At this time of year, there isn’t a self respecting country style inn that doesn’t greet you with a row of rocking chairs on the porch. Their presences alone tells you it’s time to sit back and relax. What better way to celebrate “take a break Wednesday” then sitting in a rocking chair and sipping a cool drink. As I type this, I’ve been watching the temperature outside my window rising to 100.
Rocking chairs have been popular since the early days of the colonies and today, you’ll find rocking chairs in every hospital nursery and maternity unit. I’ve been to many a baby shower where the mother to be is given a rocking chair. I know that I’m not alone in being sentimental about the one I used while nursing my babies.
It turns out there are all sorts of health benefits, beyond soothing a crying baby and helping a nursing mother relax, to rocking. It’s been found to improve psychological well-being of nursing home residents with severe forms of dementia; in seniors it decreased need for anxiety and depression medication; it can increase balance and muscle tone; and the Arthritis Foundation recommends watching TV or reading while sitting in a rocking chair. My favorite study so far, from the Medical College of Virginia , showed that “kinetic therapy-“ the constant, gentle motion of a rocking chair-can dramatically increase healing in severely ill patients. Rocking ChairTherapy
So today, take a break, and rock for a while. Don’t have a rocker? What about a glider, porch swing or hammock? Maybe today is the day to think about getting one-checking out local thrift stores, consignment shops etc. Don’t overlook attics-yours or someone else’s. Sadly, rocking chairs, apart from a nursery, are not considered fashionable in today’s decorating scheme, so the upside is that one may already be stashed away waiting for you to reclaim it.
There are plenty of cool and refreshing beverages to help you relax while you rock away. Consider some of the following:
• Ice Tea Lemonade: Supposedly Arnold Palmer made this a very popular drink. In a tall glass fill half way with lemonade. Next add equal parts basic ice tea. Sweeten to taste. A few ice cubes and your all set.
• Juice seltzer: Pour seltzer into a glass with ice cubes. Add juice of your choice and enjoy.
• For other ideas, check out Cool DrinkRecipes for a Hot Day