TRAVEL & RECREATION — To make the most of your summer, you’ll need to take a few steps to enhance the experience and ensure you’re ready for whatever the day may bring. When it’s time to head outside, consider these tips to protect your body (and skin) from the elements this summer.
1. Protect Skin from UV Rays
Any time you’ll be outdoors for more than 15 minutes, you should wear protective sunscreen with an sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, even if it’s partly cloudy or overcast. One mistake many people make is applying sunscreen before they leave the house then not reapplying throughout the day.
To help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, reapply sunscreen at least every two hours and more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.
Also be sure to cover all exposed areas, including often overlooked spots like the tops of your ears, neck and tops of your feet, if they’re exposed by sandals or other open shoes.
2. Stay Hydrated
One of the most important ways to protect your health when you’re spending the day outdoors is staying hydrated, especially on warm days when you’re losing your body’s water reserves to sweat.
Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, throughout the day can help replenish what you lose so you don’t get dehydrated, and you’ll also have an easier time regulating your body’s temperature.
3. Repel Bugs
Aggressive insects can put a damper on outdoor fun. Bug spray or roll-on products should go on top of your sunscreen, but never under your clothes. Apply a sparing coat to all exposed skin and clothing, paying special attention to your waistband, pant and sleeve cuffs, collar and socks.
Rather than applying spray directly to your face, spray the palms of your hands then rub the repellant onto your face. Be sure to wash your hands afterward to avoid accidentally transferring spray to your mouth or eyes.
If you have sensitive skin or prefer not to use spray or roll-on for other reasons, products like repellant fans or wearable repellant bracelets may be good alternatives. Some essential oils are also natural bug repellants.
4. Don’t Forget Your Lips
While faces, necks, arms and legs are often top of mind to protect from the sun’s rays, lips can be easy to forget. However, using a lip balm that is rich in oils, beeswax and petroleum can help seal in moisture.
Similar to sunscreen, lip balms featuring SPF should be reapplied every two hours when outdoors and often offer added moisturizing benefits.
Available in a variety of flavors, some even taste good enough to leave you wanting to apply them over and over again regardless of if you’re venturing outside or not.
5. Wear Light Clothing
When it’s hot outside and you’re engaged in physical activity, you’re at a greater risk of overheating. Dressing for the climate, while also protecting yourself from the elements, should be a top priority.
If the temperature will vary throughout the day, consider layering so you can warm up or cool down as needed. Lighter clothes that don’t add weight are a good idea, and it’s important to be conscious of the fit.
Ideally, clothes should be loose enough to allow for easy, comfortable movement, but not so baggy they get in the way or pose a snagging or tripping hazard.
Don’t forget accessories like a hat and sunglasses, which can protect your head and eyes.
6. Avoid Summertime Injuries
Twisted ankles are one of the more common summertime injuries, especially for hikers or runners who may stumble over rocks or curbs, and even weekend warriors playing pick-up basketball or softball games.
Keeping an ankle support on-hand can help stabilize a sprain or provide extra support during recovery.