Sunshine! Barbecues! Fireworks! Who doesn’t love a good Independence Day celebration? To many of us, it’s not just about celebrating our great nation and proudly displaying our red, white, and blue but it’s also about spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and of course, seeing the fireworks! Here are Health Fitness Revolution’s 10 Tips for your Healthiest July 4th:
- Wear Sunscreen: Although being outside in the sun is a great way to absorb some healthy Vitamin D, make sure to use sun protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Studies show that sunburns increase the risk of skin cancer by 12 times!
- Eat Light: No one wants to eat a heavy meal when you’re outside in the heat. To make sure your food doesn’t weigh down your festivities, make salads and sides to balance the main course, maybe grill your meal! You might be snacking all day too, so make sure healthy snacks like veggie sticks are readily available.
- Stay Hydrated with Water: No matter where you are in America, July is hot! Be sure to drink plenty of water and keep your body from overheating, and stay away from caffeinated and sugary drinks that dehydrate you. Keep plenty of fresh fruit on hand too, as fruits are packed with vitamins, fiber, and water.
- Start and Active Tradition: Be it an annual family kickball tournament, neighborhood volleyball game, or a pre-dinner hike, an annual activity will be a welcome event to any July 4th celebration. Not only will it get everyone’s blood pumping (and put them in a good mood) but it will also give you stories to share for years to come!
- Wear Some Earplugs: The sounds of summer—such as fireworks and marching bands—can definitely damage your hearing. In fact, fireworks have a sound decibel of 150, and ear protection is recommended for decibels above 85.
- Make Sure you’re Using a Clean Grill: A dirty grill can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. After you are done grilling, do a quick clean up of any visible debris and food, then turn up the heat and let the grill burn off a bit.
- Keep Hot food Hot and Cold food Cold: Be sure you cook all of your food to the recommended temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria and keep things that should be refrigerated in a cooler over ice. If this is not possible, consider taking such items off the menu so that no one gets sick.
- Play Lawn Games: Encourage your party guests to bring their favorite lawn game instead of yet another dessert. Then you can take turns trying out all the different games. Plus, it encourages everyone to be active and fit!
- Skip Sugary Deserts: This is the season when tons of fresh fruit is available from the grocery, farmers markets, and fruit stands! Cut up strawberries and melon or grill peaches, pineapple, or bananas to satisfy your sweet tooth without adding unnecessary processed sugar.
- Make Healthy Drinks: Instead of providing sugar-filled sodas to guests, make healthy variations such as home-made iced tea sweetened with agave nectar, or even sparkling cucumber water!
Happy July 4th from the Health Fitness Revolution Team!