It’s summertime and we’re ready to get outdoors! However, the temps in the upcoming days are scorching! Still, you don't want to be cooped up inside every day waiting for the next day of suitable temps (let's be real, this is Texas, it may be October before it's reasonable again out there), so it's important to find ways to get outdoors, enjoy the fresh air, all while practicing summer safety.
Avoid direct sunlight by sitting in the shade. It will feel a little cooler and you’ll minimize your exposure to UV rays when you sit in the shade. Reminder: It’s best to avoid being outside between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on sunny days when the UV radiation is the highest.
Your best plan is to bring a canopy or beach umbrella if you are going to be lounging outside during the day. A better idea would be to schedule your outdoor activities and exercise early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the brightest part of the day.
Wear clothing that protects your skin. Long sleeve tops and pants made of lightweight, tight weave fabrics are great ways to protect your skin from the sun. Also, many swimsuits and rash guards have UV protection built-in and are designed to stay cool and fashionable at the pool or beach.
Also, a wide brim hat is helpful to protect your head and face from the sun. Hats are good for everyone, but especially important if you have thin hair or no hair. If you don’t love hats, consider picking up a headband/ head covering such as a buff. You can wear it lower to protect your forehead.
Your eyes are especially sensitive to UV radiation and over time, sun exposure can cause eye damage, cataracts, and even cancer to the eyes and the skin around them. Not all sunglasses are created equal though. Look for labels that promise 100% UV protection and pick styles that cover the sides of the eyes, such as the wraparound styles.
Wear sunscreen. Every day. No exceptions. Many moisturizers and makeup products include sunscreen, so there is no excuse to not have sunscreen on daily. For the rest of the body, look for the highest SPF you can find, and reapply as directed on the bottle.
When outside, remember to stay hydrated. Plain or flavored water is perfect for most situations, but if you are going to be exercising or heavily active for long periods of time, you'll need additional electrolytes. There are different waters with added vitamins and minerals that are also low in sugar, so you may want to consider including one throughout the day. (Most people do not need to be drinking a ton of sports drinks because of the sugar content, but it may be helpful to have additional nutrients especially if you are drinking a lot of plain water.)
Pack energy dense snacks if you'll be outside for a long day. Nuts are good for the salt, fat, and protein. And fresh fruit is great to include if you're hanging out poolside. Fruit has a high water content, which is good on a hot day.
Avoid too much alcohol. If you have a drink, follow it with a glass of water. Alcohol consumption while in the pool or at the river can sometimes make it difficult to know when you've had too much.