Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Gifting Independence and Mobility

If you're considering what to buy a loved one for a holiday or birthday gift, resist the temptation
to go for the usual. Your friend or family member will appreciate a gift that promotes independence
and mobility more than anything you might buy at a mall or jewelry store. From shower seats
to pool lifts, Preferred Health Choice has everything that those with limited mobility could want
to enjoy more freedom and comfort. Increased independence can provide a big boost of
confidence — and even lighten the load for family, friends and professional caretakers.

Create Options With Scooters

Scooters allow seniors and others with mobility restrictions to live life to its fullest. Imagine gifting
someone you love with the ability to travel or experience the outdoors again. Your loved one can
take in the colors of autumn leaves, savor balmy summer nights, or be revitalized by the scent of
spring in the air. He or she can even indulge their inner speed demon with today's faster options
like this ZooMe-R4. They'll love whizzing around in an easy-to-maneuver model that reaches
surprisingly high speeds.

Limited mobility doesn't have to stop the golfer in your life. The Trionic Veloped Golf Walker is an
all-terrain walker with speed controls, a captain's seat, optional rear safety lighting, a removable
flashlight option and more. A scooter could be just what it takes to ramp up the fun factor in your
recipient's daily life.

The Latest Wheelchair Options

Modern wheelchairs are designed with comfort and maneuverability in mind. Semi-reclining seats,
adjustable arms and elevating leg rests are just some of the options designed to keep your giftee
comfortable all day long. Reclining wheelchairs with headrests provide neck and head support.
They improve circulation and provide an added degree of comfort, even after long periods of

The new generation of portable power wheelchairs allows for small turns and smooth transitions
from forward to reverse, ensuring a pleasant ride every time. Geriatric chairs like those used in
medical facilities are perfect for the home environment. They offer a good deal of extra support
with their generously portioned platforms. Lightweight wheelchairs simplify your loved one's
transportation needs and are available at budget-friendly prices. Heavy-duty models offer higher
weight capacities and a more comfortable experience for people of all heights.

Mobility Accessories

Preferred Health Choice offers accessories to enhance comfort while using wheelchairs and
scooters. Skin breakdown and poor spinal alignment can create major setbacks for those with
diabetes, cancer, aging skin, muscle atrophy and a number of other health issues. The pressure,
heat, friction and moisture that can result from long periods in a wheelchair or scooter are the
sources of skin breakdown.The accessories available here can relieve these ailments.

Therapeutic foam, gel and air wheelchair seat cushions allow for a more comfortable experience
and protect skin during extended periods of use. Wheelchair backrest supports make using a
scooter or wheelchair more comfortable. Wheelchair backs also provide spinal support and help
improve posture. Your friend or relative's well-being and comfort are two of the greatest gifts you
can give for birthdays or holidays.

Lift Chair Recliners

Many of us love our recliners, but power lift chairs make an excellent alternative for the mobility-
impaired. Your giftee will truly appreciate how easy it is to stand from a sitting position in these
riser recliner chairs. Being able to stand up pain-free after relaxing or watching TV makes this
a great choice for a holiday or birthday gift. Does your favorite couple have an upcoming
anniversary? Consider gifting them a pair of these delightful chairs for people with disabilities
or restricted mobility. We also offer parts and accessories for lift chairs.

Walkers and Other Walking Aids

Whether for convalescence or permanent use, Preferred Health Choice offers a wide range of
walking aids. Walkers are available for adults and children for gait training and other needs. Our
Uprise walker is ideal for those with limited range of motion in their hands. It folds with ease,
thanks to its single-release mechanism. The walker even simplifies bathroom trips by providing
stability when rising from a seated to standing position. From bariatric walkers to knee walkers,
our selection of walkers provides something for everyone.

Canes and Crutches

We have canes, cane seats and crutches to help move freely after falls, surgeries and other
medical incidents. Our cane sling seat provides a comfy place to rest when opened or a
dependable cane upon folding. And ergonomic forearm crutches absorb shock to the upper
body — no matter how fast the stride. Your gift recipient will appreciate access to sturdy
walking options when they need them most.

Bath Aids

Bathing presents unique challenges for those with restricted movement. Living alone makes
caring for oneself even more difficult, and those who live with family may be embarrassed to
ask for help. Keep your family member safe every day with toilet safety frames, bedside
commodes and raised toilet seats. Seat risers add several inches of height, making toilet use
safer and easier after surgery or for those with arthritis and other issues.

