The sun warms and nourishes the earth and our bodies, bringing nutrients like Vitamin D to us through our skin, as well as letting green plant life flourish. It has been worshipped across the ages by peoples of all cultures from everywhere around the globe, and it still is today. The sun is warm and comfortable, and besides, who doesn’t like a good tan?
But it is coming more and more to light (no pun intended) that the sun can also be harmful to us. Too much of us absorbing UV rays from the sun has been linked to ailments such as skin cancer, and everyone knows the bad experience a sunburn can bring on. So it is important that you take precautions and protect yourself from the sun. A fair bit of sun is fine, even healthy, but too much exposure at any one time will start to cause damage to your skin and lead to further problems.
One of the most obvious of the ways to protect yourself from the sun, yet it is also the least used. How many people really put on sunscreen on a daily basis? There are, of course, occasions in which it is customary to put on sunscreen, such as when you go out hiking or to the beach, river rafting or fishing- any kind of outdoor activities. But on a daily basis, most people don’t use sunscreen to protect their skin.
Think about the parts of your body that get the most sun on a day to day basis: your arms from the elbows down and your head from the neck up. Sometimes, your feet from the knees down if you are accustomed to wearing shorts and sandals. It should be obvious to someone where they are getting the most sun from a quick once-over of their bodies. Check and see where your skin is darker than other areas and make sure to put some sunscreen on there before you go outdoors. You don’t have to overdo it or use a sunscreen that has a large SPF (sun protection factor) to it- maybe something along the lines of 10 or 15 will do fine. This is something that pays off in the future as a preventative measure to something like skin cancer.
On hot days, it is hard to justify covering yourself in longsleeves and pants in order to protect yourself from the sun, but sunscreen doesn’t stop everything that is coming in from the sun. Again, you don’t have to overdo your clothing selection in order to keep those UV rays off of your skin, like wearing a jacket or sweater and thick pants on a day that doesn’t necessarily call for it, but maybe something more lightweight that will keep you cool and still protect your skin. And lastly, wear a hat, especially if you are someone whose hair is thinning or already gone to the wayside on parts of your head. Is is very common for skin cancer to crop up on the scalps of men and women whose hair is thinner than most on the top and sides of their heads.
When going to the beach, the river, out camping, and so on in areas that are more likely to have higher sun exposure, especially in areas that are of a higher altitude, make sure to stay out of the suns rays as much as possible by providing yourself with as much shade as possible. There are several ways to do this, and the best way (if you are camping or setting up a side to hang out at) is to use one or more canopies that can be easily set up anywhere. This will help you stay cool and keep those sunburns away while you are out and having fun.