10 Ways to Have Fun in the Sun
by Anita Agers Brooks
For years, I managed one of the largest river recreation resorts in the U.S., and one of the sultriest during its peak season. I’ve provided first aid to people of all ages, and helped prevent heat-related problems for others. Because of my experience in the outdoor realm, I learned a lot about protection from the ravaging rays of a hot summer sun, both internally and externally. But some of the most effective things we can do are easy, inexpensive, and fascinating.
I’ve learned that simple, God-designed ideas can surprise and benefit us, making our fun in the sun even more enjoyable. After reading through the tips below, I think you’ll agree, we don’t have to hide from the sun’s rays to bask in the unique pleasures of summer. Here are ten of my favorite helps from my experiences during my river days, and why.
10. Make iced tea from dried herbs with natural coolant properties like peppermint or chrysanthemum to reduce your body’s core temperature from the inside out. Not only will you feel energized, but your liver, eyes, and skin will be strengthened as well. The heat-relieving qualities of these tasty teas will make it worth your trip to the local health food store.
9. Breathe deeply. Slow intakes and exhalations stimulate your body’s internal cooling system, protecting your organs from over-heating. Don’t discount the value of caring for the parts of you unseen.
8. Reduce the odds of heat-stroke by using a common item. Cold bottles of water or frozen rice bags will lower your core temperature when you place them on your ankles, tops of your feet, wrists, neck, forehead, and behind the knees.
7. We know to slather sun protection on all potentially exposed areas of the skin. But did you know you should smear it an inch or two beneath covered up areas? When we’re playing outside, especially in the water, and our clothes shift or scrunch, a blistery band of red can whelp in unsavory places before we realize it’s happened.
6. Clean, cut, and freeze fruits and veggies, keeping them in a small cooler for easy, convenient, and healthy internal cooling agents when the sun blazes overhead. Drop pieces into water and enhance its refreshing properties, while infusing yourself with healing vitamins and minerals. Good options include watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, celery, radishes, green, red, yellow, or orange peppers, cauliflower, kale, strawberries, grapes, or carrots. I call this God’s energy drink!
5. Protect yourself from the damaging effects of too much sun, without the harsh chemicals some experts say are harmful to our hormones and block necessary bone-building Vitamin D. Make your own sunscreen—there are several good options on Pinterest and other online sites. (See one of my easy favorites below.)
4. Avoid peak ultra-violet sun rays by covering up, remaining under deep shade, or staying indoors from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., when the sun’s streams are the strongest.
3. Maintain supple, smooth, soft skin around your eyes by regularly wearing UV protectant sunglasses to evade the squinting effect. Wrinkles show up earlier and our eyesight is jeopardized when we habitually squeeze our eyes to see.
2. Decrease your risk for Melanoma with diligent skin protection. Incidences of skin cancer have increased over 2000% since 1930, according to melanomainternational.org. Over one million new cases are diagnosed each year, outnumbering all other cancers combined. And Melanoma is the most common cancer killer of young women between the ages of 29-34, though anyone of any age or gender can contract it. But, if we exercise wisdom and caution, we can avoid unreasonable worry.
1. Remember, summer is God’s creation, and He gave us the pleasure of healthy play. So refuse to let a fear of the sun keep you from having fun. Take precautions to beat back the rays, so you can savor this sunny season.
Ecclesiastes 8:15, “And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of life that God has given him under the sun.” (ESV)
Bonus Recipes: Prepare a healthy, homemade sun block for protection. Use your own cooling salve to reduce the sting of sunburn, or simply to bring your external body temperature down when it’s hot, hot, hot.
There are many great recipes online using natural ingredients like the coconut and shea butter sun block, or witch hazel, peppermint oil, and aloe vera lotion I helped create while I still managed the resort. Feel free to use and share.
Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort’s Healthy and Homemade Sun Block
Glass jar with lid
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup shea butter
1 teaspoon vitamin E
10-20 drops favorite flavor essential oil
1/4 cup grated beeswax
4 tablespoons non-nano zinc oxide
Grab a glass jar and put coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and essential oil inside. Add the beeswax last.
Loosely screw on the lid. Place in a medium size saucepan filled about half-way or until the water is filled to approximately 3/4 the height of the jar. Turn on to medium heat. Watch carefully as the ingredients start to melt. Shake the jar periodically so everything mixes.
Once all ingredients have melted and mixed, remove the jar from heat and stir in the zinc oxide. Stir well and pour it into preferred glass or plastic storage containers. When using, reapply every 2-4 hours.
Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort’s Homemade Mint-Aloe Body Lotion
1/4 cup grated beeswax
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup aloe vera gel, room temp
1/8 teaspoon peppermint essential oil
2 teaspoons witch hazel
Place the beeswax and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat until just melted. Try to keep the temperature as low as possible to preserve the benefits of the coconut oil. Remove from heat and whisk in aloe vera gel, peppermint oil, and witch hazel until it’s thoroughly combined.
Let cool to room temperature for approximately 1 hour. Whisk again or place in a blender at medium speed for about 30 minutes to make it fluffy.
Anita Agers-Brooks is an international speaker, business/life coach, and award-winning author. Her brand-new book, Exceedingly: Spiritual Strategies for Living on Purpose, with Purpose, and for an Abundant Purpose just released in April. A mass market edition of her best-selling book, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, released in early May.
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