Though winter has dragged on this year, the reality is that summer is just around the corner. This month, UAB News will offer News You Can Use as the countdown to summer gets underway. From avoiding travel scams while planning vacations to getting back on the health track as a family, UAB experts have got you covered. Plus, how to best protect your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays while out and about as the weather warms up and ways to manage those pesky allergies that pop up this time of year. These stories and more will be updated throughout April, so check back weekly for more.
With spring in full bloom, many hope to lose pounds before summer’s heat descends. University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) exercise and nutrition experts offer tips for those in search of a summer slim down.
EatRight by UAB Weight Management Services Clinical Dietitian Lindsey Lee R.D., said nutrition is necessary to support weight loss efforts.
“Incorporate good nutrition habits – eating fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains and lean protein sources – to get the calories you need to maintain an exercise program,” Lee said. “If you restrict calories too much, you could start to feel burn out.”
To bolster the burn, Lee suggested:
For many kids, summer means sleeping late, pigging out and sitting in front of the TV. Adding physical activity to kids’ summer routines helps battle obesity and improves their concentration, memory and behavior, according to University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) experts.
Sandra Sims, Ph.D., and Donna Hester, Ph.D., physical education experts and associate professors in the Department of Human Studies teamed up to share tips to help parents encourage children and adolescents to achieve the 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Want your kid to be active, get active yourself – “Parents are great role models for their children,” said Sims. “A physically active parent is a great example that often leads to children who follow this lead.”
The number one rule of summer is protect yourself. You know water for hydration and sunscreen for UV rays, but what you don’t know could burn you before you even leave the house.
Raghib Hasan, Ph.D., director of the SECuRE and Trustworthy computing Lab (SECRETLab) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), says that while online vacation rental scams are growing, there are simple ways to protect oneself.
“A legitimate website will usually provide you with property information, pictures, the cost of the home and maps,” said Hasan. “The less information a website gives you, the more suspicious you should be.”
Hasan suggested conducting an extensive research up front. Check with the Better Business Bureau if it involves a company, and visit online review sites to see if there are any complaints from past users. Many states provide property databases to verify property owners based on the address. Google Earth allows you to check actual location and look for hidden problems.
Also, look closely at the lessor’s webpage.
Spring is a time for transformations. Experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) say this is the perfect time to restart resolutions set, and possibly abandoned, earlier in the year.
Some of the most popular resolutions made are related to losing weight, starting an exercise program or quitting smoking, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology. UAB Division of Preventive Medicine Associate Professor Gareth Dutton, Ph.D., said these are three beneficial goals for many.
“Long-term and consistent behavior changes like those intended with New Year’s resolutions can help better manage or avoid certain health problems, but they can be challenging because of the time it takes to see results,” Dutton explained.
While losing 50 pounds in a three month period is unlikely, Dutton says there are changes that can be felt more quickly.
Engaging in a bout of moderate-intensity exercise like a brisk walk can immediately reduce one’s blood sugar levels.