How much do you love to be outdoors? Maybe you can’t stand the thought of being cooped inside; it gives you an icy chill to think about sitting in an air conditioned house on a beautiful day. The idea of an “indoors” job has affected your career decisions, leading you to choose a lesser paying job because you need to be out and about.
Seasons and weather don’t impact you; you are willing to bear anything, as long as you are outside. That’s great for your mental well being, but maybe not so great for your body. Your skin and eyes can suffer from overexposure to the harmful effects of the sun. Sunlight, as good as it is for you, also is composed of Invisible Ultraviolet radiation. UV radiation has been shown to have a significant impact on the risk of skin cancer. What are some methods you can use to limit your exposure to UV radiation, without restricting your healthy enjoyment of the great outdoors?
Direct sunlight between the hours of 10 am to 4 pm carries the highest levels of UV radiation. Seeking shade during those times can keep you from overexposure to a good thing. This doesn’t mean you have to hide under a tree or truck for the whole time. Seasons also matter; though it is cooler UV rays are at their highest levels in the spring. The location will also play a role in your exposure. If you are on a boat or a ski slope, reflected energy carries high levels of UV radiation, and it is coming at you from multiple angles. Quite often people receive sunburns in unusual locations because of the different angles and doubled intensity of reflected radiation.
Shading your skin, and protecting it from direct sunlight is as simple as a wearing a wide brimmed hat, a shirt, or a skirt. In middle eastern countries, it is not uncommon to see people covered from head to toe in garments. This goes against conventional logic, as it would seem to hasten overheating. However, loose, layered garments provide coverage from the harmful effects of the Sun’s rays, while providing cooling air movement underneath the fabric. Bare skin absorbs the heat of the sun continuously, constantly battling to stay cool under the harsh glare of the sun.
If you have to have your skin exposed to the sun, sunscreen can filter the UV radiation to some extent. It never truly blocks, even at its highest level, and the effects of the sunscreen can and will be degraded over time through sweating, swimming, and movement. Reapplication of the products is a necessity throughout the day. Same for lip balms and other moisturizers that are designed to offer some level of protection. Mentally keep track of when you put the products on you or your kids and refresh the application on a regular basis.
Taking care of yourself when you are outdoors and enjoying the benefits of the sun, soaking up that vitamin D, will help you enjoy it for many more years to come. Skin cancer is a threat to many, very uncomfortable to deal with, and potentially deadly if not taken care of or not caught in time. Ensuring your safety beforehand can spare you significant harm.