How to Enjoy the Sun and Outdoors Safely this Summer
Getting outside offers so many benefits for both your physical and mental health; you can participate in physical activities, get some Vitamin D, and reduce...
Getting outside offers so many benefits for both your physical and mental health; you can participate in physical activities, get some Vitamin D, and reduce your stress. And what better time of year to spend time in the great outdoors than summer.
However, spending a lot of time outside, especially in the sun, comes with health risks–including skin cancer–so it is important to learn how to keep yourself safe when hitting the pool or heading to the beach.
To help your body produce enough Vitamin D, you should spend 10-20 minutes in the sun several times a week without protection. After that, you should avoid intense sun exposure by opting to sit in the shade or under an umbrella when outdoors or putting on sunscreen.
Many sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that could potentially cause cancer, or disrupt your hormones. Read the labels carefully before purchasing; you want to pick a broad-spectrum, mineral-sunscreen.
Apply Sunscreen Properly
Experts suggest that you apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before sun exposure in order to create the protective barrier. Apply it liberally and evenly on clean/dry skin.
You should also take care to apply it to the easily overlooked areas like your hairline, ears and feet. Choose a lip balm with SPF to protect your lips from the sun as well.
Wear a Smart Summer Style
Try to wear lightweight and long-sleeved clothing when you can to help protect your skin from sun damage. A wide-brimmed hat will also help protect your face and neck from the sun’s hot rays.
Sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection are the most efficient in protecting your eyesight from harmful UV light and will help you avoid developing cataracts.
Many of your favorite summer foods can help protect your skin from sun damage. Add some extra servings of blueberries, watermelon, tomatoes, leafy greens, and nuts and seeds to your diet as they act, in a sense, as a natural sunblock1
You can even mix them up into nutritious smoothies to help beat the heat.
Standard rule for drinking enough water is to drink about 8 glasses a day but staying hydrated is more than just drinking a lot of water. Electrolytes are key to staying healthy and hydrated.
Minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium affect the amount of water your body retains so keeping these minerals in balance is necessary to your health, especially in the hot summer months.
Avoid excessive consumption of carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, or alcohol. Coconut water can help replenish electrolytes and is a healthy alternative to sport drinks.
Watch Out for Bugs
Sun’s out, bugs out! With the warmer temperatures comes a large variety of pests that can put a damper on your summer fun. Especially because many insects can spread diseases.
Remove any standing water and tidy your yard to eliminate places where some harmful and annoying bugs like to breed. Make sure your window screens are secure to keep them out of your house.
Use a natural bug repellent to keep away mosquitos and check yourself for ticks before coming indoors.
You have so many opportunities to stay active during the summer, particularly outside. However, high temperatures can make exercising outside a bit risky.
Avoid intense workouts outdoors on days when the temperature is mid-90s or above. Exercise from the comfort of your own home or at least, avoid exercising in the middle of the day when the sun is the hottest.