This summer has been the fourth hottest summer ever. Everyone is aware of this. But people I see walking in the street behave as if they are in denial. Now before I start on this diatribe I have to confess that I grew up in Florida. And while I do have an olive complexion, my mother had freckles and was very aware and protective of her skin. So I learned early that there needed to be a limit of exposure to the sun.
But first things first- a couple of week ago, I was going to work and while waiting for the walk sign a younger person next to me said, “God why did I wear these pants? It’s so hot.” And just to be nice I asked what’s the problem? And she said, “These jeans are too tight and heavy. I feel just awful. I should be dressed like you with loose fitting light clothing.”
I thought yes, you should. But I don’t expect a 24 year old to be dressed like a 64 year old. Even if you were wearing shorts and t-shirts though, they should fit loosely. Do I know this from growing up in Florida? Maybe. So rule number 1 of thriving in hot weather requires you wear loose fitting clothing.
Rule number 2 involves the need for a hat. A wide brimmed hat protects your face and eyes from the ultraviolet light. Now we need sun exposure to get a proper amount of vitamin D3, but no one knows the exact balance between the healthy and unhealthy amount of sun exposure. But we do know that excess sun exposure contributes to skin cancer. And you may not know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S. One in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Ultraviolet light causes the cell mutation to occur. The threat applies equally to exposure in tanning studios. Apparently incidence increases with blistering sunburns during your teenage years. So you can protect your skin by wearing sunscreen, which I never do; or you can wear a hat. Also, the location of many skin cancers is on the face and scalp. Wide brim hats are great protection as well as shade in the summer or winter.
Additionally, ultraviolet rays affect the eyes contributing to cataracts, growths, and cancers of the eye. So rule number 3 is to wear sunglasses that protect against the ultraviolet rays even if it’s a cloudy day. The best is if you already wear glasses have them made into transition glasses so that the lens turn dark outdoors.
And last but not least, surviving the remaining hot days requires that you pay attention to hydrating all the time. Notice it is the one thing missing in the photo above. This just proves that we all have room for improvement.
Please enjoy the rest of the very warm days left in summer. And please take care and love yourself.