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Health & Wellness

Six Things to Do Indoors When It's Too Darn Hot to Do Anything

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When it’s hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement, some might say the only reasonable thing to do is stay indoors. But that doesn’t mean turning into a coach potato until the heat breaks.

Here are six creative ways to keep busy even when temperatures climb into the triple digits.

  1. Do a no-equipment-needed workout. When you can’t make it to the gym, you can still stick to your workout regimen. There are many strength training moves – from planks to wall push-ups – that don’t require any equipment beyond your body weight. And you can do strength exercise like arm curls or elbow extensions with hand-held weights or household items like soup cans or bottles of water. Need a kick start? The National Institute on Aging has instructions and videos on their Go4Life
  2. Practice mindfulness: Instead of breaking a sweat, break into serenity. You’ve probably read about the anti-stress benefits of meditation. If you haven’t given mindfulness a try yet, now is the perfect time. There are tons of free guided meditations online, including eight introductory sessions, which range from 3 to 19 minutes, at UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC).
  3. Listen to a podcast about health and wellness: Entertaining, informative and infinite in variety, podcasts are a great way to stay up to date on health issues, or find the motivation you need to stick to, or set, a new wellness goal. From nutrition and fitness news to guidance on living with diabetes or other challenges, there’s a podcast, ready to be streamed, on the topic of your choice. To get started, choose a source you trust — whether that’s AARP, National Public Radio, your favorite cooking magazine or website — and search their name and “podcast” on the internet. Or simply try searching something like “best nutrition podcasts.”
  4. Clean out your medicine cabinet: It’s been on your to-do list for ages, so why not tackle this task now. You could even ditch those expired medications while listening to a new podcast (see above!). The National Kidney Organization and the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion have tips on how to dispose of those time-to-toss drugs in a safe manner.
  5. Perfect your salad dressing: When it’s too hot to turn on the oven or even the stovetop, a salad makes a perfect meal. With fewer ingredients and additives, a homemade dressing is likely to be healthier than a store-bought one, and tastier, too. Chances are everything you need for a killer vinaigrette is in your pantry. The basic recipe: whisk together oil and vinegar, or an acid like lemon juice, in a ratio of three parts to one. The creativity comes with the elements you add, such as chopped shallots or garlic, fresh or dried herbs, a spoon of Dijon mustard or honey, or both. Experiment, taste, and do it your way!
  6. Host a “coffee talk”:  Invite some friends over for coffee and a chat – make it an iced coffee to beat the heat. Catch up on your latest DVRed show and enjoy  some company.   Prefer afternoon tea?  Get the gang together for some iced tea, a snack and a friendly game of cards.

(Note: If there’s a heat emergency and your home isn’t air conditioned, contact your local community center, police department or library to find the nearest “cooling center.” That’s a public building that opens its doors to the public during heat waves. And be sure to check in on older neighbors to make sure they’re safe.)

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