The days are growing longer and the weather is warmer. Whether you’re taking a brisk walk around the neighbourhood or competing in a triathlon, keep these five sunny season tips in mind:
1. Replenish fluids: It’s easy to become dehydrated when you’re active. Replenish your fluids by drinking plenty of water and healthy beverages and by consuming water-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Because sweat contains electrolytes, you’ll also want to add foods that contain sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium to your diet.
2. Protect skin: Sun exposure can contribute to the production of free radicals. More free radicals in the body means more damage can accumulate over time, and this DNA damage can cause gene mutations that can lead to skin cancer. This is why a multi-layered approach to skin protection is vital.
.3. Protect your feet: Wearing properly-fitting, sports-specific footwear can help you avoid overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis and tendonitis. Over time and mileage, athletic shoes lose their ability to absorb shock and will need to be replaced to help keep the muscles and joints in your feet and ankles protected. Headed for a swim? Always wear pool shoes or flip flops in the locker room to prevent athlete’s foot and skin infections.
4. Protect your vision: UV light is harmful to eye health and can put you at greater risk for a number of conditions that impact vision. Wearing sunglasses with UV protection is a good idea. A hat with a brim or cap with a visor can offer eyes additional shade with the bonus of protecting your scalp and face too. At the pool, keep chlorine and other disinfecting chemicals out of your eyes by always using goggles. Some pairs even offer UV protection.
5. Ward off bugs: There’s nothing more calming than connecting with nature, that is until biting and stinging bugs find their way to you. When going for walks in the woods, wear long sleeves and use an EPA-approved insect repellent. When you get home, do a quick inspection for ticks. You can also make your yard a safer, more comfortable place to spend time by using a citronella candle or tiki torch to ward off mosquitoes.