Getting out in the sun is oftentimes a pleasant experience. It feels rejuvenating, it revives the soul. Well, that is if it’s taken in moderation or at least at certain times of the day.  While sunbathing is a common activity for many people, many also don’t realize that the sun is closer to us in Florida than in any other place in the country. After all, this beautiful coast wasn’t named the “Sunshine State” for no reason. Anyhow, since the sun burns hotter in this area, it is vital for anyone here to take the necessary precautions when going out to the bright and sunny outdoors. Here are a few tips to keep things in check.

1. Keep yourself hydrated

On most days, the weather here in southwest Florida will be warm and being in warm places will make you sweat a lot. It is important to drink lots of water while you’re here to avoid being dehydrated.  Most experts would recommend drinking up to 8 glasses per day, with 8 ounces for each glass. This is about 2 liters or about half a gallon of fluid. However, if you engage in highly strenuous activities it is recommended that you drink more.

2. Wear sunscreen

This never gets said enough. Applying sunscreen should ward off the excess sunlight from your skin and so prevents us from getting sunburns.  Also keep in mind that sunscreens don’t last all day so you have to apply them about twice daily. It is ideal that you stay in the shade for about 15 minutes after applying the sunscreen before heading out. That way the sunscreen absorbs better in the skin and thus should work more effectively.

3. Wear the appropriate clothing

Choose the types of clothing that let your body breathe. Favor light and flowy fabrics like cotton or silk. Prefer wearing shorts instead of long pants and sandals or flip flops to sneakers or any closed toe shoe types.  The main goal is to stay cool and dry. Use light and large brimmed hats like Sunday hats or straw hats as they provide comfort from the harsh sunrays.  Sunglasses are also recommended as they reduce the brightness of the sun and the sometimes irritating glare of the sea waves.

4. Don’t stay out in the sun for too long

Heatstroke usually occurs when the body temperature reaches 105 °F. You would do well to not stay out for too long in the sun. You may be playing Frisbee, beach volleyball, golfing in the glades or just sunbathing or whatever; get into the shade and get something cool to drink as soon as you feel your body heat has been rising. No need to push yourself too much. When you can, avoid the peak hours (10 am – 4 pm) because that is when the sun is most damaging to the skin. And again, we always stress the importance of being responsible despite having fun.

5. Avoid tanning beds

You already have the sun to make you tan; it would be redundant to still be going to a tanning salon. Tanning beds are known to emit large amounts of UV rays which are known to harm the skin. This means you’ll be saving your skin from a lot of trouble in the long run if you only choose  either the tanning bed or going out to sunbathe.

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