It’s summer. The season that is between spring and fall, the hottest part of the year, the best season, the worst season. However you want to describe it, we all have a common thought in mind and that’s STAYING COOL.
As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors in the summer, teaching FIT4MOM Fruita classes and playing in our beautiful state, keeping my kids, my participants, their kids and myself cool is always at the front of my mind. Strollers and infant carriers can be especially hot for our little ones so I’m here to help give you some ideas on staying cool until fall.
Hot and Cold Gel packs: A frozen gel pack wrapped in a dish towel makes a wonderful climate control backrest for your little one. It’s squishy so it is not uncomfortable to lean against and because it is frozen it will keep baby nice and cool without being too cold. You can make your own by combing a few simple ingredients that most of us have around the house.
What you need:
- 1 quart or 1 gallon plastic freezer bags (depending on how large you want the cold pack)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup rubbing alcohol
- Fill the plastic freezer bag with 1 cup of rubbing alcohol and 2 cups of water.
- Try to get as much air out of the freezer bag before sealing it shut.
- Place the bag and its contents inside a second freezer bag to contain any leakage.
- Leave the bag in the freezer for at least an hour.
- When it's ready, place a towel between the gel pack and bare skin to avoid burning the skin.
An alternative filler is simply to use dish soap, which has a gel-like consistency and will also freeze/retain the cold.
Frozen water bottle: Fill a water bottle ¾ of the way and then freeze it while it is partially on its side. Make sure it is on an angle and that the cap end is not totally covered with water. Right before going out, fill the remaining space with cold tap water. Your water will remain cold for the duration of class.
Ice Towels: Wet a washcloth or dish towel, fold it and place it in the freezer. Before leaving the house, fill a ziplock with ice cubes and place your frozen towel inside. You can reach for your frozen towel as needed for a cool down, then simply place it back in the ziplock to keep it cold.
Clip on or misting fan: You can find a reasonably priced clip on fan to provide a breeze for your little one. Some even have a misting option. They can be found at Wal-Mart for as little as $5.00 or online for around $15.00.
Frozen Ice Pack: Keep a frozen ice pack in your diaper bag to keep treats and snacks cool. Make sure to pack plenty of water and cool snacks such as frozen fruit to enjoy.
Sunscreen for both parents and kids is also a key component to enjoying the outdoors in the summer. Selecting a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above and ingredients such as titanium dioxide is a good choice. You can also look into clothing that provides a UPF rating. Some of my favorite brands are:
SUNday Afternoons (www.sundayafternoons.com) – a great source for quality hats, shirts, blankets, shorts, and more for the whole family.
Graced by Grit (www.gracedbygrit.com) – beautiful athletic and athleisure clothing for women. Each piece includes a UPF rating of 50+ and your first order comes with a safety whistle.
The bottom line is YOU CAN BEAT THE HEAT. Don’t let the weather keep you from enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer. Be safe, plan ahead and cover up. Have a great rest of your summer!
Here are some ideas for cardiovascular exercise that you can do while you’re out and about:
Stroller walk - Let’s do some interval training. Walk for 30 seconds as hard and fast as you can, then recover by slowing your pace a little for 30 seconds. If you have an older child, get them involved!
Lunge walking - Lunge walk by taking really long strides and lowering your upper body down until your front thigh is almost parallel to the ground. Your front knee should not go farther forward than your toes. Lower your body slowly and squeeze your thighs and glutes as you come back up. Repeat on the other side. Push the stroller ahead of you when you lunge to get the added benefit of a chest press.