Summer is here, and it’s time to get out and enjoy the sunshine! Whether you love gardening, boating, swimming, cycling or just taking in the warmth of the day, this is the best time of year for sun-lovers. Time in the sun is also the best source of Vitamin D, a vitamin that many older adults need more of.
While the outdoors are wonderful, it’s especially important for older adults to stay safe while enjoying the sun. Sun damage is more common in seniors, so it’s important to take extra precautions when you’re out in the sun. In this blog post, we’ll discuss three fun ways to stay protected from the sun this summer. So grab your hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, and let’s get started!
Always wear sunscreen and apply it properly
It’s essential to wear sunscreen no matter how old you are or what time of year it is. But for seniors, wearing sunscreen and applying it properly is even more important. As we age, our skin becomes thinner and more fragile, making older adults more prone to sun damage.
The best way to protect your skin from the sun is by using a broad-spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection. Broad-spectrum means that it’ll block both kinds of ultraviolet (UV) rays from penetrating your skin. A rating of SPF 30+ indicates that the sunscreen will offer substantial protection against burning.
When applying your sunscreen, don’t forget to cover all exposed areas of skin, including your face, neck, ears and hands. Be sure to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating — this will help provide maximum protection from the sun’s damaging rays. You should also use a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher to protect your lips from sun damage.
Remember that even if you apply sunscreen correctly, you can still get sunburned. For the most safety, reapply your sunscreen every two hours and spend the peak times of day in the shade.
Take a tip from people who live in the desert and cover up
It should come as no surprise that people who live in the desert have a few tips for staying safe in the sun. After all, this type of climate is known for its hot temperatures and intense UV rays. Traditional clothing worn by the Tuareg of the Saharan Desert and the Bedouins of the Arabian Desert is long, lightweight and loose-fitting. That helps protect you from harsh sun exposure during the day.
One of the most important tips we can learn is to cover up as much skin as we can, when we’re outside. Clothing can act as a physical barrier between your skin and the sun’s harmful rays. That can include wearing a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants, to keep your face, arms and legs shielded from the sun. Don’t forget to wear sunglasses to protect the eyes!
It’s important to choose light-colored fabrics that are lightweight for comfort, yet tightly woven enough to block out harmful UV rays.
Stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. whenever possible to avoid excess sun exposure
The time of day when you choose to be outdoors can make a big difference in how exposed you are to the sun’s harmful UV rays. To minimize your risk of sun damage, try to stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when possible. This period is the time of day when skin-damaging UV rays are strongest.
If you choose to go outside during this time, be sure to keep our previous tips in mind in wearing sunblock and protective clothing. Pay special attention to areas that are more vulnerable, such as your face, neck, arms and legs. Additionally, wear sunglasses that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection to reduce the risk of eye damage from the sun’s glare.
Seeking shade is another great way to enjoy the summer outdoors without sun damage. Look for trees or other structures that can provide natural cover while still allowing you to enjoy the view. Consider setting up a beach umbrella or bringing a pop-up canopy for added protection when you spend extended periods outdoors.
Finally, drinking plenty of water will help keep your body hydrated and cool while out in the heat. Just be sure not to become overheated by staying in direct sunlight too long!
Did you know that when you choose to live at a Westminster Life Plan Community, you’ll have access to fun programming with sun safety in mind — all year round? Our Resident Experience team provides exciting and active lifestyle options every day. Learn more about the lifestyle you can enjoy at a Westminster community, and find the community near you today!