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Protect Yourself While Having Fun in the Sun

By Paul Rothbart

Summer is a great time of year. Long days and hot weather provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor fun. Beaches, amusement parks, campgrounds. Plenty of fun places to go and enjoying things to do. Your skin will soak up a lot of sun. Tanning may even be one of your preferred activities. While the sun can be healthy, especially in helping the production of Vitamin D, too much of it can be very harmful. The sun can burn you, which is not only painful but can cause premature aging and skin cancer. Have fun in the sun without the damage by keeping these tips in mind. 

Limit Your Sun Exposure

Although it feels nice to be out in the sun, the first line of defense is to set limits to your exposure. Especially early in the season, when your skin is still pale from winter, be very cautious and keep your sun time to about 10-15 minutes. Let your body increase pigmentation and protection. Sunbathers, in particular, should be very wary of lying out for long periods. The rays of the sun are most direct and powerful between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. so try to avoid those hours altogether. Wearing protective clothing is another good way to limit sun exposure. Light colors that reflect the sun's rays are best. Include a hat in your protective gear. Your face, neck, and even ears can burn and be damaged. A lightweight, breathable hat with a wide brim is ideal. You will also look pretty chic.

Use Sunscreen

The use of sunscreen cannot be emphasized enough. There are going to be parts of your body uncovered from time to time. Shorts and T-shirts leave limbs exposed and bathing suits leave even more skin unprotected. Choose a quality sunscreen. Do some research as there are sunscreens that contain potentially harmful chemicals. Mineral sunblock such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide is safe. Cover every part of you that will be exposed. Behind the ears, the palms, and the bottoms of feet are often neglected. Wear sunscreen even when swimming. The water may feel cool but it won't protect you from the sun. Reapply after getting out of the water and after a few hours outside.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses help cut through glare as well as protect your eyes. Sunshine can cause damage to your eyes, affecting your sight in many ways. A good pair of sunglasses will afford your eyes the protection they need. When purchasing your shades, pick a pair that is rated for 100 percent UV protection. Not only will you be preventing eye damage, but if you wear them with your hat you'll look ultracool.

Summertime activities in the sun are enjoyable and good can be good for the body and mind. But too much sun can cause considerable harm. Play smart and safe. Protect yourself while having fun in the sun.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Morrisville, N.C.

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