Basking in the Summer Sun (Safely)

This post written by Stephanie Savarese; Healthy Athletes Program Coordinator;

The rain has mostly subsided and it might actually be safe to pull out those shorts and enjoy the outdoors!  At Special Olympics Massachusetts we’re all about being active, and the summer months is one of our favorite times of year.  Whether it’s a trip to the beach, a barbeque, or a visit to the neighborhood park, good weather brings about endless opportunities to get outside, be active and enjoy beautiful New England!  Despite how happy we are to see an end to the seemingly constant rain of May and June, it’s important to remember the dangers of too much sun exposure.  With a few basic precautions, it’s easy to enjoy all that summer has to offer without feeling the burn, quite literally, later on:

  1. Seek shade.  No matter how great the sun feels after a long winter’s hiatus, UV rays can cause serious damage.  Take breaks under a tent, a tree, or head inside periodically.  Your skin will thank you later!
  2. Use sunscreen.  In the summer months, we should really be wearing sunscreen daily, especially on our faces.  When outdoors for extended periods of time (think beach or golf), sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours.  There are tons of varieties of sunscreen out there, foams, gels, sprays, waterproof, etc.  If you’re not sure what’s best for you, click here, to read about some peoples favorite drugstore sunscreens.
  3. Wear sunglasses.  Big ones, little ones, a cheap or a designer pair, it doesn’t matter.  Regularly wearing sunglasses will protect your eyes from potential sun damage, and as an added boost, they help keep wrinkles at bay, too!
  4. Cover up.  Wide brimmed hats are great; baseball caps work, too, but don’t forget to apply sunscreen to your ears and the back of your neck.  Dark colors like black and navy blue are actually better for you in the sun because UV rays are less likely to pass through onto your skin. 

So, we hope you’ll keep these tips in mind when taking full advantage of the rest of summer.  Nobody will be enjoying it more than our athletes, as they gear up to compete at August Tournament on August 8th and 9th.  With cycling, golf, fishing, bocce and softball, the event encompasses all that summer should be.  So, lather on the sunscreen, grab your shades and favorite sports cap, and join us!  For more information on August Tournament, or our other events, check out our website, www.specialolympicsma.org.

Have a healthy, safe and fun summer!

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