Since taking bathing and showering can present safety hazards, bathing aids are smart gift
choices for the elderly and mobility-challenged. Transfer benches make easy work of getting
into the tub. Shower chairs, swivel shower stools and handicap shower seats provide a safe,
comfortable bathing experience. Bariatric options are available with weight capacities of up to
500 pounds. Give loved ones more options for independence while easing your own worries
about bathroom slips and spills.

Whether your loved one is experiencing a temporary health setback; recovering from surgery
or an injury; or has long-term issues with movement, the gifts of independence and mobility
can be game-changers. If your goal is to enhance someone's comfort and well-being, you'll
find plenty of options with us. Wheelchairs with all the bells and whistles and accessories to
match are the perfect gifts for those with ongoing mobility problems. Scooters with the latest
high-tech features allow for much greater freedom of movement. Bath aids, lift chairs and
other devices enable your loved one to become more independent while helping you to worry
less. Shop Preferred Health Choice's inventory of the leading products for enhanced safety,
comfort and mobility today to find a gift they'll love.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Outdoor Activities for the Mobility Impaired

Outdoor activities are known to promote physical and emotional well being. Participating in these fun pursuits should be a human right that is available to everyone. Increased awareness about the needs of physically disabled persons and advancements in adaptive sports equipment have made it possible for the mobility impaired to enjoy more outdoor activities. Here are 10 popular recreational activities for the mobility impaired.

#1 Camping and Hiking

There’s no better way to experience the beauty of nature than camping. This immersive experience allows you to temporarily live among the flora and fauna that make up the earth’s diverse ecosystem. Many people do wilderness camping and hiking for the unique challenges that these activities present. These adventures are even more formidable for the mobility impaired. The best excursions are ones that take your skill level, equipment availability, and performance goals into consideration. Many national parks have wheelchair accessible trails and facilities, and some offer all-terrain wheelchairs that allow you to tackle unpaved trails. You should always make safety a priority during camping trips and carry a cell phone, a whistle, and a hiking buddy with you at all times.

#2 Paddling

Water has the power to relax, invigorate, and inspire all at once. Those are the emotions that many people get while canoeing, kayaking, and rafting America’s numerous waterways. Paddling is an outdoor sport that is particularly favored by physically disabled people. If you can swim, you’re well on your way to leaving your wheelchair behind and gliding out across the water. Small boats require little adaptation based on their particular impairments in its book Canoeing and Kayaking for Persons With Disabilities. 
The book also emphasizes the safety aspects of paddling while disabled. Love the idea of going on frequent paddling trips with groups of able-bodied and disabled persons? Join the Disabled Paddlers Association.

#3 Wheelchair Tennis

Playing tennis offers a way to socialize while getting cardiovascular exercise in the fresh air. Persons who have physical disabilities find it easy to get started playing tennis after they learn the basics of the game. Some adaptations that are made for the mobility impaired include smaller, lighter-weight rackets and wheelchairs with camber wheels that improve stability. The rules are often modified to allow for two bounces instead of one before players return volleys. If you’re a serious wheelchair tennis enthusiast,
you can invest in a chair that is specially designed for court sports.

#4 Horseback Riding

According to medical research, interacting with animals can be therapeutic. For the mobility impaired, horseback riding can help them to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and improve balance. Some pieces of adaptive equipment that physically disabled horseback riders use to better enjoy the pastime are mounting platforms that accommodate wheelchairs and high-back saddles that support weak spines. Riding horseback is a great way to see a wilderness area without using an all-terrain wheelchair.

#5 Swimming

For physically disabled persons who are concerned about losing strength, swimming is a proven total-body workout. Whether you’re doing the backstroke or the breaststroke, you’ll improve your muscle tone and cardiovascular health. Many persons with disabilities choose swimming as their outdoor sport of choice because the activity is easy on the joints and inherently refreshing. You almost never hear about a mobility impaired person suffering a swimming injury, and the recreational activity requires no adaptive sports equipment.

#6 Beachcombing

Everyone loves a good treasure hunt, and that’s exactly what happens during a beachcombing excursion. Beachcombing involves identifying and collecting coins, lost keepsakes, and pretty shells on the beach. It’s an outdoor activity that is as old as the beach itself. It’s a wonderful pursuit for mobility impaired people who have children. Pieces of equipment that you’ll need for a family-friendly beachcombing trip are a long-armed metal detector and an extended reacher grabber tool that will help you to pick up your treasures.

