10 Surprising Ways to Beat Back the Rays While Having Fun in the Sun
by Anita Brooks
For years, I managed Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort in Missouri, one of the largest river recreation resorts in the U.S.—refreshing yet sultry, during peak season. 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. I found some of the most effective concepts are easy, inexpensive and fascinating.
Simple things can surprise, benefit and even protect us. After reading through the ideas below, I think you’ll agree, we don’t have to hide from the sun to enjoy the unique pleasures of summer, if we follow a few basic tips. Here are ten of my favorite helps and why.
10. Slather sun protection on all potentially exposed skin, making sure you smear an inch or two within covered up areas. When we’re playing outside, especially in the water, and our clothes shift or scrunch, a blistery band of red can show up in unsavory places before we realize it’s happened.
9. Breathe deeply. When we slow our intakes and exhalations, our body’s internal cooling system is stimulated, protecting our organs from over-heating.
8. Make iced tea from dried herbs with natural coolant properties like peppermint or chrysanthemum to reduce your body temperature from the inside out. Not only will you feel energized, but your liver, eyes and skin will benefit as well. The heat-relieving qualities of these tasty teas will make it worth your trip to the local health food store.
7. Reduce the odds of heat-stroke by using a common item. Cold bottles of water or frozen rice bags will lower your core temperature by placing them on your ankles, tops of your feet, wrists, neck, forehead and behind the knees.
6. Protect yourself from the harmful 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—Google “homemade sunscreen recipe” to find several good options on Pinterest and other online sites.
5. 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.
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 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. Make sure your shades top the list of forget-me-nots when you’re planning an outdoor excursion.
2. Decrease your risk for Melanoma by limiting sun-to-skin exposure. 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. These staggering statistics should prompt all of us to carefully protect ourselves from the harmful effects of the sun, so we can still have fun without 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—simply take wise precautions. With these easy tips, you can beat back the rays and 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 Recipe: Prepare a 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 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 Homemade Mint-Aloe Body Lotion
1/4 cup grated beeswax
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup aloe vera gel, room temp
1/4 Teaspoon peppermint essential oil
2 Teaspoons Witch Hazel
Place the beeswax and coconut oil in a saucepan over low heat just until melted. Try to keep the temperature as low as possible to preserve the natural 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 Brooks, CPT, CLTF, CCS, motivates others to dynamic break-throughs. Blending mind, heart, body and spirit, as an Inspirational Business/Life Coach, International Speaker and Common Trauma Expert. She shares hope and encouragement on the stage and from the page—reminding audiences, “It’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.” Anita is also a multi-published, award-winning author of Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, First Hired, Last Fired—How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market and Death Defied-Life Defined: A Miracle Man’s Memoir. You can connect with Anita at anitabrooks.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org to contact her directly.
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