Healthy Oceans Healthy Us

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June 8 is World Oceans Day. The special day draws our awareness to the health of our oceans around the world.

As I read articles I realized how crucial the connection is between our health and the oceans’ health. Healthy oceans, healthy us. Unhealthy oceans, unhealthy us.

While my posts on Journey With Healthy Me typically focus on health and wellness for humankind, I felt compelled to share a different kind of post tonight.

Our futures and the future of our planet depend on the health of our oceans. And how are Earth’s oceans faring? They are in trouble.

Healthy Oceans Healthy Us title meme

The Heart and Lungs of the Planet

No matter where you live, you are connected to the oceans. Even land locked midwesterners, like me, are intricately linked to the seas.

The oceans of Earth are the heart and lungs of the planet. They produce over half of the world’s oxygen and absorb 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere. Covering 70% of the earth’s surface, oceans transport heat from the equator to the poles, regulating climate and weather patterns.

Oceans are also important in the transportation and trade industry, and in providing jobs, food and ingredients used in medicines.

Plus there are health benefits associated with being near the sea. Swimming in the ocean improves blood circulation, helps with joint pain, improves muscular strength and promotes longevity. The salty seawater contains minerals that help moisturize and heal the skin.

Beyond the physical benefits, being near the ocean lowers stress and anxiety, reduces heart and respiration rates and eases depression.

Healthy Oceans Healthy Us Mediterranean Sea
Healthy Oceans Healthy Us – Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy.

Threats to the Oceans

Human activities are threatening the health of the oceans, which in turn threatens our own wellbeing.

More than 80% of marine pollution comes from land based activities. From coral bleaching to a rise in sea level, the whole marine ecosystem is rapidly changing.

Threats to the oceans include:

  • global warming
  • pesticides and agricultural products that end up in coastal waters, depleting oxygen and killing marine life and plants
  • sewage and runoff from factories and industrial plants
  • oil spills
  • overfishing which is depleting fish and sea life
  • pollution
  • plastics that end up in the oceans, disrupting the eco-system and killing marine life
  • invasive species of algae that thrive in waters that have warmed up, disrupting the ecological balance
Beach Pollution
Healthy Oceans Healthy Us – beach pollution

Healing Our Oceans

Remember the four Rs of taking care of the planet and the oceans…Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse.

Here are things we can all do to ensure healthy oceans, healthy us.

Reduce Energy Consumption

By reducing energy use we reduce the effects of climate change on the oceans. Leave the car at home as often as possible. Walk or ride a bike when you can. Switch to LED lightbulbs at home. Take the stairs. Turn off lights when leaving the room. Also turn off appliances, computers and other electrical devices when not in use. Raise the thermostat in summer and lower it in winter. Support clean alternative energy solutions.

Plant a garden or shop farmer’s markets and co-ops. Buy organic produce when possible. Eat a plant based diet.

Make Sustainable Seafood Choices

Fish populations are rapidly depleting due to demand, loss of habitat and unsustainable fishing practices. When dining out or shopping for seafood, reduce the demand on overexploited species by choosing seafood that is sustainable.

Better yet, stop eating seafood.

Eliminate Plastic Products

Plastics that end up in the ocean cause habitat destruction and entangle and kill tens of thousands of marine animals every year.

Help by eliminating plastic water bottles. Carry a reusable metal water container instead. Store leftover food in reusable glass containers. Carry your own cloth shopping bags to stores. And recycle or reuse if you do purchase items in plastic cartons.

Avoid single use plastics such as straws, plasticware, cups, bags and bottles.

Plastic water bottles
Healthy Oceans Healthy Us – stop using plastics

Don’t Purchase Items that Harm Marine Life

Educating ourselves about the products we buy helps protect marine life. Certain products, such as some sunscreens, damage coral reefs and marine populations.

Never flush kitty litter which contains pathogens harmful to marine animals. Don’t purchase coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles) and shark products. Squalene, often found in cosmetics, is derived from sharks.

Create Change Through Choices

Support organizations working to protect oceans and marine life. Volunteer to clean a beach. Sign petitions to promote ocean-friendly legislation and sustainable ocean policies.

Patronize restaurants and grocery stores that offer only sustainable seafood. Do ocean presentations at schools and organizations. And support ocean artists and film makers by watching their documentaries. A couple of good documentaries to watch: Seaspiracy and My Octopus Teacher, both on Netflix.

Purchase products that reduce the impact on the earth and the oceans.

