Prepare Yourself for the Summer
Summertime is coming up! It's a time when the kids are out of school, and a time to plan family vacations, weekend trips to the river, or a simple backyard barbecue. But you can't just step outside for several hours for summer fun, as it can be easy to get heat exhaustion and dehydration if not properly prepared for the hot and, in some places, humid summer weather.
It is most important to become acquainted with the weather change. Taking a brief walk at least every other day will help you get used to moving and being active in the heat. It's okay if you sweat; that is just your body keeping you cool. Spend a week or two walking for a short amount of time, around fifteen minutes or so, then increase it to 20 or 25. Your body will soon become better accustomed to the heat, allowing you to spend multiple hours at a time outside.
Also be sure to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun. Without protecting yourself, the sun could cause serious burns to your skin, raising your risk for skin cancer.
The most obvious solution is to apply sunscreen before going out. Sunscreens have different levels of SPF, or sun protection factor, that can cater to anybody's skin's needs based on their skin type and intended activities, such as swimming or running.
It is important to note the difference between sunscreen and sunblock. Most people believe these two are one and the same. While they have similar ingredients and texture, sunblock contains titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, two ingredients which help it last longer. Whereas sunscreen breaks down and absorbs into the skin much faster, thus creating the need to reapply every few hours. For those of us who want a little bit of color, sunscreen would be a better option, but only if monitored closely.
Also don't forget to cover your head, which is a common place most people forget about, and the first most likely place to get burned. Wearing a hat generally works best for people. If you are bald, apply sunscreen to the top of your head. Also, don't be ashamed of considering hair loss treatment as an alternative, as our hair provides some protection from the sun.
Most importantly, don't forget to stay hydrated. Always carry water with you wherever you go, especially during the warmer months of the year, to replenish your body's water loss through sweating and breathing. Even minor dehydration can cause heat exhaustion, fatigue, and soreness.
Summer should be a time to have fun and enjoy spending time with friends and family. But in order to have that fun, you must first take precaution. Nobody wants to have their fun interrupted by a heat-related health emergency. So get out there, be safe, and don't forget to enjoy yourself.