Summer is the time to relax and play outside, but sun and fun does not come worry-free. Skin damage and dehydration are serious concerns in the summer sun and heat. Whether you’re relaxing by the pool, heading to the beach, packing for a road trip, or gearing up for a run, follow our tips to beat the heat and stay safe.
Never forget the sunscreen! According to Dr. Ronald Moy, Director of Dermatology at the California Health & Longevity Institute in Westlake Village, CA, “Sunscreens labeled broad spectrum are best, because these types optimally block UVA and UVB sunlight. Sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide only do not optimally block all the wavelengths of sunlight.” Dr. Moy instructs patients to apply enough sunscreen to cover all skin, and to reapply sunscreen every three hours since certain ingredients degrade in that time. Reapply even sooner if you are swimming or working up a sweat. Dr. Moy also points out that UVA light can penetrate windows and car windshields. “We see a lot more skin cancers on the left side of faces in the United States,” says Dr. Moy, noting the importance of applying daily, not just on days spent at the beach.
When you’re out for a run, working in the yard, playing Frisbee on the beach, or simply lounging by the pool, don’t forget to bring your water bottle. Dehydration is a serious issue that could be life-threatening when not treated properly. Thirst, dry mouth, headache and dizziness could be signs of mild to moderate dehydration. Prevent dehydration before it starts by filling up on fluids. When you’re out in the heat, take a water break every 15 to 20 minutes to keep hydrated.
While there is no science to prove you need exactly eight glasses of water a day, it is a good estimate and an easy goal to remember. Coffee, tea, almond milk, juice and foods that have a high percentage of water—especially fruits and vegetables—all count towards your daily water intake. Celery, cucumber, zucchini, watermelon, strawberries, spinach and broccoli are all over 90% water and will help keep you hydrated on a hot summer day. For a refreshing tasty treat, try a juice made with celery, apple, raspberries and kale.
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