#7 Snowboarding

If you’re looking for breathtaking scenery and heart-racing fun, you’ll want to find a ski resort that offers adaptive snowboarding for the mobility impaired. Cruising down snow-covered slopes at top speeds can increase your confidence and enjoyment. To learn the basics, contact an instructor who specializes in adaptive snowboarding. He or she can guide your technique based upon your unique disability. The instructor will know what adaptive equipment is available to make your snowboarding excursions safer and more enjoyable. Organizations such as Disabled Sports USA and Paralympic Sport Clubs provide
mobility impaired persons with information about local snowboarding programs and resources.

#8 Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair basketball is one of the earliest adaptive sports. Mobility impaired persons who have lower body challenges use basketball as a social outlet and a way to get exercise on park courts. Whether you’re classified as permanently disabled with cerebral palsy or are recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, you can sign up for wheelchair basketball games through the National Wheelchair Basketball Association or organize a pickup game at your local outdoor court. Casual players typically use standard wheelchairs to play, but competitive players invest in sport chairs.

#9 Picking Fresh Produce At a Local Farm

Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that you’re within miles of a farm. Large community gardens and small farms often open their gates to the public and allow customers to pick their own produce. You can spend hours gathering the best that the farm has to offer. Things to consider before showing up at the farm are the types of produce that you plan to pick and the farm’s layout. You want to pick items that grow at least to the height of your wheelchair. This will guarantee that you can reach these culinary treats. You’ll also want to call the farm ahead of your trip to find out the width of the garden rows. The rows should be wide enough to accommodate your wheelchair. Picking fruits and vegetables at local
farms is a favorite pastime of those who like to eat and spend time outdoors. You can extend the fun by using the freshly picked produce to make a backyard barbeque-style evening meal.

#10 Sailing

Sailing is an outdoor pursuit that requires strategy. Experienced skippers have extensive knowledge of sea currents, wind behavior, and their vessel. They are able to maneuver their boat quickly by using water currents, wind directions, and their vessel’s navigational instruments. Adaptive sailing programs match you to sailing instructors who teach you sailing safety rules, boating terms and basic boating techniques. These instructors have access to boats that are equipped to accommodate physically disabled crew members. Some boats have electronic joysticks that control the boat’s rigging system. Others have passenger transport benches and grab bars that help sailors enter and exit the boats without their wheelchairs. Using adaptive sports equipment, any trained mobility impaired person can successfully and safely operate a boat. Since mastering water and wind behavior takes practice and experience, you’ll likely want to take your time, enjoy being out on the water, and learn at your own pace. When you’re ready to get started, the Warrior Sailing Program has information about adaptive sailing in your local area.

Final Thoughts

Physically disabled persons require only a fearless spirit and a standard wheelchair to enjoy many of the described leisure activities. For other outdoor pursuits, you’ll need specially made equipment to safely play the sports. Your outdoor hobbies can quickly get expensive, but financial aid is available. To fund your next adaptive sports equipment purchase, check out grants at the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the Loma Linda Health PossAbilities program, and the National Association of Injured & Disabled Workers.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Exercises for the Elderly and People Confined to Wheelchairs

Exercises for the Elderly and People Confined to Wheelchairs

Exercise is something all of our bodies need in order to stay in shape and retain muscle. Over time, people tend to exercise less than they did when they were younger. This could be due to busy schedules or simply a lack of motivation. Sometimes, though, people are in a situation where it is difficult to exercise the body. This includes the elderly who are too weak to exercise or those who are confined to a wheelchair, making them incapable of normal bodily movements. Regardless of your age or physical shape, the truth is that you probably have the ability to exercise. This doesn't mean people in wheelchairs have to go to the gym, but there are alternative ways to stay in shape when you are limited as to what you can do. In this article, you are going to learn about some useful exercises to keep your body in shape as you age or have limited mobility.
What are the benefits of exercising?
If you are in a wheelchair and feel that exercise is going to be a hassle, it may prevent you from going out of your way to do it. Learning about the benefits of exercise is a great way to motivate yourself::

  • ●  Less muscle/joint pain
  • ●  Prevention of injury
  • ●  Increase muscle mass
  • ●  Increased range of motion
  • ●  Better heart health

Best exercises for people in wheelchairs and the elderly

Now that you know some of the benefits of exercising and the fact that anyone can do it, it is time to cover some specific applications you can use. Through performing these exercises, you will begin to quickly see results and an overall improvement to your health. Most of these exercises can be done indoors, as heat can become an issue for the elderly and those in a wheelchair.

