INDEPENDENCE DAY, PAST AND PRESENT FIREWORKS AND FUN ON THE 4TH
Holidays are for building relationships with family and friends, and the Fourth of July is no different. For the past 15 years, my family and I have celebrated the Fourth of July with our neighbors at a huge block party on our street. We light off fireworks, the kids decorate their bikes and have their own mini parade, and we feast on potluck-style barbecue. The day hasn’t always been just about relaxing with family, though. For over eight years, I helped run a fireworks stand on the Fourth of July. Some of you might know that I have coached high school football for the past 22 years. After playing in college, I started as a coach at my former high school when I moved back to the area. Since then, I’ve coached at a few different schools. At one of the schools I coached, the coaches and parents of players would run a fireworks stand during the week leading up to the Fourth. Since you can only sell fireworks for one week of the year in California, we had to work hard to empty the stand and raise as much money as we could for the football program. We would work in 100-degree weather, sweating and grinding to sell as much as possible. Every
year, each coach wanted to be the one who would sell the super-sized pack that had over 50 fireworks and cost over $500. There were a few years where the same customer would come back and buy the over-sized pack to supply fireworks for his entire block! It was all about the wheeling and dealing on the last day we were open. That’s when the customers could literally get the best bang for their buck. When I changed schools six years later, we didn’t have a fireworks booth as a fundraiser, and my day was free. My wife appreciates that I get to spend the whole day with family now, and so do I, but all the coaches who worked those long hot days on the Fourth of July still talk about it. Even though it was hot and busy at the fireworks stand, and I might have enjoyed relaxing at home more, getting to bond with the other coaches made the mayhem worth it. Having the opportunity to form those types of relationships is one of the reasons I’ve been a coach for so long.
FOR YOUR NEXT ROAD TRIP Even though road trips offer you a break from the monotony of your office, the stiffness in your muscles and joints that comes from sitting
FOR THE NECK Reach your left arm over the top of your head and touch your right ear. Then, gently pull your head to the left and hold it there for 15 seconds. Repeat this process with your right arm. FOR THE CHEST Stand in front of a door frame with one hand pressed on either side and your elbows at 90-degree angles, then lean forward. This will cause your chest muscles to open up. Hold this position for 15 seconds. You can do a similar stretch by bending downward while keeping your hands on your car door in front of you, stretching your entire upper body. FOR THE HIPS While you’re driving, a good way to prevent sore hips is by making sure your knees are
slightly elevated above them in your seat. Once you have the opportunity to stop, try doing some hip flexors. Kneel on one knee, slowly push your pelvis forward, squeeze your shoulders back, and open your chest. Hold this position for 15 seconds, then repeat while kneeling on the other knee. FOR THE LEGS To stretch out your hamstrings, place your right heel on a small step. Extend your arms upward, and then lean your upper body forward. You’ll feel a pull in the back of your upper leg. Once you’ve done this for about 15–30 seconds, repeat the process with your left heel. The road may be long, but that doesn’t mean you have to feel it in your muscles. If you stop every couple of hours and take some time to limber up, your body will thank you.
in one position for too long can follow you onto the road if you’re not careful. Whether in front of a laptop or behind the wheel, taking the opportunity to stretch and exercise on your summer road trip is a great way to prevent the soreness from following you back to the office. Here are a few stretches to keep in mind for the next rest stop.
PREVENT GARDENING-RELATED INJURIES GETTING OLDER DOESN’T MEAN LOSING YOUR GREEN THUMB
There’s no summer activity quite like gardening. The emotional satisfaction of looking out at a beautiful bed of flowers or vegetable garden is hard to top, and the physical benefits aren’t bad, either. You can expend between 150–300 calories a day gardening, and while the joy of having a healthy, vibrant garden won’t diminish, the physical activity does start to take a toll as we age. To keep gardening all summer long without soreness and injury, follow some of these tips. STRETCH PROPERLY Different gardening activities, such as bending, squatting, and raking, work different muscle groups. By targeting these groups with the proper stretches and exercises, you can better prepare your body for a day of good, hard work. For bending, try bird-dog exercises, which will strengthen your abs, back, and legs. For squatting, try chair squats, which will strengthen your glutes, quads, and hamstrings. For raking, try countertop pushups, which will strengthen your core, shoulders, and arms. PACE YOURSELF When you garden, try to get into a rhythm of warming up, working, and resting. It’s easy to lose track of time once you get started on a
project you want to see through, but it’s important to change your position or activity every 20–30 minutes. Make sure to take short, 10-minute breaks in between each
task. If you keep that pace throughout your gardening time, you’ll be less likely to overwork certain muscles and start your next day feeling sore.
