Health and Beauty

Fresh air is essential for mental and physical well-being. However, Americans on average spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Here are some great tech tools that can help you incorporate more outdoor hobbies into your life, as well as reimagine traditionally indoor activities:

• Work al fresco: Still working remotely? A few adjustments can allow you to take your labors out of the house. Whether you’re on your own patio or enjoying a coffee shop’s sidewalk tables, be sure to sit in the shade, or use an antiglare screen or screen filter for your laptop. Avoid ergonomic woes by using a table and chair of approximate height to your regular indoor setup.



• Play music anywhere: Whether you’re a budding musician or a seasoned virtuoso, consider portable instruments that you can take with you everywhere you go. For example, the lightweight 9-pound design of the CT-S1 keyboard from Casio is powered with six AA batteries and features strap pins that make it a go-anywhere piano. Powerful and versatile, it’s a great choice for practice and performance alike.

• Make a picnic lunch: There’s nothing more pleasant than a picnic lunch, that is until the bugs get wind of the party. While bug spray most certainly works, you can forgo the spritz -- and the DEET -- by using a portable, battery-operated, bug repellent device instead.

• Go fishing: New wearable tech can transform your fishing hobby, offering you all the right tools you need for a successful trip. The Pro Trek line of watches from Casio equip you with sensor technology that can help guide you to your destination with a built-in compass, reach new heights with an altimeter, and show you where the fish are biting with A FISH IN TIME feature. Fish icons indicate catch probability throughout the day and a new alarm feature automatically counts down the time remaining until the next good catch period.

Thanks to new tools and gadgets, spending time outdoors is easier and more comfortable, and convenient than ever before.


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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Serhii Sobolevskyi / iStock via Getty Images Plus

MSU News Service

06/25/2021 Contact: Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


BOZEMAN — Montana State University Extension has updated its MontGuide “Montana Medical Care Savings Accounts (MSAs) for the 2021 Tax Year.” The revised guide is available at, and paper copies are available from county or reservation Extension offices.

A medical care savings account is an account used to reduce the cost of saving for medical expenses and long-term health care. According to Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist, an MSA offers individuals several benefits, including a reduction in state income taxes.

For example, if a person has taxable income over $18,400, they could save approximately $276 in state income taxes by opening an MSA and depositing up to $4,000. The MSA earns interest-free from Montana income taxation and the balance at the end of the year rolls over for use in the future.

Goetting added that an MSA can also be passed to others after death. By placing a payable-on-death (POD) designation on the account, individuals can provide a legacy for spouses, children, or grandchildren to use on their medical expenses. There are also no inheritance taxes on MSAs, and as long as an individual’s estate is valued at less than $11.7 million, there is no federal tax either.

“Without a POD beneficiary, the money passes to your heirs according to your written will,” said Goetting. “If you do not have a written will, the MSA passes by Montana law to your heirs with priority given to a spouse. Either way, a legacy is provided. If you do not have heirs, you could name your favorite nonprofit as the POD beneficiary.” 

Although the maximum amount used to reduce a Montanan’s taxable income annually is $4,000, Goetting said a person can also put less than $4,000 in an MSA. The amount used to reduce income for Montana residents is the total deposit in the MSA during the tax year, not the amount withdrawn for eligible medical care expenses during the year.

Eligible expenses include medical insurance premiums; prescription drugs; medical, dental, and nursing home care; eyeglasses; crutches; and transportation for medical care.

“Montana considers eligible medical care expenses as any items the IRS accepts,” Goetting said. IRS publication 502 provides a detailed list of eligible expenses and can be found at 

All resident taxpayers are eligible to establish an MSA, even if they have another health care plan provided by their employer, a Section 125 Flexible Spending Account or a Federal Health Savings Account. A taxpayer does not have to be in a high deductible health insurance plan to be eligible for the MSA.


Summer Skin Protection -- Inside and Outside

Many people prioritize skin protection when spending time outdoors, but skin damage from UV rays and free radicals can occur inside too. Consider these tips and insights this summer:

Indoor and Outdoor Hazards

If you’re already taking measures to protect skin while outdoors, that’s great. The sun is responsible for up to 90% of visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But you don’t have to be at the pool or beach to be susceptible to sun damage. Whether you’re driving your car or you’re inside your home, it’s important to keep in mind that your skin can be exposed to free radicals from the sun’s rays through windows. What’s more, blue light from digital screens -- ubiquitous these days -- can also be harmful to the skin. Additionally, damaging free radicals can be generated by pollution, certain foods, like those with a high glycemic index, and red meat, exercise, alcohol, and more.

Topical Care

Be sure to apply a topical SPF daily to your face and body. Keep in mind that some fabrics don’t offer complete protection, so wearing sunscreen even on areas of skin that are not directly exposed to sunlight is a good idea. You can offer additional protection to sensitive areas like your scalp by wearing a hat. And of course, take good care of your eyes with sunglasses featuring UV blocking.

Double Up

Ultimate skin health comes from a combination of defensive layers. Double down on your skin’s health from the inside out with a daily supplement, such as Heliocare Daily Use Antioxidant Formula. Eighty-seven percent of U.S. dermatologists recommend taking Heliocare to help protect skin from free radicals, like those produced by the sun’s UV rays. Dermatologist-recommended, this natural, the dietary supplement contains 240 milligrams of a powerful antioxidant formula derived from the extract of Polypodium leucotomos (PLE), a tropical fern native to Central and South America that’s been used for centuries as a remedy for skin-related conditions. Unlike other skincare supplements that contain PLE, Heliocare has a clinically-established, proprietary antioxidant formula, Fernblock PLE Technology, which aids in eliminating free radicals in the body.

“Ultimately, no one is immune to skin damage. Taking a supplement like Heliocare each day is an excellent precaution to help your body protect itself from the damaging effects of free radicals,” says New York-based dermatologist, Rachel Nazarian, MD. “By neutralizing the outcome of these harmful atoms, it can help to promote a healthy appearance of skin.”

To learn more and to access additional skincare information, visit

To help keep skin healthy and radiant, avoid free radical damage in the first place, and prioritize a comprehensive skincare routine, even when indoors!


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PHOTO SOURCE: (c) RossHelen / iStock via Getty Images Plus

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