Swimming is one of the best exercises that an elderly or wheelchair-confined person can useto get in shape. First of all, swimming is very easy on your body. Unlike weightlifting and running, swimming does not put any stress or overbearing weight on your joints and ligaments. This is good for those who are older or disabled because it prevents further injury. Another great part about swimming is that it can be used to strengthen muscles across the entire body. In the water, you can strengthen your upper and lower body using specific workout variations. Using a kickboard, you can isolate the exercise to your legs and lower body. If you are unable to use your legs and are in a wheelchair because of it, you can still exercise in the water. Many public pools have a special chair designed for assisting persons with disability into the water. Even if you can't use your legs, you can still exercise your upper body underwater by swimming laps or simply moving your arms around in various motions. All in all, it is safe to say that swimming should be included in your exercise routine.

Dumbell Work The elderly and particularly confined to a wheelchair can greatly benefit from using dumbbells. There are many different ways you can strengthen your muscles and exercise using only dumbbells. Assuming you are in a wheelchair, here are some various exercises you can do with dumbbells:

Sitting down in your chair, you can begin by picking up a dumbbell in each hand. From here, you can curl the dumbbell using your bicep muscles. Your biceps are the muscles between your elbow and shoulder on the top when your palm is facing the ceiling. In the starting position, your arms should be at your sides hanging down toward the ground. To curl, bring your hand up toward your shoulder without moving anything above your elbow. Return to the starting position and repeat. This exercise will help to tone your arms.

Tricep extensions
Now that you have toned your biceps, it is time to tone your triceps. Your triceps make up a larger portion of your arms than your biceps do, so it is even more important to exercise them. For those who are unaware, your triceps are the muscles on the back of your arm, opposite of your biceps. This is the muscle that people use when lifting themselves out of a wheelchair, which is another reason you should strengthen them. Holding a dumbbell, position your arm straight up in the air. Next, allow the weight to bend your arm back, but be sure not to move anything above your elbows. When the weight is at the bottom, force it back up to the starting position using your tricep muscles. Repeat this process until you feel a slight burn in the back of your arms.

Shoulder press
A shoulder press is another great way to exercise in your wheelchair using dumbbells. To perform this variation, take the dumbbells in your hands and push your hands straight up into the air using the muscles in your shoulders. Next, come down until your triceps are parallel with the ground and then push the weights back up. In doing shoulder exercises, you are going to tone your shoulders. Building muscle in the
shoulders is especially important for the elderly as shoulder pain is commonly associated with old age.

Calf raises
If you are able to physically move your legs, calf raises are a simple and effective way to strengthen your calf muscles. Your calves are the back part of your legs between your feet and knees. These muscles are very important when walking, and strengthening them could improve your ability to do so. To strengthen your calves using dumbbells, there are two different variations you can use. For beginners, start by sitting in your wheelchair or in a regular chair. With your feet firmly planted on the ground, rest the dumbbells on your thighs. Next, do a toe raise like you would if you were trying to make yourself taller. You will have to repeat this quite a few times before you feel a burn, but continue to do so until you feel you have effectively worked your calf muscles.
For those who feel they are capable of doing so, there is another way to perform calf raises. In this variation, you will stand up and hold a dumbbell in each hand. With your hands resting to the side, raise up on your toes just like before. Squeezing the calf muscles when you are at the top of the exercise will further strengthen these muscles.
Other Workouts
Even if you are in a wheelchair, that does not limit you to swimming and dumbbell exercises. There are many other ways you can tone various parts of your body.

