Standing under the warm rays of the sun can be a truly relaxing experience, such as on a sunny morning after a long, cold night... or when you finally arrive at the beach for a short holiday. It’s also incredibly healthy: exposure to the sun plays a big role in optimizing hormonal functions and in producing vitamin D.
Of course, the sun can also be rather harsh on us, and especially our skin. So, there needs to be a balance between enjoying the sun’s warmth, and protecting yourself from the sun’s glare. How do you do that? Read on, ladies...
Now, the most obvious answer would of course be sunscreen... and we all know about SPF and all that, right? However, there are also quite a few people who avoid sunscreen. Some of the chemicals used in the production of some commercial sunscreen are supposedly toxic, both to your body and to the environment. For example, research has shown that sunscreen contributes to the destruction of coral reefs at popular beaches.
And a layer of sunscreen does hamper the production of vitamin D.
Not that we should abandon sunscreen altogether, that is. Of course not. However, we may want to be a bit more careful about picking sunscreen that’s non-toxic, and we should also stick to lotions. Don’t use those spray-on sunscreens. Also, don’t forget about other forms of protection: hats, a big umbrella, loose fitting clothes that cover your arms. Yes, even when we’re at the beach.
Finally, we can condition our body to better handle a bit of sunlight. Imagine that, say, you’re going to go on a vacation to a coastal city in a month or two, and naturally, you’ll be spending time on the beach. Start standing under the sun a couple of minutes each day (besides the time you already spent walking outdoors, of course), adding a couple of minutes every day or so. Maybe take off your jacket and roll up your sleeves once in a while. That way, when you finally hit the warm sandy beach, your body won’t be too shocked.
To top it all off, consider adding more antioxidants to your diet: leafy greens and citrus fruit are great sources, as well as vitamin C and E.
And there you have it: a complete, simple, and relatively easy to follow protect-your-body-from-the-sun strategy...
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