News | Published June 30, 2020

Tips for a healthy 4th of July

Independence Day celebrations are synonymous with food, family and fun. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered many plans from travel to family gatherings, and of course, firework shows. So this 4th of July, be sure to incorporate physical distancing guidelines into your celebration plans. This includes keeping six feet of distance between you and others, wearing a mask, frequently washing your hands, avoiding large gatherings, and if you or a family member are sick, staying home. 

Here are some additional tips to for a healthy 4th of July.

Practice sun safety. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes. 

  • Do your best to stay out of the sun between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm when rays are most intense. 
  • If you do go out, always wear sunscreen (SPF 30 or above), even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply at least every two hours. 
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible, especially from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm when UV rays are their most intense.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants and wide-brimmed hats to cover and protect your skin.

Eat smart. Holiday celebrations are the perfect time to indulge in your favorite foods, but it is still important to make mostly healthy eating choices. Consider:

  • Using whole wheat buns for your burgers and hotdogs coming off the grill. Whole wheat bread is higher in fiber, vitamins B6 and F, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and chromium than white bread. 
  • Grill lean meats, which are a good source of protein but have lower fat content and fewer calories.
  • Enjoy your food, but eat less with portion control. Use a smaller plate, as research shows people eat less without even noticing it and you can consume almost 50 percent fewer calories.
  • Eat healthiest foods first and consider skipping the chips, crackers and bread. 

Be active. Being physically active will help you burn calories, sit less and will boost your mood. Avoid exercising outside at peak temperatures. Stay hydrated and remember that you can be active without actually exercising. This 4th of July celebrate by getting active:

  • Take a stroll with the family.
  • Go for a hike. There are trails throughout the central Pennsylvania region to give you a green adventure on Independence Day. 
  • Throw an at-home dance party. Put on some tunes, feel the beat, and move your feet to burn calories.