7 Tips for staying healthy on the beach
7 Tips for staying healthy on the beach
With summer just around the corner we will soon be heading out to enjoy the beach. What is meant to be a fun and relaxing occasion can have serious health side effects without proper preparation.
If you're ready for some fun in the sun, here are seven tips for staying healthy at the beach.
1. Prioritise skin protection
Skin protection should be a top priority when you're at the beach. Ideally, apply a strong sunscreen before heading to the beach or as soon as you arrive. The risk of developing skin cancer increases with each sunburn, as UV damage is cumulative. In addition, overexposure to the sun causes premature ageing.
Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours when doing water activities or sweating. Adding barriers such as hats, beach wraps and pop-up tents can also help create shade. Keep in mind that the sun's harmful rays can reflect off water and sand; you also need sunscreen if you are sitting in the shade.
2. Get up and move around
Movement is good for the body and will help you stay healthy while enjoying your time at the beach. Consider adding some beach-appropriate games to get up and move around or spend some time taking a walk along the water to collect shells.
You don't have to engage in intense physical exercise. However, incorporating some simple movement will help with your circulation and generate some brain-friendly endorphins.
3. Take plenty of water with you
In addition to skin damage, spending all day in the sun also creates a risk of heat stroke. It is essential to bring enough water to compensate for possible dehydration through sweating, especially if you plan to enjoy some alcoholic beverages.
The recommendation of two litres of water per day is a generalisation across all body types and seasons, but it is a good starting point.
You can also monitor your physical symptoms for signs of dehydration, such as headache, dizziness, and urine colour.
4. Pack healthy lunches
Take this opportunity to eat healthy lunches to provide your body with vitamins and hydration. You can pack a bag of frozen fruit and enjoy the refreshing coolness in the hot sun.
It is also important to bring enough nutritious food to replace meals on the beach, rather than going hungry.
5. Bring ice or cooler
Don't forget to pack a cooler with ice. If your food has heat-sensitive ingredients, such as meat, dairy products, or mayonnaise, it is important that it is well preserved. You can also use these ice packs to keep drinks cool or place them on the back of your neck if you're feeling too hot.
6. Protect your eyes
Many people make the mistake of picking up a pair of sunglasses for the summer without checking the UV protection rating. Glasses should have a sticker on them at the time of purchase to check that they provide adequate protection from the sun's rays.
While it's good to take a few beach photos for Instagram or Facebook, take this opportunity to unplug and relax. Consider leaving your phone in the car and being present in the moment. Practice mindfulness, listen to the waves and appreciate the warm sun on your (always protected) skin.
Studies show that being at the beach can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality, which contributes to better hormone regulation, immunity, and cognitive function. Work emails can wait. Use this time for you.
With these seven tips, you can stay healthy and happy on your beach days.
Gabrielaen The DHA
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