THE ENERGY OF SUMMER: ABUNDANT JOY
From an Eastern perspective, summertime represents the fire element; the most yang time of year, when the sun’s effect on us is strongest. This means not only warmth, but also an expansive, outward-moving energy. Summer is a time for increased activity; rising earlier in the morning and going to bed later in the evening, in keeping with the rhythms of the season. To balance this heightened activity and prevent overheating, take it easy during the hottest time of day. The tradition of siesta (afternoon nap) in hot climates arose for a reason! Also, make sure to drink plenty of water, which provides crucial yin to balance all the yang. The emotion associated with summer is joy – and it’s easy to see why. We often feel happiest when the sun is shining. So, be safe, stay cool, and enjoy the summer!
SUMMER NUTRITION: SEASONAL TIPS FOR SAFE AND HEALTHY EATING
Each season presents its own treats and challenges for healthy eating. Who doesn't love a good, old fashioned cookout, or a fresh, cool, and crisp salad on a hot day? Here are some tips for keeping these summer meals safe and healthy:
MAINTAINING BALANCE DURING THE SUMMER SEASON: KEEP YOUR DIGESTIVE FIRE HOT WHILE THE REST OF YOU STAYS COOL!
According to Eastern nutritional theory, summer is the time to enjoy foods that are more cooling in nature, such as fresh fruits like watermelon, cooling vegetables like lettuce and cucumber, and fruit and vegetable smoothies. While it’s appropriate to eat cooler foods at this time of year, we should be mindful that too much raw and cold food can extinguish our digestive fire – that is, our body’s ability to break down and transform the food we eat into energy and nourishment. To balance a lot of raw and cold food, use warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom, and have a cup of warm tea with your salad. Drink water at room temperature, without ice. Believe it or not, tepid water is every bit as hydrating and thermo-regulating as cold water, and much better for digestion.
NOURISH YOUR BODY AND SOUL WITH GOOD FOOD: HOME GARDENING, FARMER'S MARKETS AND COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
You are what eat, right? Health and wellness in your own body (and mind) are deeply connected to the vitality of the foods that you eat. And, how we eat, in turn, “determines to a considerable extent, how the world is used” (Wendell Berry). By eating locally and seasonally – whether out of your own backyard or from a regional farmer utilizing sustainable agricultural and labor practices, you will be supporting your own wellness and supporting a healthy environment, fairness to others and to a successful, local economy. And, the best is yet to come! With the creation of UMBC’s own community garden this summer, you will soon be able to eat good food grown right here on campus. Please contact Jill Wrigley for more information about how to get involved with the student-initiated UMBC community garden, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some links to help you grow your own food or purchase locally, sustainably grown food:
Maryland Extension’s Grow It Eat It Campaign: http://extension.umd.edu/growit
Grow in an EarthBox (It’s nearly foolproof!): www.earthbox.com
Easy to order and pick up local food enterprise, Relay Food (Their tagline is “Local, organic, and everyday foods without the grocery store hassle.”) https://www.relayfoods.com/welcome
Community Supported Agriculture in Maryland: Go to www.Marylandsbest.net and search for “community supported agriculture” in business type.
Local Farmers Markets, search for farmers markets in your area.
EXERCISING IN HOT WEATHER
If you’re planning on working out in the summer heat, learn safety strategies in this article
It is important to keep hydrated and to avoid exercising outside during the hottest part of the day. The dangers of heat are outlined in the following USA Today article, such as heatstroke, which can be serious and life-threatening.
SUMMER FITNESS SCHEDULES FROM THE RAC
STAND UP TO SITTING DISEASE
During the warm weather, it’s easier than ever to get the exercise we need during our leisure time. But for those of us with full-time office jobs, we still have to contend with the inherent drawbacks of sitting at a computer all day. Research has shown that too much sitting changes the biochemistry of our muscle cells, making us more susceptible to heart disease and cancer – even for those of us who exercise regularly! See the links below for tips on how to overcome this often overlooked fitness challenge:
THE IMPORTANCE OF DRINKING WATER
Water is very beneficial, and drinking it can help your body in many different ways. Web MD describes important reasons why you should drink plenty of water and provides tips on how to increase your fluid intake.
SUMMER SKIN CARE
In moderation, sunshine is good for our health. For example, about 15 minutes per day - the amount of time it takes most of us to walk from our car to the office, and back - will give us a sufficient amount of vitamin D, an essential nutrient. Of course, too much of a good thing can be harmful. If you're going to be out in the sun for an extended length of time, be sure to protect yourself, especially if you have fair skin. Here are some tips for safe sunscreen application and skin cancer prevention:
JUNE IS NATIONAL MEN'S HEALTH MONTH
Here are some tips and articles on men's health from the CDC.
LYME DISEASE SAFETY TIPS
Maryland has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the country, and summer is a particularly dangerous time for insect-born illnesses such as Lyme. Read the article and attached ‘Lyme Safety Tip Sheet’ to find out how to protect yourself and your family from this dangerous disease.
Did you know that smoking as few as 1 cigarette per day increases the risk of heart disease? Cessation of cigarette smoking constitutes the single most important intervention in preventative cardiology. Even if you’ve smoked for a very long time, you will still gain the health benefits of quitting. Don’t wait any longer! For assistance with quitting, click on the links below.
Smoke-Free UMBC - Information on the new smoking policy as well as resources on managing tobacco use.
TIPS ON STARTING A DEPARTMENT WELLNESS ACTIVITY
Oftentimes a great way to combat individual stress is to initiate a new wellness regimen. The same holds true for departmental stress. Working together as a team to meet a shared wellness goal has many benefits that include increasing well-being and collaboration, and fostering a sense of individual and collective accomplishment. We’ve included several tip sheets and templates below that departments can use to implement a wellness activity and will add new content to this section on an ongoing basis. Please use these documents to your advantage and consider submitting a departmental ‘Success Story’ (under ‘About UMBC-WIn’ tab) at the end of a group session to share your success and inspire others on campus.
Tips on Walking for Fitness at UMBC tips on creating a departmental walking group
Biggest Loser Program Tips and Reproducible Templates
Tips for Better Digestion
Top Reasons to Grow Your Own Food
Ways to integrate a little stand-up into your day:
6 Reasons to Drink Enough Water Every Day
To reduce your risk of contracting Lyme disease: