By Jana Griffin – Orange County IFAS/Extension, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
Living in Florida has its perks with lots of opportunities to enjoy exercise outside with access to beaches, walking trails, and parks. As you are encouraged to take advantage of these many opportunities, please be cautious of the heat and the damage it can cause to our bodies. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are just a few conditions that can happen in areas that have high heat and humidity. Signs and symptoms can range from light headedness, nausea, confusion, fatigue, loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases, death. This summer, as we continue to enjoy the outside pleasures our wonderful sunshine state has to offer, please remember to follow these simple tips to make it a safe, memorable and happy summer for all.
Hydration– Drink plenty of fluids and carry a bottle of water wherever you go. Make sure to drink more fluids than you are losing.
Electrolytes– In cases of prolonged sun exposure and fluid loss from sweating, remember to replace electrolytes. This can easily be done by consuming a sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade.
Appropriate clothing– Wear clothing that is light in color to help reflect sunlight. Choose material that wicks moisture away from the skin, allowing for quick evaporation and helping your body cool.
Time– Consider the time of day when choosing outside fitness activities. Morning time before 10 and afternoon time after 3 are better options as times between 10 and 3 are typically the hottest of the day.
If you choose physical activity options outside, these tips will help you continue achieving your fitness goals and remain safe. Always listen to your body and discontinue all activities if you begin to feel any of the above symptoms.
Researchers from the nonprofit Search Institute found time has more of an impact on children than other demographic factors such as race and income.
The report recommends parents take five essential actions to foster development including expressing care of the child, encourage personal growth, provide support, share in decision-making and connecting a child to opportunities.
With gift giving all around us, we thought you may enjoy suggestions as to what it looks like to give the gift of time. Maybe you’re not ready to get rid of the idea of giving toys and things completely, but this may inspire you to make some of your gifts the gift of time, which really is more valuable than anything you can buy off the shelf. We encourage you to share this idea with anyone who may be giving your child a gift this year. A gift of time from their grandparents, aunts and uncles, or anyone else will make lifelong memories for your child and the gift giver.
Time with You – Create a flyer that you can wrap up that explains the gift of time they have been given. Make sure you’re fully with them, free from distractions, when you participate in the activity. Put your phone away and enjoy the time with your child.
- Game Day – Create a day filled with board games, active games and puzzles.
- Zoo Trip
- Children’s Museum Trip
- Fancy Dinner Date with Mommy or Daddy
- Family Vacation – “Hey Kids, Rather than presents this year, we are going to DISNEYLAND!!”
- Baking Day – Deliver your creations to friends as a random act of kindness.
- Camping Trip
- Craft Day
- Scavenger Hunt
- Wii Play Day
- Family Slumber Party in the Living Room
- Sporting Event or Season Tickets
- Family Nature Day – Take a hike. Head to the mountains to sled. Go to the beach. Explore the natural world in your region.
- Dance Party
- Ice Skating or Roller Skating
- Bus or Train Ride to the City
- Musical, Concert, Dance or Other Performance
- Car Races or Monster Trucks
Time and Focus on Others – Make this a time to teach your family to focus on others. Use your family time to make someone else’s life better.
- Serve at a Food Kitchen
- Stuff a Stocking – SOAR International sends stuffed stockings to children in need in Russia.
- Adopt a Soldier – Find a soldier to adopt over the holidays. Send letters and care packages.
- Help Foster Children – Children are often taken out of their homes quickly, with only the shirt on their back. Contact your local foster child program to see if there are ways you can provide a stuffed animal, clothes or back packs filled with activities for a child who comes into their system with nothing.
- Give to Your Local Food Bank – The food banks have a high need during the holiday times. Consider giving over the holidays or throughout the year.
- Invite People Into Your Home – There are many people without a family during the holidays. You might know a widow, a single mom or dad, a single person, a college student, or someone in the military who you can invite into your home. You can be the family that they don’t have.