Summertime is a time of year that many people look forward to. The seasons are transitioning, and the days get longer and warmer. There is no better way to spend your summer than enjoying the outdoors.
While spending time outdoors is great, you want to ensure that you’re also taking care of yourself by staying healthy when spending a full day in the sun. A few simple ways can protect your skin, eyes, and overall health while enjoying all those long days outside.
Wear a Hat: A hat is the most important step while spending a day in the sun! Now, wear a hat that fits properly and covers as much of your head as possible when wearing it! In addition, choose clothing with a UPF rating of at least 30 for maximum protection from the sun’s harmful rays [if you’re unsure about which hat to buy, look for one with UPF ratings above 30].
Apply Sunscreen: Using sunscreen is another important step in staying healthy when spending a full day in the sun. However, you don’t want to overdo it on sunscreen. The best way to determine how much sunscreen to use is by applying the amount that would fill a tablespoon [while it may seem like too much, this amount will provide comprehensive protection]. When wearing sunscreen, you should also avoid direct sunlight between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm [summer hours] because this is when UVA rays are most intense. You also want to avoid spending time directly underneath/in front of a UV tanning light [including tanning beds and sun lamps].
Stay Hydrated: Drinking water is another important step to staying healthy when spending a full day in the sun. It’s easy to lose track of how much water you’ve had throughout the day, so to make sure you’re staying hydrated, carry a bottle with you and drink half of it every time you refill it.
Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol consumption lowers your ability to withstand the heat and dehydrates you more quickly. Staying hydrated and staying cold can help you stay healthy when spending a full day in the sun.
Avoid Caffeine: Caffeine acts as a stimulant that increases your heart rate, resulting in your body producing more heat. Dehydration will also occur faster as well.
Wear light-colored clothing: Light colors reflect the sun’s rays and keep you cooler during warm weather activities [unlike darker colors that absorb the sun’s rays and make you hotter].
Remember to take frequent breaks: Limit the time you spend in direct sunlight or outside completely to prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion, or worse [heat stroke].
Avoid altogether if you’re at risk for skin cancer: If you have any skin cancer, it’s important to be aware of your risk when spending a full day in the sun, as prolonged exposure will increase your chances of developing melanoma.
This summer, make sure that you protect your skin and stay healthy when spending a full day in the sun. While spending time outdoors is important for physical and mental health, it is equally important to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. By avoiding direct sunlight from 11:00 am-4:00 pm, wearing clothing/hats/sunglasses with a UPF rating of at least 30, and following these tips, you’ll be able to have fun this season while also staying healthy!