10 Ways to Have Your Best Summer Ever
1. Make your own frozen treats
Turn blueberries' powerful antioxidants into a nutritious, lowfat snack. Blend 3 cups fresh blueberries until smooth, add 1 1/2 cups orange juice (or cranberry, papaya or guava juice) and 2 cups plain lowfat yogurt, then pour into bar molds. Add sticks and freeze 4 hours or overnight.
2. Count falling stars
Put problems into perspective by stargazing. All you need are clear night skies, a star atlas and a red flashlight to keep your eyes adjusted to the darkness. For details, go to astronomy.com. And for upcoming astronomical events, including meteor showers, go to space.com.
3. Head for the water
Tone your upper back and shoulders with kayaking, one sport that's doable on just about any kind of water-except maybe your bathtub. You're a novice? Take a class (you'll learn more in a day than you would on your own all summer) or join a paddling club. Go to canoekayak.com for one in your area.
4. Block that sunburn
Get a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB with an SPF of at least 30. AND for formulas you are going to apply to your face, neck, and chest, pick a product that contains antioxidants. "New research proves that antioxidants in sunscreens improve your protection against UVA rays," says Darrell Rigel, MD., a dermatologist in New York City. One we love: Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion for Face/Body SPF 60 ($39; sephora.com)
5. Gather friends for the summer solstice.
The longest day of the year, the summer solstice, falls on Monday, June 21. Europeans call it "midsummer" because it corresponds with the halfway point in the growing season. To celebrate, host a special solstice evening picnic or your own Midsummer Night's Dream costume party.
6. Grill some summer fruits.
For a delicious, lowfat dessert, try grilling your favorite summer fruits. Use chunks of ripe pineapple, halves of slightly under-ripe apricots or freestone peaches. Brush with unsweetened apple juice concentrate, place on grill screen and turn every 10 minutes until lightly browned and tender.
7. Practice yoga with a view.
Take your yoga to the beach or do your asanas on a deck with a view. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, check out yogajournal.com for HOW-TOS. Or read The Great Oom: The Improbable Birth of Yoga in America by Robert Love (Viking Adult, 2010), a biography of Pierre Bernard, the Iowa-born man who brought yoga to America and its surprising history in our nation.<
8. Celebrate your freedom.
Honor the summer holidays the old-fashioned way: Help decorate a veteran's cemetery on Memorial Day, read the Declaration of Independence (aloud!) on the Fourth of July, wave the flag at a small-town parade, or grab a few lawn chairs and friends and go to a local fireworks display.
9. Turn a nearby beach, lakeside or park into an outdoor gym.
Go power-walking, boogie boarding, cycling or mountain biking. Learn in-line skating; to find Rollerblade-endorsed skate schools, go to rollerblade.com or iisa.org to locate certified instructors. Or jog the nearest Parcourse, stopping at each station to build strength and flexibility.
10. Pretend you're 10 again.
Take your inner child out to play with your best friend. Do something you both loved as kids: Chase lightning bugs, build sand castles, ride a roller coaster or just sit under a shade tree and talk.
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