BY KYLE BAKER, OMM WELLNESS COORDINATOR
What comes to mind when you think of August? Maybe sitting at the lake, drinking lemonade, enjoying the sunshine, being with family, or juicy red slices of watermelon? You may only think, “Wow, is it hot,” and you’d be correct! From July even into September, Oklahoma can bring the heat. While increased hours of sunshine entice most of us outside, we need to be careful of that enticing environment. With a few wise choices we can enjoy the outdoors and all that it off ers during the summertime.
Getting out in the sunshine is good for one’s health, providing much needed Vitamin D, helping circadian rhythms and sleep patterns, and even fi ghting depression. Walking outside just feels good, especially when it’s warmer. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to get sunshine and exercise in one swoop. We all need to exercise 2-3 times a week for at least 30 minutes each day to maintain our lifestyles. (If you want to improve your current activity level or lifestyle then you’ll need to do a little more, but that’s another topic!) If you’re out in the heat of the day, wear a hat and lightcolored clothing to repel the light and heat, as dark colors absorb heat. It’s also imperative to be well hydrated before starting and taking a water bottle to go. Once you begin to feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated and therefore could be at risk!
“How much water do I need to be hydrated?” you might ask. Surprisingly, here is no scientifi c data to indicate how much a person really should be drinking. Th e old “eight 8-ounce glasses of water” rule doesn’t take into consideration the food we eat. If you’re enjoying a nice slice of watermelon with a glass of lemonade, you’re getting a lot of water. Pay attention to your body; if you feel hungry sometimes it’s thirst. Drink water fi rst and see how you feel, then eat only if you still feel hungry. If you feel thirsty, you are thirsty—DRINK! Listen to your body-your internal environment- it can let you know what it needs. Lastly, I want to remind you: Exercise is fun! If you want to be happier, live longer and have a healthy lifestyle, then exercise! And stay safe in the Oklahoma heat!