on June 20, 2014 in Health
Summer is a great time for outdoor fun in the sun in your hot tub or pool. While you’re enjoying the summer heat, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re taking the steps necessary to protect yourself from the sun. Skin exposure without protection can lead to premature aging and skin cancer, and too much heat can cause sunstroke. But don’t fret. Lots of people safely take advantage of the sunny days of summer by being outdoors. Follow these simple steps to safely enjoy the summer in your hot tub or pool.
1. Apply and reapply sunscreen
Sunscreen can protect you from many of the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays. In fact, applying sunscreen is one of the most effective and important actions you should take in order to protect yourself from the sun. The chemicals in sunscreen work to reflect UV rays, keeping them from damaging your skin.
Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, so make sure to put on more than you think you need. We recommend applying at least two tablespoons of sunscreen to your body and face. When you’re planning to go into the pool or hot tub during the day, put on sunscreen that is waterproof and has a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher 15 minutes before getting into the water. You should reapply the sunscreen to your skin at least every two hours. If your skin is wet, make sure to dry it off before reapplying sunscreen.
2. Plan your time in the sun
The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so try to avoid being outdoors during this time. It’s best to enjoy your pool and hot tub before or after these times because you will be exposed to less UV rays. Consider spending time watching movies in your hot tub at night or stargazing in your spa.
If you do want to spend time in your hot tub or pool during the middle of the day, which we understand, make sure to follow all of the steps in this article and limit your time in the sun. The longer you are in the sun, the more you are exposed to UV rays.
3. Wear swimsuits with UV protection
Wearing protective clothing is another effective way to protect yourself from the sun. Unfortunately, many swimsuits leave a lot of your skin exposed, including your shoulders, arms, stomach, back and legs. It’s best to wear swimsuits that cover as much of your skin as possible. Rash guards are great swimwear options for optimal sun protection, especially for children. They usually cover your upper arms, chest and stomach and are made to be worn in the water and dry quickly. Try to avoid wearing bikinis, short swimming shorts and other swimsuits that expose a lot of skin.
Swimsuit fabric is also important to take into consideration when buying a swimsuit. Darker fabrics are better than lighter ones because they absorb more UV radiation, stopping the rays from entering your skin. Tightly-woven and dense fabric is also better than loosely-woven ones. You can check the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (or UPF) of swimsuits to see how effective they are at protecting you from the sun. Fabrics with a UPF of 50 or higher are best. Keep in mind that not all swimsuits are specifically designed to reflect UV rays, so make sure to apply sunscreen before you put on your swimsuit.
4. Use Shade
Shade shields you from the sun, giving you a break from its heat and protecting you from harmful UV rays. If your pool or hot tub isn’t shaded, we recommend that you make your own shade. Install an umbrella or buy a portable umbrella to cover your hot tub or a part of your pool. Shade sails and pergolas are other great and attractive options to create shade in your backyard.
5. Wear hats and sunglasses
Hats and sunglasses help by protecting you from the damaging effects of the sun. Hats with large brims shield your scalp, ears and parts of your face from UV rays. Although baseball hats are popularly used in the sun, hats with big brims provide much better sun protection.
Sunglasses are also important to wear because they protect your eyes and the surrounding skin from sun damage. Eyes are prone to melanoma and cataracts, so try to wear sunglasses as often as possible while you are in the sun.
6. Stay hydrated
As the temperature outside heats up, we begin to sweat more because our muscles regulate heat by releasing sweat. When we release sweat, we lose fluid from our body, and if we don’t replace that fluid, we get dehydrated. Before you get into the hot tub or pool, make sure to drink a full glass of water to ensure that you are hydrated. Whenever you begin to feel thirsty again, listen to your body and drink some water. Dehydration can lead to a number of problems, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. To avoid these issues, listen to your body and take breaks from the pool or hot tub to drink water.
These steps to protect your skin will help you to feel your best throughout summer so that you can make the most out of it. If you’re interested in buying a hot tub to fill your summer months with even more fun, feel free to contact us.
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