Please. I mean it. It’s nearly midsummer and our skin has barely been in touch with the air for 6 months let alone the sun (unless you’ve been on holiday lately). It’s particularly dangerous this year because this fresh wind is clearing the pollution in London and we’re getting south of France style powerful sun.
Make the most of it, get out into your local green space, enjoy the trees, the people, the atmosphere of warmth, don’t hide inside (!). But pay attention because we are jumping from one season to another, 20 degrees within 2 weeks!
Behaviourally (wearing different clothes, carrying sun cream/glasses with us, water) and biologically (skin not conditioned to sunlight, hydration levels not adapted to change in temp, mineral salt loss increases through sweating) we are not adapted to the change in season. Arguably this is the most vulnerable time of the year for the human body, going from cool to hot
Overwhelmed by the excitement of hot sun for the first time we easily mess up and get burnt, dehydrated, heat stroke or even worse sun stroke. But at the same time we need Vit D desperately! So many illnesses are related to vit D deficiencies and it’s a natural anti-depressant too.
I love the sun but I respect the sun too. I try to sunbathe in the shade at this time of the year, wear suncream if skin is in direct sun or cover up, only sunbath in direct sun in the early morning or evening and use a timer. We all make mistakes and get caught short but the aim of this blog is help avoid it.
As we go through the season you are more conscious of what you can handle (my legs rarely burn but upper body is more sensitive to light) and the sun becomes weaker too so it’s easier to manage. It’s this time of the year that we have to be vigilant!
Respect Mother Nature and take care! Here’s some tips on how to take responsibility for your body in the change in season from spring to summer:
(This is directed at UK or anyone going from 6 months of no sun to sun)
1) Don’t drink alcohol in direct sun. If you can’t handle heat drink be even more careful (and ideally don’t drink!!
2) Know your skin!!! Humans have brains so we must use them! Every single person has slightly different skin to the other. Amazing isn’t it. So it’s your responsibility to not get burnt. 10 mins sunbathing could burn one person and barely touch another. If you haven’t had sun on your skin for 6 months be aware this weekend.
3) Don’t do any training in direct sunlight, only early morning or evening or under shade, if you can’t handle heat you shouldn’t train between 12-4pm. Drink extra fluids throughout the day and bring extra to any workouts. Be careful not to overdrink whilst training too thought!
4) Use a timer if you’re sun bathing, be aware of the strength of sun: its at it’s strongest a month before and after midsummer (Saturday 24 June) May to Aug.
Sunbathing under a tree is nice. But remember the sun moves so set a timer.
2pm is Very strong
1pm and 3pm strong
12pm and 4 pm still strong!
5) Don’t fall asleep in sun!!!
6) Wear sun cream if in direct sunlight! There’s organic sun creams if you don’t like chems. Or the mottled shade of trees (gets you a nice light tan!) or long sleeve light thin clothing. Loosely woven cloths will allow vit d in whilst protecting you.
7) Think about what’s on show when walking about, every minute counts. If your arms and chest are out then you must use some sun cream or cover up (because your mind will be on other things).
8) Take water with you everywhere! You be ver know when you might need it, there’s pollen and really hot transport to contend with. Ideally have a little fresh lemon or lime, some fruit juice in the water to rehydrate most efficiently. Watermelon is ideal rehydration ratios of water to sugar for training too.
9) Take a hat with you everywhere to protect the heat of the sun from your head.
Later on in the year the sun is less strong (further away from mid summer) and our skin is more conditioned from summer and behaviourally we are used to wearing protection and considering it.