MIND & BODY: Healthy ideas to include during summer 2020

BY AMY WILLIAMS, Clark County Health Department


The official first day of summer is just a short distance away — the time of year most look forward to and plan for all year long.

Really, it seems it’s what we all have been waiting for since January.

This year, things look a little different than in years past.

Even though our patience is wearing thin with COVID-19, there are ways we can still enjoy the summer in the healthiest ways possible.

Have a cookout in your backyard with 10 of your favorite people. If you are feeling a little nervous, have everyone bring their own mask. Place hand sanitizer around the food table, and remind folks to try to stay six feet apart.

Continue to be aware of proper food sanitation practices. For example, be sure to refrigerate any mayonnaise-based salads and have a meat thermometer handy for checking grilled meats.

Have your quarantine eating and exercise habits added a few pounds to the scale for you? Don’t worry. Now is a time to start new habits.

The weather is starting to become beautiful. Flowers and trees are blooming. Our countryside has “greened” up.

As such, now is a great time to get outdoors to do some exercises you may not have been able to do back in spring when it seemed to rain every day.

Take your dog for a walk, garden, clean out or redo flower beds, bike and breathe in fresh air. No mask needed.

Do not forget to use your sunscreen.

If you are struggling with what to do inside on rainy days, try doing stretches or use small hand weights for strength training. Remember, you can do a lot inside without having to spend a penny.

Use items you have in your own surroundings, water bottles, cans of vegetables and push ups off a wall for arm workouts.

If you need a visual, you can YouTube a video with indoor stretches and exercises in mind.

The new season of summer approaching sometimes brings new foods to look forward to eating. Perhaps we can ditch all of the comfort quarantine foods of the last couple of months and trade them for fresh fruits and vegetables or even cool salads. What a great time to start utilizing our farmers’ market downtown.

Look for new recipes to try or develop a new comfort food that is healthy for you this summer.

When it is all said and done, change is hard.

2020 has shown us just how hard it is with moving about our every-day life. We now have new things to remember — stand six feet apart, do not shake hands, wear a mask, keep said mask in your car, use hand sanitizer more frequently, etc.

However, it does not mean it cannot be done, nor does it mean we cannot have a great summer. It just looks different.

Hopefully, we will one day look back and just simply say, “Remember when we did … for summer 2020?”

Clark County Health Department provides programs for the entire family, including Freedom from Smoking, WIC, HANDS, family planning, well-child care/immunizations and home health care. For more information, call 744-4482 or go to www.clarkhealthdept.org or like us on Facebook.