As soon as the sun shines in the UK, it’s tempting to get out there and make the most of it. But many Brits make the mistake of heading out into the heat in haste – and then return home to sunburn and other uncomfortable effects.
With warmer summers expected to cause an increase in skin cancer cases, it’s important to remember that staying safe in the sun isn’t limited to just protecting your skin. No matter how old you are or where in the UK you live, it’s always worth knowing how to keep cool in the sunshine.
What are the benefits of being outdoors?
Spending time in nature – or finding other ways to bring nature into your daily life – can come with significant benefits for your physical and emotional wellbeing. Whether you play outdoor sports, walk the dog, or go for a jog with a friend, there are so many ways to move your body and reap the benefits of the great outdoors at the same time.
Being outside can boost your mood, help you connect to those around you, improve your confidence, and help you get active too. If you’re heading to the park or the pool in the heat, here’s how to keep yourself safe.
Staying safe in summer: Our four top tips
Keep things cool
If your body is exposed to high temperatures for too long, there’s an increased risk of damage to your skin, brain, and other internal organs if you develop heat exhaustion and heatstroke. During summer, it’s crucial to keep an eye on how warm you feel and spend enough time cooling off.
Contact lenses experts Lenstore state “Using a fan in hot weather may seem like a good way to cool off, but having air blown into your eyes can cause them to dry out and become scratchy and irritated. The same applies to air conditioning. If you’re able to, try using a cool, damp towel or drinking cool water to help manage your temperature instead. And if you do need to use a fan, for example to sleep, avoid having it pointed directly at you so the air flow is away from your face.”
Smaller doses of sunshine help your body to produce more Vitamin D, but you should try to reapply suncream around every two to three hours.
Wear the right clothing
Ditch the hoodies and opt instead for something bright and light.
If you’re an active person, try to choose sweat-wicking fabrics to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible when you’re working out in the heat. For younger children, long sleeves and caps could be vital to keeping their skin safe.
Choosing suitable eyewear is also an important factor to consider through summer. If you usually wear prescription glasses, consider wearing contact lenses so that you can still protect your eyes from harmful UV rays with sunglasses.
When you’re out and about on a sunny day, keeping on top of your hydration can be tricky. It’s important to keep your water levels up, so you should make a conscious effort to drink more water.
If this is something you struggle with, you could try electrolytes or hydration supplements instead. Even eating certain foods – including cucumber, radishes, and tomatoes – could help with your hydration. Try to limit your alcohol intake on hot days too, as this can make you more dehydrated.
Get your vitamins in
In the height of summer, it’s easy to feel a little bit less hungry than usual – but that shouldn’t mean cutting back on your diet. Try to ensure that you’re still eating a variety of nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables.
Many people prefer to snack on lighter foods like salad through summer, but it all comes down to preference. Whichever foods you choose, just make sure that you’re eating enough to give you sufficient energy and stay fuelled for the day ahead.
It’s important to spend outside, but keeping yourself safe should be a priority. During warmer weather, make sure you take the appropriate steps towards protecting your skin and wellbeing too.