How To Enjoy The Sun And Outdoors Safely This Summer
As the summer and warmer weather days round the corner, that means we will be spending more and more time out in the sun. While the sunshine and warm weather is arguably more enjoyable than the winter months, it does come with more precautions. As we spend more time in the sun we increase our risk for a number of possible health issues. In this week’s blog we will cover a few ways that you can enjoy the summer sunshine, while staying healthy and avoiding possible health issues.
The sun is undeniably powerful. Spending even just a few minutes in the summer sun can lead to sunburn. This is why it is important to apply sunscreen even when you are not spending the day in the sun. Our skin is sensitive to the UV rays that the sun radiates. By applying some sort of SPF daily, even when you aren’t in the sun, you are taking the active steps to reducing the risk for developing sun burn, sun spots, and even skin cancer.
Everyone knows how important it is to drink water and hydrate themselves. However, this is especially true in the hotter months. As we spend time in the sun, we perspire more and therefore lose more fluids from our body. It is important to replenish those fluids and stay hydrated because becoming dehydrated is far more common during the summer. In fact, most people are actively dehydrated and they do not even notice it. A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, then you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water daily.
#3. Exercise inside or early/late
Exercise is essential for our health, however it can be difficult to perform certain exercises in the summer heat and sun. Exercising in the early or later hours of the day can be beneficial to reducing the risk of overheating. Our bodies naturally heat up when we exercise, so when individuals exercise during the middle of the day they run the risk of overheating. Not only are these individuals overheating, but losing fluids even more quickly than before.
#4. Supplement with electrolytes (or smart water)
We mentioned how important it is to hydrate with water, however what about electrolytes. Balancing electrolytes is important because each electrolyte helps to maintain optimal functioning in our body. When we lose electrolytes then we can begin to see almost immediate consequences. We lose electrolytes when we lose fluids, that is why athletes reach for a sports drink after or during a workout. You can either supplement these electrolytes through beverages or you can purchase powdered versions that you mix into water yourself. Just make sure you read the ingredients to avoid GMO’s and artificial sweeteners. Either way is beneficial, the important thing is to replenish your body when fluids and electrolytes are lost.
#5. Protective clothing including hats
We already know that we should be applying sunscreen daily, even when we are not necessarily in the sun. However, we should also be taking the steps to reduce sun exposure all together. It is understandable that sun bathing at the beach is a must for some people, but there are safer ways to do it. Wearing a hat or protective clothing is a good way to not only be able to stay in the sunshine, but also to protect our skin.
#6. Natural bug repellents
We all know how annoying the bugs can be during the summer time, especially during the later hours of the day. If you have spent even just an hour outdoors at night during the summer then you know how annoying the bugs can be, especially mosquitos. Mosquitos may seem harmless, besides providing you with an itchy welt, however they can actually carry a number of diseases and you may not even know it. By applying a natural bug repellent you can protect yourself from not only the bugs, but also the harsh chemicals that are found in other options.
We know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun, but how about our eyes? Wearing sunglasses is a way to protect our eyes from the brightness of the sun. Prolonged unprotected sunlight exposure to the eyes can result in eye straining, headache, and even in severe cases vision loss. Protecting our eyes from the sun is especially important for individuals with lighter eye colors as they are more sensitive to the sun than darker ones.
There are many ways that we can make each summer safer than the last, however these are a few main efforts that should be constantly acknowledged. Summer time is one of the best times of the year so we should make sure that is it is safe and enjoyable for everyone. We only get one chance to take care of our health, so we might as well start now and do all that we can. Our bodies will thank us in the long run.