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Summer is a great time to be outside, gather safely, and soak up some vitamin D.  Being outside has been proven to help physical and mental health, whether you’re gardening, going for a walk, or just basking in the sunshine.   Here are some great ways to stay active and fill up your social card this summer:

  • Stay active! 
    Exercise is key to physical and mental health, and summer is the perfect time to start a walking or biking routine – and it’s even better with a friend, whether canine or human!  Whether it’s at a nature preserve, a park, or just around your neighborhood, the combination of fresh air, sunshine, and exercise will ensure you’re feeling your best.

  • Eat fresh!
    Summer is the best time of year for local fruits and vegetables.  Visit your local farmer’s market and pick up the best of the season.  Remember, there are many ways to enjoy your local farmer’s market, for those who qualify:
    • Pick up a WMEC-supplied farmer’s market coupon booklet at your local senior center.
    • Get a $50 produce bag from McKinstry’s Market delivered with your WMEC home-delivered meals. Contact WMEC’s Nutrition department at 413-538-9020 for more information.
    • Use the HIP benefit that comes with SNAP and get money back on your card for up to $80 of produce purchased.

  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
    Dehydration is dangerous, and can happen quicker than you think!  Be sure you have plenty of fluids on hand. The CDC recommends one cup of water every 15-20 minutes during high heat.  This translates to roughly a quart an hour.  You can mix it up with a variety of water flavorings, or add a bit of fruit for a refreshing change of pace!

  • Treat Yourself!
    Make a visit to one of the many local ice cream shops. Take a trip to Herrell’s or Randall’s Farm, stop by Nick’s Nest, or go for a 50’s flair at Cindy’s Drive-In.  No matter your favorite flavor, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination!

  • Relive your childhood!
    Who doesn’t love the Merry-Go-Round at Holyoke Heritage State Park, feeding the baby goats at McCray’s Farm, or strolling through Lupa Zoo?  There’s something about animals – whether painted or furry – that brings out the kid in everyone!

  • Take time to relax!
    The warm summer nights are great for sitting around a backyard fire, the long days perfect for a dip in the pool, and the afternoons are ideal for snooze in a hammock.

It doesn’t matter if you’re hanging around the house or up for a road trip, there’s summer fun waiting for everyone.  Just put on your shades and remember the sunscreen!