Your abdominal muscles are located in the area of your belly and are responsible for things like balance and agility. Strengthening these muscles also reduces harmful belly fat. If you want to strengthen your abdominal muscles while sitting in your wheelchair, you can do so fairly easily. One way is by using a side-to-side bend. Sitting up straight, begin by leaning the upper portion of your body to one side, and then bring it back to the center. After that, lean to the other side and return to the starting position again. While you are performing this exercise, your stomach muscles should be clenched and tight. Exaggerate the use of the muscles in your side while you are performing this variation so that you get the best results.
Another way to strengthen your abdominal muscles when you are sitting in your wheelchair is to use upward leg movements. Begin by holding onto the armrests on your wheelchair and sit up straight. For beginners, bend your knees and attempt to bring them to your chest using the abdominal muscles. Put your legs back down and
repeat. After you get a little bit better at this, you can try to put your legs straight out and raise them up in the air. This is a bit more challenging, so be sure to take it easy.

Cardiovascular exercise targets the heart. Essentially, you are getting cardiovascular exercise any time you are causing your heart rate to elevate and stay at that rate for an extended period of time. Most people get cardiovascular exercise from walking, but those in wheelchairs need to get this type of exercise some other way. If you do not exercise your heart, you will feel out of breath quickly and your heart health can decline over time.
There are many different ways to get cardiovascular exercise while you are in a wheelchair. The key is to use your muscles in a way requires a lot of blood and oxygen. This way, your heart will race and your breathing rate will increase, providing oxygen and blood to these muscles. Start by moving your arms around in controlled motions. This can be anything from jogging in place to doing circles with your arms. Continue to move like this until you notice your rate of breathing has increased. Once this occurs, you are getting cardiovascular exercise. Try to keep yourself moving and keep your heart rate up for around 10 minutes. This way, you are getting ample amounts of cardio.

Wheelchair Yoga
Yoga is another great way to exercise your body and should definitely be included in your exercise regimen. Yoga from your wheelchair can greatly contribute to positive benefits in your life:
  • ●  Increased well-being (mentally and physically)
  • ●  Increased lung capacity
  • ●  Increased muscle strength
  • ●  Mental clarity
  • ●  Better sleep
If one or more of these benefits sound appealing to you, consider trying yoga. Guided yoga is the best way to have a good experience, as there are many options to choose from. A simple online search for wheelchair yoga will give you tons of choices and guided videos. Follow these along with your exercises, and you should see results.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Benefits of a Companion Animal

The Importance of Companion Animals 

Most people have spent their lives around animals. They can be marvelous companions and have incredible personalities, and we’re sure you’re aware of how helpful a pet can be if you have ever had an animal as a companion. These little companions are always excited when you are and always seem to know when you are feeling down. They can also be a lot of fun when you decide to go hiking or take a walk. We can only imagine what it must feel like to visit the doctor and have him or her prescribe a companion animal. This happens often for the elderly, as sometimes the doctor feels a furry friend is the perfect solution to certain conditions. Having your own furry companion has psychological benefits like increased activity and decreased anxiety and can have an extremely positive impact on your overall health. An emotional support animal has many wonderful benefits. 

The Impact on Physical Health 

Activity is necessary no matter your age. A dog can encourage you to leave your home more often and move around. A recently published survey regarding elderly persons with companion animals showed 71 percent of participants said that when they are not feeling well physically, they feel better because of their pets. Another study, which focused on survivors of a recent heart incident, revealed the survival rates for coronary disease are higher due to animal companionship. The individuals with pets had a mortality rate a third lower than the people without an animal for companionship. The study stated heart disease takes the lives of one million people every year. This means a service animal for the elderly has the potential to save 30,000 lives every year. 

Studies have also shown that individuals living with an animal have lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure than those living without. After questioning 100 patients with Medicare, researchers found that those with an animal friend used less medicine, went to the doctor 21 percent less and recovered from illnesses and surgery faster than people without a special pet. That’s HUGE savings over a lifetime! Individuals in new nursing homes in Texas, Missouri, and New York saw their medication costs decrease from $3.80 daily to $1.80 each day because the facilities made animals an important part of the living environment. This means money and lives are saved by pets all the time, and a pet could save your life as well. 

The Impact on Mental Health 

From what we have seen, the emotional and mental benefits of having a pet may be even more obvious than the physical. One of the main psychological benefits a service animal provides is helping to eliminate loneliness. When a person lives with a companion animal, he or she never has to spend time alone. A study was conducted and determined that seniors with a pet have far fewer symptoms from psychological and physical diseases and require less medication than people living alone. 

