The sun can be a powerful and sometimes damaging force. Even at low intensities, it can cause skin issues. Sweating in the hot sun for hours isn’t always the best idea either. Check out our article to learn how to easily stay healthy at the beach and on an island.
When you're spending a lot of time at the beach this summer, you need to take extra care in protecting yourself from the sun. UV rays can cause skin cancer and other skin conditions, so even if you're not planning to spend much time on the beach,, it's important to use sunscreen when you are outdoors. The FDA recommends using an SPF of 15 or higher whenever you plan on being outside for more than 20 minutes.
One of the most important things to remember is that sunscreen needs to be applied correctly in order to work properly. In addition to wearing sunscreen every day while you’re on the island,, take a few extra steps to protect yourself:
Wear hats and sunglasses. Hats can help block UV rays from your face while sunglasses help protect your eyes from damage. Wear both, if possible!
Use clothing as protection as well. T-shirts and swimsuits can offer some protection against the sun. You'll want to make sure your clothes are light colored and loose fitting so they don't create shaded areas that might burn hotter than other areas of your body.
Seek shade when possible. The best way to avoid getting burned is to stay out of the sun as much as possible during peak hours (10 a.m.- 4 p.m).
Pack healthy snacks and meals for the beach
It's really hard to avoid fast food when you are traveling, especially if you are on vacation. But if you have snacks packed with you then it will save you from having to eat bad food that is not very good for your body. Don't forget about packing healthy meals too because this will keep your energy levels up throughout the day and night.
Pack your lunch and healthy snacks before going to the beach. Bring fruits, vegetables and juices so that you can have healthy snacks. Avoid Sugary foods like candies, cakes and chocolates. Also, consume lots of water while at the beach. This helps in preventing heat stroke and dehydration.
Planning a picnic on the beach? Make sure you pack enough food for everyone in your group, to avoid unwanted hunger pangs. Remember that not everyone has the same taste in food, which is why it is important to think of different options while preparing a picnic basket
Swim in the ocean, not the tiki drinks
When you are on a beach holiday, it is easy to get carried away and drink too much alcohol. I'm sure we've all done it. Drinking alcohol can dehydrate your body because it gets absorbed into your body quicker and travels through your bloodstream faster than water does. Drinking alcohol will also make you prone to sunburns because it reduces your skin's ability to produce vitamin-D which helps protect against sunburns.
The great thing is that, as long as you are in the right location, you can get back on track with a few key changes to your lifestyle.
Try to keep it to just 1-2 drinks in the sun during the day, ideally in the shade. Save any more drinks for the cooler nights when the sun and heat isn’t a complicating factor.
Watch out for the high calorie (but delicious) cocktails!
A lot of beach cocktails, like mai tais and pina coladas, are loaded with sugar and calories. Enjoy one or two, but try not to go overboard - those tiki drinks add up!
Skip the heavy and sugary drinks and opt for a low calorie cocktail like a vodka and soda with a splash of cranberry juice. This kind of drink will give you a nice buzz without going overboard on calories.
At the end of the day, don't beat yourself up if you have an extra pina colada though. It's vacation - enjoy it!
Bring active games to the beach
At the beach, it's easy to slip into a lazy routine of lying on the sand all day. It’s good to find fun ways to stay active while at the beach.
Plan active activities for your vacation. Plan ahead and schedule in some active activities, such as swimming, snorkeling or paddle boarding.
Bring your active games with you. If your beach has a lot of rocks or reef, bring along some water shoes or fins so you can get out and explore this area when you need an activity break from sunbathing or swimming. Beach volleyball is another great game for a sandy environment and it can be played by people of all ages, and a football or other ball can keep kids entertained for hours.
Bring along a frisbee or boogie board for fun exercise. You don't have to spend money on expensive equipment for fun exercise at the beach. A frisbee will keep you moving when you get tired of lounging around, as will boogie boarding or body surfing.
If you’re going to exercise, start slowly
Being physically active is important for everyone, but it’s essential to stay safe while exercising in the heat. Everyone's body reacts differently to the heat and it’s important to take preventative measures before you begin exercising.
If you're a runner, start slowly – get used to the heat with a walk on the beach before you start running. Trying to run a full mile on your first run at the beach will wear you out quickly and put you at risk of dehydration or even heat stroke. Start slow, and as your body adjusts to the heat, you can increase your duration and speed.
If you’re going to be doing a lot of exercise outside, conserve energy by alternating exercise with rest periods – every 30 minutes, stop exercising and sit in the shade for 10-15 minutes while.
When possible, run early in the morning or late in the evening when there is less sunlight and lower temperatures. Avoid running during midday when it is hot and sunny.
Don't beat yourself up if you "fall off the wagon"
Going to the beach is a great way to relax, enjoy the sun and have fun with friends. But, it's also easy to get into some unhealthy habits. When you're at the beach, it's easy to eat food that is high in fat and calories and drink alcohol and cocktails. Don’t stress too much about it - you’re here to relax and take it easy. You can get stricter with your diet and exercise program when you’re back home. For now, take it easy, rest, and enjoy the beauty of the ocean, the beach, and the weather.
From eating clean to reducing your risk of a sunburn, staying healthy at the beach doesn't have to be difficult. Regardless of where you choose to vacation, these simple tips can help you pack your bags for a more relaxing and enjoyable time.