Refuse straws at restaurants. Carry metal straws if you must drink with a straw.

Don’t Attend Dolphin and Marine Life Shows

Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about the practice of keeping marine animals in captivity. Marine animals are ecologically connected to the ocean environment. They do not thrive in confinement. Say no to dolphin and large marine life shows.

Healthy Oceans Healthy Us dolphin
Healthy Oceans Healthy Us – dolphins belong in the sea

Healthy Oceans Healthy Us

I noticed a shift in my awareness, when I began a plant based lifestyle.

First I focused on my own body and my own health. As my health and wellbeing improved I became appreciative of the wonders of the human body and how a healthy body responds.

Then my attention focused outward, on the health and wellbeing of others. This blog is a result of that shift. I want other people to experience their optimal health as well and live a full, vibrant life.

And finally, my awareness expanded to encompass the earth and the health and wellbeing of the planet and all life. I’m mindful of the impact I have on the earth and all its inhabitants. My desire is to take care of myself, help others take care of themselves and for all of us, together, to take care of our home, Planet Earth.

We must pay attention to what’s happening with the world’s oceans. To thrive here in health, our oceans must thrive too.

For World Oceans Day…and every day…we can do our part to ensure a future for the oceans and for ourselves. Won’t you join me?

Appreciating the Mediterranean Sea
Appreciating the Mediterranean Sea.

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Summer Health Tips

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

Is it just me…or is this year flying by? By the end of this month, half of the year will be gone. June also brings the beginning of summer with all its delights, wonders and adventures.

For the best season, full of beauty, experiences and fun, check out these summer health tips.

Summer Health Tips title meme

Summer Health Tips

Many people claim summer as their favorite season. School is out. Vacations and road trips get under way. Long warm days make lakes and swimming pools inviting. And adventures of all kinds beckon.

It’s the perfect season for family gatherings, cook outs and celebrations. And there is something so magical about summer evenings. Fireflies, shooting stars, cozy fires crackling in fire pits all contribute to the wonder.

Keep yourself and family members healthy, to make this most of the season, with these simple tips.

Stay Hydrated

The number one challenge with summer is staying hydrated. Most people simply do not drink enough water, causing chronic dehydration. During the warmer months, we are at greater risk of dehydration due to working and playing outdoors and excessive sweating.

The following signs of dehydration are symptoms that indicate the body is not receiving enough water and/or is already chronically dehydrated.

Signs of Dehydration

  • constipation
  • dark urine
  • headaches
  • lightheadedness and dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • muscle cramps
  • rapid heartbeat
  • extreme thirst
  • less frequent urination
  • no tears
  • unsatisfied hunger
  • fatigue
  • low blood pressure
  • skin disorders
  • brain fog
  • irritability
  • kidney stones

There is varying information about how much water we need. However, a good guide is 72 ounces for adult women and 104 ounces for adult men. This is a general guideline. Exercising, working outdoors or warm temperatures may up the requirement for liquids.

To stay hydrated during the summer months, try these tips

  • carry water at all times, in a metal or glass container, and refill throughout the day
  • drink at least one glass of water with every meal
  • increase water amount when exercising or outdoors in hot weather
  • juice fruits and veggies
  • start the day with a lemon or lime water, followed by a glass of freshly prepared celery juice for amazing health benefits (Want to know even more about this miraculous drink? Visit www.celeryjuice.com and pick up Anthony’s book about celery juice HERE.)
  • include two or more cups of herbal teas during the day
  • keep a pitcher of infused water in the fridge, adding herbs, veggies or fruit for flavor
  • eat your water, with high water content foods such as watermelon, berries, pineapple, cucumbers and tomatoes.

Read my full article about foods that help hydrate HERE.

Eat Lightly

During the summer, enjoy the bounty that gardens produce. Visit a farmer’s market if you don’t grow your own veggies and begin your grocery shopping in the fresh fruits and veggies section.

This is the time for simple, easily prepped meals that include raw or lightly cooked veggies and lots of fresh fruit.

Include berries, melons, tomatoes, peppers, okra, fresh herbs, squash and green beans. Try new to you vegetables or fruits too, to broaden your tastes.

Check out this recent POST for eight mouth watering salads that are definitely full of the goodness of summer.

Summer Health Tips hydration
Summer health tips – eat hydrating foods such as watermelon

Get Outdoors During Morning and Evening

Playing, working or exercising outdoors during the summer? Get outside in the mornings or evenings, when temperatures are lower and the sun is less intense.

