HOTFLASHES | July 2024

Benefits of Swimming

It is definitely the time of year to be in the pool, but if the heat has you struggling to stick with exercise, the pool can also offer a great workout. In today’s article, we’ll go over some of the top health benefits of swimming (as if you needed another reason for a cool dip in the pool).

  • It works your whole body. Lots of exercises work specific areas of your body, such as your legs in cycling or running, but swimming works your whole body. Whatever stroke you choose to use to swim, you’re working many different muscle groups. Swimming is also a great workout for both your lungs and your heart, helping make them both strong.
  • Swimming is low impact. Something that draws a lot of people to swimming is how low impact it is. While other exercises can be hard on your joints, swimming does not put the same sort of stress on your joints. It can be a great option for people with arthritis, injuries, disabilities, or other issues that make higher impact exercises harder or not possible.
  • It burns lots of calories. Compared to other exercises like yoga, walking, and the elliptical, swimming burns more calories per hour. If you are exercising to lose weight, this is an important consideration.
  • Swimming boosts your mood and lowers stress. Not only is swimming good for your physical health, it can also be really beneficial for your mental health as well. And while exercise has long been known to help your mood and stress levels, studies with swimming and aquatic workouts specifically have been very promising in this area as well.
  • It is fairly affordable. While having your own pool can be a lot of time and money, swimming can be fairly affordable when using public pools in your area. It requires no equipment, and even for pools that charge a fee, the fee is usually small.

Protecting Yourself from the Sun

The sun is certainly out in full force this time of year, and that means it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from the sun. In this article, we’ll go over the best ways to protect yourself from the sun effectively to minimize sun burn and long-term sun damage. These tips are great for people of all ages, including and especially children.

  • Wear sunscreen.  It sounds so simple, but wearing sunscreen is such a great tip for protecting yourself and others from the sun. When using sunscreen, make sure you choose one that’s 30+ SPF, broad spectrum, water resistant, and in date (that one from a few summers ago probably won’t cut it anymore). It doesn’t just stop at putting sunscreen on though. Letting the sunscreen dry before getting in the water and reapplying often is also very important. If you’re worried about age spots on your face, try choosing makeup or other skincare products with built in SPF.
  • Protect your skin with clothing. No sunscreen can protect you from the sun completely, so making sure you’re wearing protective clothing in addition to wearing sunscreen is key. We know it’s hot outside, but covering up your skin, when and wherever possible is an important step in protecting yourself from the sun. You might not wear long sleeves and pants to walk to your car in the mornings, but choosing the right swimming, fishing, lawn care, or exercise gear for long periods of time outside is important.
  • Wear sunglasses. It’s not just your skin that needs sun protection. Your eyes are at risk of developing certain diseases after long exposure to the sun. When choosing your sunglasses, you want to look for ones that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays. Just because lenses are darker does not mean they are better.
  • Don’t forget a hat. Wearing a wide brim hat when you’re spending lots of time outside is the last step in ensuring adequate and effective sun protection. Hats are great because they can help protect your eyes as well as your ears, forehead, nose and scalp.


No-Churn Watermelon Ice Cream



  • 3 cups cubed watermelon, any seeds removed, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • Chopped fresh mint for garnish (optional)


  1. Place a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan in the freezer.
  2. Puree watermelon in a food processor or blender until smooth (you should have about 2½ cups).
  3. Combine 2¼ cups of the watermelon puree, lemon juice and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whip cream until it forms stiff peaks. Drizzle in the remaining ¼ cup watermelon puree and continue to whip until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Fold sweetened condensed milk into the whipped cream until incorporated.
  5. Pour half the whipped cream mixture into the loaf pan, then drizzle half the watermelon reduction in a figure-eight pattern over the top. Top with the remaining whipped cream mixture and drizzle the remaining watermelon reduction in figure-eight pattern over the top.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and gently press down so it lies on the surface. Freeze until solid, at least 6 hours and up to 1 week. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing. Garnish with more chopped watermelon and mint, if desired.