...Rising Temperatures Shouldn't Keep You from
    Wellness Goals

In 2 Thessalonians 3:13 we read, "Be not weary in well doing."

That Bible verse could be written about summer. How we love this
season, but the heat can also give us an excuse to let up on our goals
for wellness.
Get rid of the "too tired...too hot" summertime blahs. Maybe that used to work in the
old days when older people sat around on porches, fanning themselves, drinking mint
julips, and talking about how dreadful the heat was. Tiredness is often simply not getting
enough oxygen to your brain. Get up. Move! Within moments you will feel more alive as
you send breathe more deeply, sending oxygen to your brain cells (and elsewhere!),
stimulating your body and helping you to get rid of the blahs.

Find creative ways to stick with a good exercise regimen, no matter how hot it is.
If it is too hot to walk or jog when you normally get out, do it earlier or later in the day. If
you cannot stand longer periods of exercise, break the segments into two or three shorter
times. Actually, research shows that breaking up your half hour or hour of exercise into two
or three times can actually be preferable, especially if you exercise more vigorously during
the short bursts.

Do lots of stretching. Heat can deplete you of potassium,
causing cramps and muscle discomfort. Not only can you
replenish your body's higher use of potassium, either with
sports drinks or supplements, but you should take care to
do lots of stretching before, during and after your exercise
sessions. Stretching can help improve range of motion,
reduce the risk of injury and prevent post-exercise muscle

Eat lots of wonderful in-season fruits and vegetables. What better time than the
summer to enjoy all those juicy and tasty seasonal treats. Watermelon is one of our
favorites. So are cucumbers, cantaloupes, grapes, and corn. Eating fruits and vegetables
every day can help you in so many ways by satisfying your body’s need for vital vitamins
and minerals, providing needed nutrition to sustain and restore your organs, tissue,
bones, muscles, and skin, aiding with weight loss, bolstering your immune system, lowering
your disease rates, thwarting the risk of cancer and diabetes, reducing cholesterol levels,
fighting infection, preventing fatty accumulation in blood vessels that lead to heart disease,
boosting your energy levels throughout the day, and enriching your life and lifestyle,
regardless of your age. God has provided fruits and vegetables as a wonderful, life-giving
bounty as you develop a healthier lifestyle for you and your loved ones!

Break out of your ruts. Reflect on barriers during in past summers that have kept you
from good wellness habits. Avoid them. Better yet, develop new habits. Trying new things
revives you, gets you thinking outside the box. Take an exercise class at the Y. Check out
local senior centers for fitness classes. Push yourself to try something new. You may be
surprised at the results. Make this a summer of rut-breaking.

    Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water is important
    throughout the year, but this is especially true during the
    summer season. Water is one of the most essential
    components of the human body. Water regulates the body’
    s temperature, cushions and protects vital organs, and
    aids the digestive system. In one hour of exercise the body
    can lose more than a quart of water, depending on
    exercise intensity and air temperature. If there is not
    enough water for the body to cool itself through
    perspiration, the body enters a state of dehydration.
    Regardless of the length and intensity of your exercise
    segments, maintaining a constant supply of water in the
    body is essential to your well being. Dehydration leads to
    muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. Even small
    amounts of water loss may hinder you significantly
    because a dehydrated body is less able to cool itself
    efficiently, leading to heat exhaustion and possibly heat
stroke. Without an adequate supply of water the body will lack energy and muscles may
develop cramps. To prevent dehydration, you should always drink plenty of fluids before,
during and after the workout. NOTE: It is important to drink even before signs of thirst
appear, since thirst is a signal that your body is already on the way to dehydration. Drink
more than thirst demands and to continue to drink throughout the day, especially during
summer months.

don't forget to eat enough protein. Yes, we love fresh salads and fruits.
However, during the summer months, is also important to make sure that you put health-
giving protein into your body, as well. Grilled fish and chicken are great summertime
dishes, especially if you enjoy cooking out. There are plenty of alternatives protein
sources such as edamame (soybeans), whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and
nearly all vegetables contribute to daily protein needs.

Remember George Gershwin's song, "Summertime, and the livin' is easy." Everybody
seems to recall the part about "fish are jumpin' and the cotton is high," but the best part
comes later in the song:

    One of these mornings
    You're going to rise up singing
    Then you'll spread your wings
    And you'll take to the sky.

Make this a summertime to remember as you spread your SeniorZest wings!
Instead of allowing summertime to be an "off"
season for fitness and eating well, how about
turning it around this year and making it an
optimum time for pursuing a better level of health.

Here are a few quick tips (though we are
sure you can come up with many more great
ones that fit your lifestyle):

Acclimate your body to the heat when you go
Sure, take those walks and go for
picnics, but be careful when you make the
transition from air conditioning to God's gorgeous
outdoors. It may take you ten minutes or a quarter
hour before you are ready to push yourself
harder. Listen to your body.
Click here to see
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in the
Harold and Mary
Allebach have been
wellness practitioners
for over half a century.
Harold, now in his late
seventies, is a certified
reflexologist. Mary
specializes in nutrition
and health education.

Both exercise daily, work
full-time in their healthcare
practice, sing in their
church choir each week,
travel, keep up with two
grown girls and a growing
number of grandchildren
and great-grandchildren,
meanwhile maintaining a
level of vim and vigor that
causes people wherever
they go to ask, “Where do
you get all this energy?”

SeniorZest™, an
exclusive eColumn of,
features information,
interviews and
encouragement to help
you live life to the fullest,
regardless of your age!
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