July is UV Safety Month, and while it is nearing its end, the summer sun is here to stay-at least for a couple more months! It is great to spend time outdoors but also very important to be safe while doing so. There are plenty of ways for seniors to stay active throughout the summer months, including a trip to your local farmers market, gardening, visiting a craft show and taking a stroll through the park.
While you are enjoying the fresh air and warm weather this season, remember to practice sun safety as well.
Applying sunscreen is an important first step to avoiding painful sunburn. Choose a version with a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher, as well as broad spectrum protection. This will block about 97 percent of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
If you are using a bottle of sunscreen from last summer, be sure to check its expiration date. Most products are good for two to three years but become less effective if left out in the heat for long periods of time.
Apply generously and remember to re-apply every couple of hours for lasting protection.
To further protect yourself from the sun this summer, make sure you wear the right clothing. Wear long sleeves and pants when you can and wear a hat and sunglasses while you are out. Materials like cotton and linen are great for keeping you cool wile simultaneously protecting your skin. Prescription glasses or sunglasses that block UV rays are a quick form of protection for your eyes and the sensitive surrounding skin.
Vitamin D has many health benefits, including its ability to lower the risk for some cancers. While in the sun, your skin naturally makes vitamin D, but there are other ways to get it as well. To avoid over-exposure to the sun, try a vitamin supplement instead.