In the US, nothing says summer is here like the 4th of July celebration!
Here on the lake, people begin setting off firecrackers two weeks before, and most years, they continue until Labor Day! Not sure why, since we have our own professional display every year.
Every year the property owner’s association collects money to pay for professional fireworks which are launched from the state park beach, out over the water. Every year they get better and better; last year, they were more spectacular than Disneyland! The fish and game officer is always out in his boat, making sure that none of the boaters come anywhere near where they shoot off the fireworks, so it’s quite safe, and truly enjoyable for those of us who love them.
Some dogs and some people with PTSD, are bothered by the sound of fireworks, however.
Thankfully, modern technology allows humans to use noise cancelling headphones to protect ourselves from the loud bangs. Many dog trainers recommend shutting windows and doors, and then keeping sensitive pets occupied with a treat ball or something similar.
And, speaking of boating… Kayaking has become very popular lately; some days, there are almost as many kayakers out on the lake as boaters!
We love kayaking, too. Just last week we were in Connecticut, on a lake we’d never kayaked on. This particular lake does not allow motor boats, so it’s quite pristine. It was such fun watching all the little frogs and toads skittering through the mud and seaweed in the shallow end of the lake. We were hoping to see the moose that lives on the lake, but he decided not make an appearance that day. As we paddled along, many fish jumped out of the water to catch bugs, and we even saw what I think was a mallard duck hybrid. Apparently, there are quite a few of them in New England! And Mountain Laurel was in full bloom everywhere! Stunning scenery appeared in every direction; sorry I didn’t get a photo. I don’t take my phone with me out on the water because getting it wet is about the worst thing for cell phones. :0
If you’ve never kayaked, I highly recommend giving it a try. Take a lesson first so that you know the best way to get in and out, and you can learn a technique for paddling that works for you. Paddling is good exercise for much more than arms and shoulders, and even gets your heart rate up, depending on how hard you paddle!
“Since kayaking utilizes the core muscles, you can enjoy the benefits of an ab workout far from the confines of a sweaty gym,” according to Brad Bostrom, REI Outdoor Programs and North Bay Area Outreach Market Manager. When you learn proper technique, you end up using ab muscles, leg muscles, back and shoulders, as well as all of the muscles that rotate your torso. Wicked cool! AND, best of all, you’re out in nature, which can reduce stress hormones. And paying attention to, and enjoying the water and wildlife around you releases endorphins (feel good hormones). If it’s a sunny day, you also get the benefit of making Vitamin D!
Paddling your kayak is great exercise and fun to do, so, get out there and enjoy Mother Nature this July 4th week!
Kayaking can be hard on your shoulders, especially for beginners, so today I’ve included one of my favorite exercises for relieving that pain and stiffness in your shoulders.
Best of Health,