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How to Sunbathe Safely

By Stepy Kamei

There's nothing like sunbathing on a sunny afternoon. Whether you're lounging in your own backyard, taking a day to hit the beach, or on vacation in a sunny destination, soaking up the sun's rays is a wonderfully calming way to relax. That is, until you take into account the realization that too much sun exposure can be detrimental to your health. So, as relaxing as it can be, is sunbathing worth it? 

Since there are benefits to being exposed to sunlight, the answer isn't necessarily a simple yes or no. Generally speaking, it's best to keep your contact with the sun limited to a moderate and safe amount. Keep on reading to learn more about how to get the most health benefits from spending time outdoors, without compromising other areas of your health in the process.

The Benefits of Sunlight

Despite the dangers of too much exposure to the sun, the fact remains that the brain and body do benefit from being exposed to natural sunlight. Scientists and healthcare experts alike have long known about the benefits of sunlight towards a person's overall health and well-being. For starters, sunlight is known to boost a person's mood and decrease the likelihood of experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, sunlight helps to naturally regulate the circadian rhythm of the body. This process ensures you feel awake and alert during the day, and you get a good night's rest while you sleep at night.

Avoiding the Drawbacks of Sun Exposure

Still, it's important to know about the ways in which too much sun exposure can cause problems to your health. First, the immediate effects of spending too much time in the sun include sunburn and heatstroke. Classic signs of heatstroke include excessive sweating, feeling lightheaded, nausea, and vomiting. If you feel even the slightest hint of these symptoms, be sure to get out of direct sunlight right away, drink water, and cool down as much as possible.

As for long-term effects, excessive and prolonged exposure to the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays can increase your risk of developing skin cancer. The best way to avoid the detrimental effects of the sun is to limit your time outdoors, and try to avoid being outside from noon to 4 p.m., when the sun is usually hottest. Stay hydrated while you are outdoors, and always use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in College Station, Tex.

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