Wel­come to Sum­mer!

Alternative Medicine - - Publisher’s Letter -

This time of year, we try to spend as much time as we can out­doors. We value our out­door spa­ces, and our ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the out­doors spans gen­er­a­tions. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Ca­sual Liv­ing sur­vey, 85 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als rated out­door rooms as “very im­por­tant” or “im­por­tant,” com­pared with 74 per­cent of Baby Boomers. This same sur­vey re­ported that 24 per­cent of Baby Boomers spend more time out­doors dur­ing sum­mer than dur­ing the rest of the year.

Gar­den­ing is a par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar in­ter­est among Baby Boomers. In 2015, US con­sumers will spend more than $7 bil­lion on out­door plants, con­tain­ers, sup­plies, and other gar­den­ing tools. Th­ese out­door spa­ces bring us many ben­e­fits. We treat them as ex­ten­sions of our­selves and make con­scious de­ci­sions to use plants and gar­dens as tools for in­creas­ing our over­all well-be­ing, lead­ing a sus­tain­able life­style, and hav­ing a pos­i­tive ef­fect in our com­mu­ni­ties and on the planet.

Gar­den­ing in­volves cul­ti­vat­ing unique va­ri­eties of plants that are not only fun to grow but taste bet­ter than su­per­mar­ket va­ri­eties. Even ur­ban res­i­dents who have no more than a small pa­tio out­doors are join­ing the move­ment by rais­ing small con­tainer plants such as toma­toes, pep­pers, herbs, or straw­ber­ries. If you are among those with limited space, choose se­lect va­ri­eties of plants for con­tain­ers that will con­tinue to re­plen­ish them­selves as you har­vest them. For those with back­yard gar­dens, try plant va­ri­eties that thrive on more space, such as pur­ple car­rots, beans, and var­i­ous pep­pers.

Many other ac­tiv­i­ties can bring us out­side this sum­mer. We took a poll among our own read­ers and found that more than 30 per­cent of you par­tic­i­pate in out­door ex­er­cises such as walk­ing and hik­ing in the sum­mer. We found other pop­u­lar out­door ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude wa­ter sports, bik­ing, camp­ing, and go­ing to the beach. Although 40 per­cent who go to the beach don’t go in the wa­ter! We also found the most pop­u­lar out­door ac­tiv­ity is spend­ing time with fam­ily and friends. Whether time with fam­ily out­doors is a back­yard bar­beque, pic­nic, at­tend­ing a sport­ing event, or just re­lax­ing, it is clear our time spent out­side is meant to be time we share with those we love.

As you pre­pare for sum­mer, we have a few safety tips to re­mem­ber. First, al­ways wear sun­screen and ap­ply it of­ten—even on cloudy days. There’s noth­ing worse than suf­fer­ing from sun­burn af­ter a fun day out­doors. Check the la­bel to avoid the nasty, un­healthy in­gre­di­ents in some main­stream sun­screens. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit our web­site home­page and fol­low the “sun­screen tips” we have listed. Next, stay hy­drated. Drink lots of wa­ter, es­pe­cially when per­form­ing out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. While you might en­joy the oc­ca­sional in­dul­gence, re­mem­ber that soft drinks and al­co­holic bev­er­ages won’t keep you hy­drated—so al­ter­nate with glasses of wa­ter. Fi­nally, and most im­por­tantly, be safe—whether you’re do­ing wa­ter sports (make sure you have life vests) or phys­i­cal ac­tiv­i­ties you’re not ac­cus­tomed to. Don’t strain your­self.

I hope you en­joy the sum­mer, catch some sun, and maybe even end up a lit­tle bit health­ier by La­bor Day!

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