Retiring in Sarasota, Florida means plenty of time out on the beach, at the pool, and doing your favorite activities. Being outside for extended periods of time can be great for your health and give you some much-needed vitamin D, but how much sun is too much? Here are some things to keep in mind as you enjoy the outdoors in Florida this summer.
Related Blog: Can Too Much Exercise Be Harmful To Seniors?
Why is Too Much Sun Bad?
While sun exposure has many benefits, such as helping your body absorb vitamin D and improving your mood, too much sun can be harmful to your health. Too much exposure to the sun can cause damage to your skin, eyes, and immune system. Spending too much time in the sun can also cause sunburns, which can be painful and increase your risk of skin cancer.
Using the UV Index
The UV Index (UVI) is a measure of the intensity of UVB radiation at a given time and location. The higher the UVI, the higher the UVB radiation levels are, and the higher risk of sunburn. In most places, UVB radiation is at its highest between 11 am to 3 pm. This is because the sun is at its highest during these hours. By limiting the time you spend in the sun between 11 am and 3 pm, you can significantly reduce your exposure to harmful UVB radiation.
Wear Clothes that Cover More of Your Body
Wearing clothes like long-sleeved shirts, wide-brimmed hats, and full-length pants can help to reduce the amount of your body that's exposed to direct sunlight. Items like long-sleeved swim shirts allow you to continue your favorite activities while protecting your skin from the sun.
Apply Sunscreen Regularly
Applying sunscreen regularly is one of the best things you can do to protect your skin from the sun. Sunscreen works by adding an invisible, protective barrier to your skin that absorbs harmful UV rays, preventing them from penetrating your skin. Make sure to find sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. It is important to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours, otherwise, it may not be as effective.
Take Breaks in the Shade
When spending time outdoors, try to take breaks in the shade whenever possible. Shade is nature's way of protecting your skin from the sun. While protective clothing and sunscreen can help reduce the risk of sunburn, the only way to guarantee your skin is safe is to stay out of the sun. There is no need to avoid the sun entirely, but making sure to take breaks can go a long way in protecting your skin.
Keep Your Skin Tone in Mind
If you have a lighter skin tone, it is important to be more conscious about your sun exposure. Fair skin is more susceptible to sunburn and skin conditions from sun exposure. That doesn't mean that if you have a darker skin tone, you don't need sunscreen. Everyone should wear sunscreen while spending time out in the sun, but those with fair skin need to be extra cautious, as they are at a greater risk.
Spending time having fun outside can be great for your health, but too much sun can put your health at risk. By following a few simple steps, you can continue to enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities safely. There is no perfect amount of sun for everyone, so pay attention to your body's signals and be sure to take plenty of breaks in the shade. Summer in Sarasota, Florida offers many amazing activities you can do outside, and sun safety will allow you to have fun without sun damage.