With the higher temperatures and increasing number of outdoor activities, it’s important to remember all the ways that we can beat the heat this summer! From skin care to clothing, and even changing your routine, we want you to move better and healthier during Summer Sun Safety Month and beyond! Follow our tips to make the most of your summer and avoid heat exhaustion, sunburns, and dehydration!
Most people remember to apply their sunblock at the beach, but did you know that it doesn’t take a full beach day to get a sunburn! It is commonly recommended to use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more and to reapply every two hours. However, if you’re taking part in activities in which you’re toweling off (like swimming), you’ll need to reapply each time you do so. Even if the sun is behind clouds, you should still be applying your sunblock while you’re outside.
Did you know that 60% of our body weight is water? Every system in our body relies on water to function, so staying hydrated is important year-round in staying healthy. And although you may think that thirst is the only indicator that you need to hydrate, there’s plenty of ways you can tell if your body needs to be hydrated. If you have a fever, muscle cramps, increased heart rate, dizziness, headache, fatigue or exhaustion, dry skin, dry mouth, or a decrease in urination, your body is telling you to drink more water! Listening to your body is key in understanding what it needs, especially as you’re exerting more energy in higher temperatures and more sunlight!
If you struggle with getting the recommended 10-15 cups of water, try flavoring your water or eating water-filled foods.
Reevaluate Exercise Times
With the sun being at its strongest from 10 AM – 3 PM, it is safer to avoid outdoor activities during those hours. Try waking up an hour earlier or waiting until the sunset to take a walk or run outside. However, if your job requires you to spend time outdoors during those times, take extra precautions and listen to your body.
Wear a Hat & Sunglasses
In addition to wearing sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, you should be wearing a hat and/or sunglasses if you’re outdoors during peak sunlight hours. The best hats to wear are ones with a brim that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. However, if your favorite hat doesn’t have a brim that goes all the way around, be extra diligent about applying/reapplying sunscreen. Sunglasses are also important to protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays and the area. They also protect the skin around your eyes from any potential sun damage or exposure. If possible, purchase wrap-around sunglasses that block sunlight from the side.
Wearing Breathable Clothing to Exercise
Whether you are exerting lots of energy or simply relaxing, wearing breathable clothing can decrease the risk of heat exhaustion. While working out, lightweight, breathable fabrics allow air to reach your body, which helps you to stay cool. Wearing lighter colors is especially helpful for outdoor exercise, as it reflects the heat rather than darker colors that absorb unwanted heat.
Protecting yourself against sun damage may not be the most glamorous, but it will help you to feel your best during and after your summer activities. This allows you to continue doing what you love and what you’re passionate about - without fear of getting sick or feeling pain! If you feel like your pain is limiting your activities this summer, contact us to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist.