Safety in the Sun

The sun is out, and chances are you’re spending more time outside enjoying it. Even on cloudy days it’s important to protect your body from sun damage. Too much sun exposure can lead to dry, wrinkled and leather looking skin, things I’m sure we all want to avoid. And too much skin damage can lead to skin cancer. So, what are you supposed to do if you want to enjoy the sun and still stay healthy?

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Find shade- If you don’t have shade where you are, try to make some by moving things around. If you’re hoping for a tan, give yourself 15 minutes without shade. It’s plenty of time for your skin to soak up vitamin D and will provide gradual color for some skin types.

Wear a hat- Wearing a hat will shade your your head, an area that can easily burn but is not easily protected by sunscreen. It will also help protect your face from that wrinkly leather look we all try to avoid as we age.

Plan ahead- The sun is typically strongest from10:30am-2:30pm, so try to plan your outdoor activities around those times.

Protect your eyes- Like your skin, your eyes can be damaged from UV rays. Slipping on a pair of sunglasses can go a long way in protecting yourself.

Pick a safe sunscreen- Many sunscreens are full of chemicals. Even worse, they lead us to believe that we can stay out in the sun for hours if we continue to reapply them. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s information on the safest sunscreens. Keep in mind that your skin is your largest organ. You want to keep the nasty stuff out while staying protected from the sun.

Stay hydrated- Your heart doesn’t have to work as hard if you’re well-hydrated, and you can keep tabs on the amount of water you may need by paying attention to the color of your urine. If it’s dark, it’s time for more water. Thirst alone is not a good indicator of how hydrated you are.

These simple tips will keep you safe in the sun this summer. Remember to plan ahead and prioritize your health over a tan. Do you have any other tips for staying safe in the summer heat?

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