Pets have been proven to reduce depression, as this often occurs due to loneliness. Numerous senior pet owners have stated that without the companionship of a pet such as an emotional support dog, their lives were exceptionally lonely and barren. Even the few downsides to pet ownership do not come close to the many benefits. A psychologist in New York who regularly brings her dog, a beautiful golden retriever named Sadie, to the office states she’s seen Sadie help her patients with their emotional state and memory recall. 

The Most Important Aspects of Adopting an Animal for the Elderly 

There are important considerations involved when adopting a pet for yourself, an elderly relative or a friend. The first should be the mobility of the proposed owner. It is important to know if the person can be active and leave his or her home or if there are limits to daily activities. A dog may be the perfect companion for some, while others will enjoy snuggling with a cat in bed or on the sofa. Another important concern is the age of the potential pet. Many people slow down as they age, so a senior cat or dog could be the perfect companion. There are programs focused on helping families or individuals find the right senior animal to adopt. Regardless of age, every pet owner should take the time to establish a contingency plan in case their pet requires care. One of the best recommendations we’ve heard is for the individual to keep a card on their person, in their home and in their vehicle with specific information regarding the pet. This includes the name, description, medications it might need, where the pet enjoys hiding, emergency contact information and information for the vet. 

Dog Companions 

Dogs make marvelous companions and offer relief for numerous health concerns faced by seniors. Whether you’re living on your own or in an assisted facility, and whether you’re facing physical or mental challenges, your living conditions can potentially lead to loneliness and exile. Dogs are charming, affectionate, eager and playful, and they adapt easily. The relationship between a senior and his or her dog is special. A companion dog will provide necessary companionship, love and friendship and can even be trained to complete tasks to assist the owner. 

Cat Companions 

We have always found cats to be helpful creatures. They are excellent companions for seniors with limited mobility. They are independent, people oriented and entertaining to watch, and they enjoy playing. Both male and female cats tend to be affectionate and provide a lot of adoration. They also have a lot of curiosity regarding their surroundings and love climbing onto their person’s lap to receive both affection and time. 

Bird Companions 

We adore little birds like canaries and zebra finches; they’re both colorful and sweet. They also make excellent companions for seniors living on their own who want a little more noise in the house. Their chirps are soothing and pleasing to listen to. We can imagine relaxing on the sofa and watching them play in their cages. Birds provide seniors with the ability to teach, talk to and nurture little friends. 

Fish Companions 

Fish, with their beautiful colors and smooth swimming motions, help seniors relax. Fish are an excellent pet to help relieve stress, which is accomplished just by watching them swim around an aquarium or a fishbowl. This is why so many hospitals and offices make certain they provide an aquarium in their waiting rooms. The fish are simply soothing. 

There are always considerations to address when bringing a new animal into a home. Examples include keeping the food bowl for the animal within easy reach and reliable transportation to the vet for anyone who does not drive. A companion animal offers incredible benefits regardless of which stage of life you’re in. When a senior has a sweet animal as a companion, he or she is generally both healthier and happier. Animals are amazingly capable of providing all the love, companionship and attention anyone could ever want. We like to think we help our animals as much as they help us. We think the question here is who exactly is rescuing who?

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

5 Summer Safety Tips for the Elderly

Summertime is finally here! Putting the happy times and sunshine aside- you know what that means? It means that the extreme heat weather and sun can pose a risk to your health, especially to elders. There are many different ways that summer heat can negatively affect our bodies and cause it to have reactions such as dizziness, headaches, fainting, dehydration and much more.

Here are 5 summer safety tips to help you enjoy summer to the fullest:

Stay hydrated. 

With the soaring heat temperatures, our bodies naturally tend to lose more fluid through sweat and perspiration. This means that we have to keep our bodies hydrated even more than the usual and not wait until we are feeling thirsty to drink from a water bottle. We should be hydrating our body constantly. 

Drinking the amount of water your body needs throughout the day as well as eating foods that carry a lot of water, such as strawberries and watermelon, are great ways to keep yourself hydrated. If you have a headache, dry mouth or start to feel constipated then these are good indicators that you probably need to step up your hydration game. 

Another good way to measure your hydration level is by monitoring the color of your urine - pale urine usually indicates a good level of hydration whereas darker urine typically means that your body needs more fluids.

Protect your skin. 

You can get your daily dose of Vitamin D and be safe about it too. Experts state that sunbathing and tanning can have a lot of benefits if it’s done moderately and safely. Too much exposure to the sunlight can not only put one at risk for cancer but also cause premature aging of the skin.  

