Active NAtion

The Lockeroom
Health

Staying Safe In The Sun

When the weather shows signs of improving, the first thing we want to do is run out and bathe in the sunshine. There’s nothing wrong with getting your fill of Vitamin D, but you must make sure your body is protected too, inside and out. Here’s how:

Stay hydrated

2 litres of water a day is the aim, especially during the summer months. It’s wise to carry a bottle of water with you wherever you go, to combat the signs of dehydration as soon as they hit. Symptoms could be anything from feeling thirsty and having a dry mouth, to sore, dry eyes, needing the loo less and feeling tired. Make sure to check for these signs not only in yourself but others too.

Snack on something salty

Another way to stay hydrated in hot weather is to eat salty snacks. This is because having a good salt intake will help your body to retain water. Some people choose to drink water with added salt, but having snacks such as a handful of peanuts or pretzels will do the trick too.

Don’t let it burn

Burning should be avoided at all costs, as this is very dangerous to your skin’s health, both short and long term. A sun tan may look nice, but is in fact the result of the top layers of your skin being effectively damaged. Sun exposure speeds up skin ageing and increases your risk of skin cancer. You can prevent damage, however, by swotting up on your sun screen knowledge.

Know your SPF

The SPF rating on a sun screen relates to its level of ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) protection. These can scale from SPF 2 to SPF 50+, and but you should be using at least SPF factor 15 to protect yourself (or SPF factor 30 for children and babies). Also make sure your sunscreen has UVA protection, as per EU standards. Sun screens will only last for two to three years. Make sure to buy new if yours has been hanging around for a while.

Reapply

Applying sun screen is essential for skin health during the summer, but we must also remember to reapply as well. According to the NHS, if you’re planning on spending a long time in the sun, sun screen should be applied 30 minutes before going out to guarantee adequate protection. For further reapplication guidelines, look at the manufacturer’s instructions of the bottle. Even if the sun screen says “water resistant” you should reapply straight after towel drying or sweating as it may have rubbed off.

Watch the clock

We all know that midday can be the hottest time of the day, when the sun is at its highest, but according to the NHS, we should in fact be spending time in the shade from 11am – 3pm, even in the UK.

Check your specs

Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement; they’re essential for protecting your eyes during bright and sunny days. Just one day in the sun could cause damage to your cornea and long sun exposure could lead to cataracts forming in later life. Check your sunglasses have 100% UV protection, especially if you’re buying them from a fashion retailer rather than an opticians.

So stay alert and make sure you’re protected during these summer months, to enjoy the sun but keep it fun, and safe, too.

About the author

Active Nation

We’re Active Nation, a registered charity who are wholeheartedly committed to a bold and exciting mission to persuade the nation to be active.

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