Summer in the Sun
It’s finally Summer time. The kids are out of school and everyone is anxious to get out into the sun, head to the beach or to the pool! Families are enjoying the great outdoors; fishing, canoeing, biking or just having a great time barbequing on the back porch. Whatever your favorite summer activity, it’s great for both your body and soul to get outside and enjoy this time of year.
Some of the hazards of summer and summer vacations can simply be due to over exposure to the sun. As much fun as can be had in the sun, that glowing sphere of warmth and energy can wreak havoc on the skin and eyes. Extra protection for the skin and eyes can support your health and prevent irreparable damage to your body.
Sunlight is not all bad, as we all naturally manufacture essential vitamin D in our bodies through exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is necessary to maintain strong bones and teeth, as well as providing protection against hypertension, cancer and autoimmune diseases. Sun exposure in moderation can be healthy for you. It also gives the body a sense of well-being and added energy to enjoy the great things life has to offer.
Overexposure to sun and heat can cause significant problems, in the short and long term. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are potentially deadly conditions that are more frequently experienced in the summer months. Proper hydration, including electrolyte replacement is critical to avoid overexposure in the heat of the day. Most experts agree that water is the best protection against dehydration and heat-related illness. It is important to continually hydrate, and rest in the shade when needed.
The sun can irreparably damage our skin, as UV rays penetrate the outer skin and invade the epidermis, then the dermis and finally the subcutaneous skin layers. UV rays cause burning, premature wrinkling and skin cancer. Sunscreen protection lotions are very effective when properly and continually applied for adults and children. It is important to protect our skin from the sun with topical sunscreen; and it is essential that we protect our body from the inside as well. Vitamins can do just that!
Vitamins A, C and E are especially effective in protecting both our skin and eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. Beta carotene, lycopene and other antioxidants are extremely helpful in fighting off the free radicals energized by the UVA and UVB rays that penetrate our skin. Certain botanicals, like rosemary and green tea have shown promise in protecting the skin from UV damage with their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. These protective components can be found in inexpensive and easy to take supplements. When you are putting on your sunscreen and staying hydrated in the sun, be sure to take your vitamins too.
Protecting your body both inside and out can make the summer season safe and enjoyable.