Dog Days of Summer (08/08/07)

Dear Zelda,

I've got just four weeks to get in shape for a huge summer party. We're all getting together at a resort where the dress code is bikinis, bikinis and more bikinis. Some of these people I haven't seen for years, but I want to look even better than how they remember me. Can you share some tips for toning up and looking terrific?

Bikini Babe

Dear Babe,

Say goodbye to margaritas and nachos for the next four weeks, girl, because you're in the army now! Welcome to Zelda's boot camp.

Don't expect eye-popping results in just four weeks but you can buff up your bikini bod. Start by watching your diet. Eat sensibly but keep the calories down. Cut out alcohol, fatty snacks and sweet treats. Put a copy of the party's guest list on your refrigerator. Every time you think of cheating with a few snacks imagine those guests all looking at your bikini body at the party. It will be worth it to resist the temptations in the kitchen.

Get a cardio workout of at least 20 minutes a day. Then focus on your abs and lower body, putting in several sets of lunges, squats, sit ups and crunches every day. After investing a little sweat equity, you'll get your poolside payoff when all eyes are on you.

Zelda

Dear Zelda,

I am a small short-haired dog of indeterminate origin (a pound puppy). I've got a few tiny brown spots but I'm mostly white all over. Every summer I like to lay in the sun, but I turn prematurely pink after a few minutes of exposure. Is there something I can do to avoid canine sunburn?

Please Don't Touch!

Dear Please,

I feel your pain. I learned the hard way. That's why I don't go anywhere in the dog days of summer without my shades and parasol!

Yes, it's true. Just because we're dogs doesn't mean we won't look like lobsters after a day in the sun. Dogs of any sort can get sunburns on their noses and in their ears. But shorthaired white dogs like you, whose tender skin is not fully covered by fur, really fry in the sun. Actually any dog with white fur needs to watch the sun. Pink may be the "in" color this year, but pink skin is painful.

Remember that suntan lotion ad that showed the little dog yanking on the girl's swimsuit? He was saying, "Put some lotion on me, too!" Owners need to share the sunscreen (at least SPF 15) with their dogs, putting it on their noses, ears and short white fur or exposed skin. Then you'll both sleep well at night. I have my own personal preference for a great canine sunscreen lotion. It's called Dr. Schmedley's SPF Screen (SPF 30). You can find it by clicking on http://www.drjyl.com/products.htm. This lotion is also a mosquito and insect repellant and because it smells like almonds, it sooths and calms all at the same time.

Another summer reminder is to always have plenty of cool, fresh drinking water available and NEVER stay unattended in a closed car in the heat of the day. On those dog days of summer make sure you stay in the shade.

Zelda

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