Summer has finally arrived! It’s time to fire up the grill, pack the swim suits, and head out for some well-deserved relaxation. With a few good habits, you can make it a summer full of only fun memories. Below are five reminders for a safe and healthy summer.

Drink Plenty of Water

During the hot summer months, heat and sweat canleave your body dehydrated. A lack of water is harmful to your body and can make you crave food when you’re not actually hungry. Keep yourself hydratedby drinking at least eight to nine glasses of water a day. Bored of water? Add some low calorie flavoring or opt for healthy alternatives like green tea or coconut water.

Always Apply Sunscreen

Exposure to harmful UV rays is at its greatest during the summer. Use a sunscreen lotion of at least SPF 30, and try a mineral-based sunscreen if you have sensitive skin. Avoid the sun during peak hours between 10am and 4pm in order to minimize UV radiation. If you plan to be out in the sun for a long period of time, remember to reapply sunscreen lotion every two to three hours.

Protect Yourself from Insects and Ticks

Anyone participating in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or yard work should follow insect and tick bite precautions. Using an insect repellent containing at least 20 percent DEET on exposed skin is highly recommended for outdoor safety. Ticks are prevalent in Oklahoma, ranking among those states with the highest rates of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia. To protect yourself, liberally apply insect repellent and consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks or close-toe shoes. Wearing light-colored clothes makes spotting ticks easier. Hikers and bikers should stay in the center of trails to avoid grass and brush. Check for ticks daily along waistbands, hairlines, in the armpits, and in the groin areas.

Eat Healthy

When the sun is beating down, the idea of seeking out the nearest ice cream truck or snow cone stand is seriously tempting. After the initial sugar high, these treats can leave you feeling tired and hungry. Stay strong by packing a cooler full of healthy snacks and juices. Bottled water, sandwiches, vegetable sticks with hummus, yogurt, and fruit are all healthy, easily-portable choices.

Take Up a New Hobby

Summer is the perfect time to take up a new activity. Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, will help you burn calories, and may be enjoyed with kids or grandkids. If gardening doesn’t suit your interests, you can try biking, tennis, golf, or hiking. Pilates is the perfect alternative for some alone time in the garden. Roll out a towel and have fun trying out planks and breathing techniques in the sun.

Summer is a great time to enjoy all that Oklahoma has to offer. From Alabaster Caverns State Park in Freedom to the Talimena Drive near Talihina, our state is ready to be explored. For information regarding attractions, events, and dining, visit or

This article was first published in the Summer 2017 edition of the Retiring Right newsletter. Click here to view other newsletters. Not receiving your newsletter, update your address by completing the Change of Address form.

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