Applying  sunscreen is an excellent way to protect your skin against the sun’s ultraviolet radiation. When it comes to using sunscreen lotion versus spray, experts tend to recommend the former. Even though both might contain the same ingredients, lotions tend to be slightly more hydrating and reduce the chance of streaks. According to OSHA, using an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 blocks will block away 93% of UV rays. Also, keep in mind that you have to apply sun protector lotion at least 15-30 min prior to your outing. 

Wear the right clothing.

Tackle the summer heat safely by wearing the appropriate clothing and accessories. When choosing what tops to wear, experts suggest to wear clothing that is tightly-woven in order to block out as much light as possible. A good way to test this out is by sliding your hand behind the fabric and if you are able to see your hand through it then this means that the attire probably offers little to no protection. 

A very cliche yet must-have accessory for the summer is a pair of sunglasses. The sun’s UV rays can not only affect the skin but also your eyes. If you are going to wear sunglasses, make sure they contain protection for both UVA and UVB rays. 

Another great accessory to carry with you at all times is a hat. Instead of using a regular baseball cap, go for a wide-brim hat in order to provide more protection and care for your neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose and scalp. 

Apply bug spray. 

“There’s a bug spray out there for everyone,” said dermatologist Marie Leger, M.D. Nothing is more inviting to mosquitos, insects and bugs than the summer time. Enjoy spending time outdoors this summer without having to worry about mosquitoes preying on you by applying bug spray or lotion. 

According to experts, most spray repellents tend to work better than lotion repellents because they can last longer and be easier to apply. In addition, with a single spray, you can probably protect yourself as well as the surrounding area around you. If you don’t like the chemicals that a generic brand of insect repellent might carry, there are always natural options you can try such as lemon eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and more.

Be cautious about outdoor time.

Spending time outdoors during the summer is almost unavoidable. However, there are definitely times during the day that you could avoid being outside. Experts recommend to avoid spending time outdoors during the sun’s peak hours, which are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. standard time or 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. daylight savings time. Planning activities in the early morning or late afternoon can help reduce exposure to the sun’s UV light by almost 60%. A good way to determine if the sun’s UV light is going to be intense is by monitoring your local and daily UV index forecasts. 

We would love to hear from you! Please let us know in the comments below if you have other tips about how to stay safe from the scorching heat during the summer time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

6 Instagrammers with Disabilities You Should Be Following

Sure - there are plenty of times when using social media, particularly Instagram, can be emotionally bad for you. Spending too much time browsing at perfected and manufactured Instagram accounts can definitely hurt anybody’s ego. However, there are also times when social media can help you work through a negative or painful situation in life - at the very least to distract you from whatever problems you are facing in life or give you that little extra kick of inspiration that you need to pull through the week.

With that said, here are 6 Instagrammers with disabilities you should be following:

The Wheelchair Explorer -

If you’ve been wanderlusting or simply needing a bit of inspiration for your next travel then @thewheelchairexplorer is the perfect account to check out! The creator of this account definitely takes you on a journey with him via every single post.

Gem Turner -

Nothing will inspire you more than glancing over at @gem_turner. They say positivity is contagious and we can definitely attest to that with her content! Her positive approach to daily living will make your heart smile. 

Max Gretschmann -

For all the fitness and outdoor enthusiasts out there, @maxgretschmann is just the account for you! Glancing at his content will definitely make you want to get out of your apartment and go for an adventure. He really proves that anything is possible when you set your mind to it. 

Leonie - 

@arollinggirlsworld is definitely the profile you want to check out to get your daily dose of wanderlust. If you’re like us and never not thinking about pretty places then this account will surely give you life.

Sophie Bradbury-Cox -

Perfect for that daily dose of inspiration, @fashionbellee displays content from everyday lifestyle and living to food to fashion and more. This happy and vibrant content is sure to bring a smile to your face on any day. 

From Sarah Alex - 

Get your fix of inspiration for all things pretty from @fromsarahlex! Her account definitely proves that nothing is truly ordinary and that every moment can be transformed into art.

Hopefully these Instagram accounts gave you as much life as they gave us. Glancing at positive and heart-warming Instagram accounts like these are sure to transform any bad day into a better one. We would love to hear from you! Please let us know in the comments below if you have any Instagram accounts that truly inspire and motivate you.