It is summer, and we have been waiting all winter to get out there and have fun in the sun! But ... there is a hitch, a problem, a roadblock to our summer fun! It is called the SUN!
We all need some sun exposure (especially living in northern Indiana) for the Vitamin D that helps our bodies absorb calcium that makes our bones healthier. However, UV rays can damage our skin in 15 minutes.
There are some ways we can still have our fun in the sun:
Wear a hat – with a brim – if you wear a baseball cap and it does not cover the tops of your ears or the back of your neck – use sunscreen on those areas. If you are one of those without a lot of hair on your head, use sunscreen and wear a hat!
Clothing – wear long sleeves and long pants when possible and remember that tightly woven fabric offers the best protection. Have you seen the colorful swim shirts that have surfaced the past few years? They protect you at the beach and in the water. Bear in mind that a typical t-shirt has an SPF of less than 15 so use sunscreen as well.
Sunglasses – protects your eyes from the harmful UV rays and decreases your risk for cataracts. They also help to protect that tender skin around your eyes in addition to making you look cool!
Wear Sunscreen – use all year long and even on cloudy days. The higher the SPF number indicates greater protection. Remember to reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or sweating and to check the expiration date. Some contacts, make up, and lip balms also contain sunscreen – if less than SPF 15 – do not use by themselves.
Now, get out there and be physical in the summer sun while being protected. You will thank me when you are 40!
~ Jayne Dwyer-Reff, RN,