The hot and arid months of summer are swiftly approaching in this part of the world, and even here where you may see snow on top of the mountains in the distance, you might be sweltering here in the city! Summer can be dangerous for several reasons. The suns rays can be damaging and even life threatening to everyone, let alone seniors and those of a very young age. High heat can also be a big health risk to those over the age of 50, as well as the dryness that usually comes along with it.
To stay healthy and fit this summer, you also need to stay safe! Working out outdoors or getting your physical activity in the park is all well and good, but you need to take care during the hot months of the year. You don't want to accidentally cause harm to yourself, especially not when you are trying to do well by going out and power walking or biking around your neighborhood.
Which SPF is the right one for me?
The higher the sun protective factor (SPF), the better. It's true that even though a bottle of sunscreen might say SPF 60 or more, there is no such thing as an SPF over 45. SPF 45 does well at blocking out 98% of the sun's rays, while SPF 15 blocks out about 94%. The SPF can be misleading, especially when it goes beyong 45 to ridiculous numbers like 90 and 100. These are just gimicks that hope to get you to pay more for a sunscreen that is the same as the lower numbers.
So grab a bottle of SPF 45 and slathering it on generously before going outside. Apply it every few hours after you've been sweating or swimming. Even “water proof” sunscreens will eventually wash away in the pool. Anyone who's ever been surprised by a rosey red sun burn after using “water proof” sunsreen will tell you.
Check the UV Index!
In the middle of summer, the UV index can be dangerous. Even if you wear sunscreen, you will need to stay in the shade as much as possible. Be sure to watch the weather on the local station so you can know if there is a UV index advisory going on. Limit your time outdoors, because days when the UV is high, the temperature is also likely through the roof. Go work out in an air conditioned gym, or take a walk through a shady park in the morning or evening when it cools down, and the sun's rays aren't as direct.
Hot days require that you drink a lot more water than usual. To make this easier, you should do this: the night before a hot day, fill a water bottle ¼ of the way with water and put it in the freezer. In the morning, take it out and fill it the rest of the way with water. It feels great pressed to your forehead, and you'll instantly have ice cold water on hand!