OPTIMIZE YOUR GARDENING SPACE Part of the joy of gardening is making your garden look exactly how you want and accommodating the space to meet your physical needs. You can garden in raised beds to avoid bending down to tend your plants, or cultivate vines along trellises or fence posts to relieve some pressure from your back and knees. You can even get ergonomic tools, kneeling benches, or other products specifically designed to make gardening easier for seniors.
We wish you a safe and fulfilling summer outside, but if you are injured from working out in the yard, give Campus Commons a call.
TIPS FOR BUYING SHOES THAT YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW
When you go shopping for a pair of exercise shoes, you know they should be comfortable. However, you might be surprised by just how many other factors there are to consider. Failing to think about every possible aspect while shoe shopping won’t immediately lead to an injury, but remembering these tips can help prevent injuries and make sure you get the most out of your workout. CHECK YOUR SHOE SIZE You may think you know your shoe size, but your feet can still grow, even as an adult. Weight gain, weight loss, pregnancy, and injury can all change the size of your foot. Sizes can also vary by brand. Have a store clerk check your shoe size while you’re there. They might also be able to analyze your arch type and combine the two measurements to help narrow your search for the perfect shoe. SHOP LATER IN THE DAY This tip may seem particularly strange, but as the day progresses, your feet swell. They also swell when you exercise. Shopping late in the day means the shoes
that fit you best will also be the ones that fit best while you’re out running the trails, lifting in the gym, or just walking the dogs. When it comes to buying shoes for any kind of exercise, the early bird gets sore feet instead of the worm. BRING YOUR OWN SOCKS If you wear sandals or flip-flops while shoe shopping, remember to bring a pair of your exercise socks with you. Some stores will have socks you can borrow when you try on their shoes, but you won’t be wearing those socks when you exercise. Trying on shoes with your own socks will help you notice areas where the shoe may rub uncomfortably against your ankle or your toes. Even if the best shoes for your feet aren’t the best looking or cheapest, you won’t regret getting the pair that improves your workout and prevents injuries in your feet and lower legs.
TAKE A BREAK
WATERMELON CUCUMBER SKEWERS
Inspired by CookingLight.com
• • • • •
1 medium-sized watermelon, cubed 2 cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 block feta cheese, cubed 1 bunch fresh mint leaves
Salt, to taste
1 packet of bamboo skewers
1. Assemble skewers by placing one watermelon cube, one cucumber round, one feta cube, and one mint leaf on skewer in that order. Repeat until skewer is full. 2. Lightly season with salt and chill in fridge until right before serving.
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Independence Day, Past and Present
4 Stretches for Staying Limber on the Road
Gardening Tips for Seniors
3 Surprising Tips for Buying Athletic Shoes
Watermelon Cucumber Skewers
Eat Seasonally This July
o , a A GUIDE TO EATING SEASONALLY THIS JULY
GRILL GAME SO STRONG There’s no better time to fire up the grill than July, and not just because of the weather. Zucchini and corn reach their peak during July, and these grilling favorites pair well with steaks, burgers, hot dogs, or fish. Go low-carb by stuffing your zucchini with vegetables and a protein for a charred skillet bowl. Even better, add some corn to your fresh salsa to add an extra zing to your tacos. Regardless of how you utilize them, zucchini and corn are sweetest, juiciest, and freshest during July. GO GREEN Filling your plate with plenty of greens is never easier than in July. Pick up a bundle of spinach, arugula, lettuce, Swiss chard, or any other leafy green, which are all juiciest and freshest during July. Cucumbers and green beans are bountiful this time of the year, as well. This July, add some fresh flavor to your water with cucumbers or create hearty salads with any of the leafy greens mentioned above. After all, there’s no better way to celebrate the middle of summer than by consuming its most delicious foods.
When you eat something during its harvesting season, you get the most out of your meal. In-season fruits and vegetables are more nutrient-dense than their out-of-season counterparts, and there’s no matching the flavor profile of fresh, in-season produce. Even better, because in-season foods are so bountiful during their peak, you can save a lot of money by shopping with the season. This July, enjoy some tasty foods during their prime with this handy guide.
FRUITFUL HARVEST Avocado toast lovers rejoice! Your season is here. Avocados are in season during July, joining many other fruity favorites. Gorge yourself on scrumptious blackberries, sweet strawberries, and bountiful tomatoes. Don’t forget about the cherries and blueberries, too! Because these fruits are so plentiful this time of the year, it’s easy to find ingredients for your favorite recipes. Host a Latin-inspired foods night with fresh guacamole and salsa, or make a delectable shortcake with a blackberry and strawberry mixture on top.
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