The 4th of July is a great time to throw a party with family and friends! However, the food, the fun, and the sun can take its toll on your health and can even interrupt your fitness plan as you overindulge in decadent foods or play a little too long in the sun. You can still enjoy all the festivities of the holiday and still work towards your fitness goals by remembering these four health tips during your next 4th of July party:
4 Tips for a Healthy and Happy Independence Day
1. Stay Hydrated
Drink water, coconut water or other sugar-free, non-alcoholic fluids before you get thirsty. Thirst is a sign of dehydration, so your body is already suffering dehydration by the time you feel the urge to drink something. Avoid beverages with sugar and alcohol as they act as diuretics that cause you to lose more fluids through urine than you take in.
The Water Quantity and Health Council suggests adult males drink about 13 cups of water on a typical day and adult females drink 9 cups on a normal day, but that everyone should increase their water intake on hot days to avoid dehydration.
2. Get Active
Play games such as miniature golf, soccer or corn hole. Even participating in a challenge gets you moving and you can burn some serious calories all the while having fun. Try NordicTrack’s HIIT Challenge. Doing this can help you stay energized throughout the entire holiday, from breakfast with the family to fireworks at dusk.
3. Wear Sunscreen
Protecting yourself from the sun is one of the most important things you can do for your short-term comfort and long-term health. Sunburns cause immediate discomfort, but they can cause long-lasting damage to your skin and even raise your risk for developing skin cancer later in life.
Wear sunscreen this summer, even on cool, cloudy or hazy days. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher does a good job of protecting your skin from harmful sun rays.
Be particularly careful around water and sand as they reflect the sun’s rays. Being at high altitude also increases your risk for sunburn, as UV light is more intense there. Avoid sun exposure when UV rays are at their strongest between 10 am and 4 pm.
4. Keep It Natural
Natural foods tend to be dense in nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins and minerals, which your body can use for optimal function and wellness. Fruits, vegetables, and whole meats also contain no added sugar or added fat, so they are usually lower in calories than are their processed counterparts. Processed foods, on the other hand, often contain fewer nutrients and provide too many calories.
Opt for watermelon as a refreshing, low-calorie, and hydrating snack rather than reaching for cake or pie. Try going to the garden, farmer’s market or grocery for fresh fruits and vegetables rather than munching on goodies from the bakery or chips. Your body will thank you for it!
You don’t have to give up on any fun to stay healthy during the holiday. Stay on track this 4th of July by incorporating these four health tips into your holiday plans and enjoy your time to the fullest potential.