If you must be out during the afternoon, seek out the shade as much as possible. And remember to carry water with you!

Protect Your Skin and Eyes

No matter what time of day you are outdoors, protect your skin and eyes.

Use at least a SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, applying 30 minutes before going out. Reapply after swimming or excessive sweating. Check out my blogging friend’s post, for the best vegan sunscreens!

Wear a wide brimmed hat to protect the face and sunglasses to shield eyes.

Summer Health Tips hiking
Summer health tips – enjoy the outdoors in the mornings and evenings.

Don’t Get Bugged

I have to admit that what I dislike about summer are pesky insects. As soon as the sun starts to set, mosquitos swarm around me in the garden. And veer off the path while hiking and I’m likely to encounter ticks or worse, chiggers.

Is this true for you?

Avoid insect repellents laden with harsh chemicals. Try using a natural repellent containing lemon or eucalyptus. I’ve had good luck with this DIY Mosquito Repellent. And also with soaking a cotton ball in Witch Hazel and rubbing it over exposed skin.

Around the yard, make sure water doesn’t collect in containers after a rain. That becomes a breeding ground for mosquitos. Keep the grass cut and garden or lawn debris cleared away.

After a hike or walk, check yourself and family members for ticks. Spray shoes, socks and ends of jeans or pants to help prevent chiggers from crawling up legs. Take a shower as soon as you return home and toss clothes…socks and underwear included…in the wash.

Plan an Active Vacation

While on vacation, plan activities such as hiking, walking, swimming, kayaking or canoeing. If you are doing a staycation at home, include gardening, lawncare, evening walks or outside games such as volleyball or badminton.

When visiting cities, explore on foot or via bicycling. Walking tours are a great way to get to know a city. I love walking around a new town, watching people and stopping in interesting shops.

Summer Health Tips kayak
Summer health tips – plan fun activities during vacation, such as kayaking.

Drink Responsibly

Excessive drinking is never good. Combine it with summertime and the results can be disastrous. Alcohol intensifies dehydration. Additionally, too much alcohol impairs judgment, coordination and balance, which can lead to accidents and injuries.

And did you know that 70% of adult and adolescent drownings involve alcohol?

Drink responsibly. Don’t operate a vehicle, including ATV, boats and motorcycles, while drinking. And stay out of the water!

Learn How to Swim

And speaking of playing in the water, make sure family members, especially children, know how to swim.

Many cities offer swimming lessons at community pools or local YMCAs. Swimming pools, lakes and even the ocean are enticing to children and adults. Make sure everyone knows how to swim and is familiar with basic water safety if your vacation includes water activities. It’s good for at least one adult to know CPR as well.

A drowning can happen in as little as two inches of water. Never, ever leave children unattended near water, even the bathtub.

On boats, make sure everyone wears a properly fitting life vest.

Summer Health Tips river fun
Summer health tips – practice water safety and teach children how to swim.

Fire Safety

Whether toasting marshmallows over a campfire, sitting around a fire pit or celebrating 4th of July with fireworks, practice fire safety.

When around a campfire or fire pit, always have water on hand to prevent fire from escaping its boundaries. Never leave a fire unattended. And properly extinguish the fire before leaving the area.

On camping trips carry a first aid kit that includes bandages and ointments in case of a minor burn.

Don’t allow children to handle fireworks without close supervision. Hundreds of people end up in the emergency room around the 4th of July, with injuries related to fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby and toss spent fireworks in, to make sure they are fully extinguished. Sparklers can reach a temperature of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop them into the bucket too. Stepping on a burned out sparkler on the ground can cause injury. And never try to relight a firework that didn’t completely ignite. Toss it.

Wear Lightweight Clothing

And finally, during the summer months, wear lightweight, light colored, loose fitting clothing. Those garments keep you cooler by helping sweat to evaporate more quickly.

I LOVE the clothes from Toad&Co. They are perfect for summer. And not only do  they offer stylish clothes, Toad&Co is a sustainable, eco-friendly company. I feel good wearing their clothes, and good about their garments.

Summer Health Tips lightweight clothes
Summer health tips – wear loose fitting, lightweight clothes, such as these from Toad&Co

Have a Healthy Summer

Do you love summertime?

As you enjoy the season, may you do so in optimal health and wellness! And may your adventures be many and your joys as abundant as the summer flowers that stretch toward the sun.

Summer Health Tips fire pit

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Journey With Healthy Me is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

I am not a medical practitioner. I study health and wellness related topics and share experiences from my own personal healing journey.