy. And there are thunderstorms in the forecast for most of the rest of this week. So if storms give you the blues, then make sure you get outside today while it’s nice and hot to take in some vitamin D (and don’t forget to wear sunscreen).  

Personally, I really enjoy thunderstorms, but when it’s rainy every day or wakes me up in the middle of the night, it gets a little sickening. It’s summer, It’s supposed to be nice enough to enjoy a day at the beach or biking the trails. But this year has left us all wanting to close our blinds and stay in bed all day. Who wants to walk around campus in the rain? And although you may be tempted to stay in the darkness in the comfort of your bed, lift your mood by doing the exact opposite. Get up and move around the house, turn on lights to help you forget about the looming dark clouds in the sky above. I personally say get outside and enjoy it, rain or shine, but I realize this option may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

If you do decide to stay indoors because of rain, do something good for yourself at home. It’s the best excuse there is to clean your house from top to bottom, cook a delicious and healthy meal, do some yoga and meditation, read a new and exciting book, or spend some quality time with your pets and family. There are an endless amount of healthy and positive activities to fill your day so that you don’t have to give in to the gloomy weather.

No matter what the weather is, use it to your advantage. Use the nice, warm days to be active outdoors, and use the stormy days as personal days to work on improving yourself or your surroundings. Never let a day go to waste, find something meaningful to do everyday. Finding a purpose in your everyday life will help beat the summer storm blues.

Alicia Diedrich

Summer recipe: Chicken and black bean salad

It’s the first day of summer today, so that calls for a healthy seasonal recipe. This chicken and black bean salad is one of my absolute favorite summer recipes. It is healthy, easy to prepare and best of all it is so delicious that the whole family can enjoy it. This recipe makes six servings. 1 serving contains 259 calories, 519 mg of sodium, and 21 mg of cholesterol. Here’s what you need:

Salad dressing:

⅓ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1½ teaspoons sugar

1 garlic clove, minced

¼ teaspoon pepper

Salad:

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (11 ounces) Mexicorn, drained

1 medium sweet red pepper, julienned

⅓ cup sliced green onions

6 cups torn romaine

1½ cups cooked chicken strips

Additional cilantro or parsley, optional

First, combine all salad dressing ingredients, shake well and set aside. In a large bowl, toss beans, corn, red pepper and onions and set aside. Arrange romaine on individual plates; top with bean mixture and chicken. Then, drizzle with dressing and garnish the dish with additional cilantro or parsley if desired.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do (especially since I don’t have to turn on my oven in my hot apartment). And I also encourage you to make this into a fun family cooking activity before you sit down to have dinner together as a family. Or you can cut the recipe in half and have flavorful, healthy salads for lunch the next few days. Either way, since today is the longest day of the year, you’ll have plenty of daylight to fit this quick and easy recipe into your day today. If you’re looking for another healthy, oven-free recipe, the spring recipe that I published is just as tasty in the summer! Happy cooking!

Alicia Diedrich

Slather on the SPF

With the heat of summer finally hitting us this week, it is important that we keep a few things in mind to stay healthy and happy during this hot and humid season! I find that the two most important ways to keep yourself healthy in the summer are sunscreen and water.

Since your skin is your body’s first line of defense, it is essential to take great care of it. I know that summer tan would look great, believe me (I am about as pale as a ghost). But I have learned to embrace my paleness and I am so glad I learned my lesson about tanning. I may regret the few years I spent going to tanning beds and laying out in the sun, but that doesn’t mean I can’t take better care of my skin now. I know you’ve probably heard it over and over again, but make sure you are putting on sunscreen EVERY SINGLE DAY. I actually know someone who got sunburned through their long pants just a few days ago, so even if you think you’re covered, you may not be! It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your skin. So put on that sunscreen and protective clothing.

One of my best tips is to use a daily facial and daily body moisturizer with SPF in it. This way you’re not adding yet another inconvenient step to your routine, you’re moisturizing and protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays at the same time. However, if you’re spending many long hours outdoors, you should be applying SPF multiple times throughout the day, especially if you are swimming, or working out and sweating a lot. But you should also apply a few times a day even if this isn’t the case. You can find more sunscreen tips here.

Keep your skin burn-free and tan-free now and your body will thank you later. And don’t forget to drink a lot of water this summer. Here are some great tips on how to make staying hydrated easy.

Alicia Diedrich

New year, new us

IMG_3267Welcome back, MU community! It’s the second day of the school year and Employee Wellness has lots planned for this semester. We are really excited to share it all with you! First off, yes, it is still me, Sarah, but we have a new face on the team. Her name is Alicia Diedrich, and she is excited to start spreading some wellness news, too. You’ll be hearing from her more next week.

Last January, I started a little bit of a redesign of the structure and content on our webpage. You may have noticed. Get ready for some more future updates and cool upgrades to where you are finding wellness information through us. We hope to have more helpful facts ready for you more often very soon.

I’m also pretty stoked to let you know that we will be working more with the Office of Marketing and Communication. Hopefully this will allow us to become a full service wellness desk, able to answer all your questions and bring you details about tons of cool and health-centric events on campus and throughout Milwaukee.

Speaking of cool events on campus, we already have plenty of fun classes planned to help you get in your daily fitness. From yoga to crossfit, we don’t want you to forget to have fun every once in a while during the work day. Getting fit at the same time is a plus. Be sure to register here to check out our calendar and take another step toward a healthier lifestyle.

So get excited and get moving, MU! Let’s make this a great and healthy semester.


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