Blue Minds and Summer Tips from an Insurance Co; see Below
Most people agree that the sight and sound of water can be soothing. But why? In his best-selling book, the Blue Mind, marine biologist and conservationist, William J. Nichols, claims that being near water increases levels of feel-good hormones. And it reduces stress hormones.
Nichols describes a "Blue Mind" as "a mildly meditative state, characterized by calm... and a sense of satisfaction with life in the moment." Experts call this mindfulness. And being mindful may help lower stress and improve mental clarity.
But don't rush out and buy a beach house yet. "I'm not sure there's enough scientific evidence to prove Nichols' claims," said Aetna Senior Medical Director Terry Golash, MD. "We intuitively think it's a good thing, as long as it's safe to be near the water."
And there may be other ways besides a day at the beach to reach this state.
Take a vacation Golash stressed the importance of vacations. "The most common response to stress is moving away from it," he advised. "If I go on vacation, it's to have time for myself and my family. Don't bring stress with you." We have more tips on how mindfulness can reduce stress and promote wellness. Or to explore the Blue Mind, here's a story from the CBS Morning Show.
Be sun savvy to make the most of summer We've waited patiently for long summer days. The warmth of the sun lifts our spirits, melts away tension and makes us feel good. Enjoy it. And treat it with respect, every day and everywhere.
The sun is the source of life. But it can also hurt our skin, the very organ that literally keeps us in one piece. Skin cancer is diagnosed in more than 2 million Americans each year.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun (and tanning beds) are the main cause of skin cancer. UVB rays are the primary culprit for sunburns. And UVA rays can age skin.
Melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer. But it's also the most deadly. Intense, occasional sunburns are the usual cause, especially in those with sensitive skin. Simple tips to prevent skin cancer
Wear proper clothing Wear clothing to guard against the sun's rays. And don't forget your sunglasses. UV rays hurt the eyes and may cause cataracts.
Use broad-spectrum sun protection Apply SPF 30 or higher every two hours. This is really important if you're swimming or perspiring. Keep in mind that sunscreens aren't waterproof. They can't hold up to a game of volleyball or a jog on the beach. They'll rub off with wiping or toweling. Spend some time getting to know your skin See a doctor if you find moles that have changed shape or color. Take our quiz on sun safety and test your knowledge. Have a safe and happy summer.
Fun in the sun takes a little planning and common sense For many, summer spells carefree days at the beach, pool or lake – or just hanging out with friends. And that can be great for mind, body and soul. It can also pose risks, especially for children. But with a little planning and some common sense, you can still have fun in the sun.
Swim safely Go ahead, take the plunge. But remember some basic safety tips:
Learn how to swim and know your limits.
Swim with a buddy or two. There's safety in numbers.
Swim only in supervised areas.
Never let young ones out of sight around water.
Wear protective gear Always remember to wear proper gear such as helmets, life jackets and knee and wrist pads. They help if you're bicycling, boating or skating.
Don't let insects bug you Tick and mosquito bites can cause diseases. To prevent them, be sure to use effective repellent. Wear light-colored clothing to help spot ticks. And always check for ticks after spending time outdoors.