For the past 5 days we have been entertaining Yana, a dear friend of ours from the Ukraine. While company’s in town it’s a challenge to stay on your normal routine, but I’ve been doing my best to keep on track with posts, workouts and barre. In the mean time, we’ve had fun playing tourist and took her to Cocoa Beach yesterday.
As much as I hate rubbing in the fact that we went to the beach on a perfectly clear Tuesday (workday) afternoon in Florida, I don’t feel that bad after remembering it’s also Spring Break for most people down here. If that’s still not the case for you, I apologize in advance for talking about how beautiful the weather was…because it truly was perfect.
While catching some much needed rays –the slathered on Jersey Shore Party tan only lasts for so long– I asked myself:
How many people think of their health at the beach?
The majority of people there had some sort of sunburn, beer buzz, or hot dog to eat. It is Spring Break at the beach, so I didn’t expect to see much else, but then it got me thinking…
How can you make a trip to the beach healthy?
Let’s start with the basics.
TIP #1: The obvious, pack sunscreen.
Everyone is different on what SPF or brand to use, and here’s a great article about choosing the best sunscreen, via ABC News. The important thing to know when protecting your skin from UV rays is to use an SPF 30 or higher and to re-apply it every two hours.
As much as I used to fight this in high school and college, I’m a big happy advocate for SPF protection these days…
TIP #2: Plan ahead by packing a healthy lunch and snacks.
Having healthy options available will usually kick the craving for a hot dog, pizza slice, or any other fast food conveniently located next to you.
TIP #3: Stay hydrated.
Especially if you’re having other beverages, drinking water out in the sun is a must. Even if you think you’re not thirsty, your body craves it and needs at least a sip or two every so often.
After a relaxing day at the beach, the last thing anyone wants to do is take a trip to the hospital for heat exhaustion or heat stroke from not getting enough H2O.
Have water easily accessible and drink it!
TIP #4: Get active.
There’s so much beautiful scenery surrounding you, it’s almost a shame to spend the day laying out in a beach chair. My favorite walks are along the beach shoreline.
I’m also a big fan of beach sports and you don’t have to be a professional beach volleyball player to enjoy a friendly match or two with friends.
Activities like throwing a football, kicking a soccer ball or even tossing a Frisbee can have you running around burning calories in no time. If that doesn’t spike your interest, there’s always that game of throwing and catching grapes…
Pure entertainment, that guy is.
Whatever the activity is, don’t forget to hydrate at least every 10 minutes of activity in the sun. 😉
TIP #5: When feeling at your UV ray quota, put your
hater sun blockers on.
Yes – sunglasses, but I’m also talking about getting extra protection by wearing a hat or getting under an umbrella.
My girls brought me a viking hat for my Bachelorette Weekend at the beach. I still don’t know why it came downstairs, but I’m going to go with extra protection from the sun…
On serious note, if you’re planning on spending more than an hour or two at the beach, it could be well worth $15 to rent an umbrella for the day. Nothing feels more harmful to the skin than being overexposed, pink, and stuck in the sun for a while longer.
After a long walk down the beach with Yana, we both talked about how great it would be to come back early in the morning and run along the shoreline. Even after growing up in Florida, I still have yet to do it… so I’ll be sure to come back soon.
After 3 hours, we decided to pack up and head home. I got a little more sun that I had intended, and have to admit that sitting here on the sunburned back of my thighs is not comfortable.
Note to self:
When applying sunscreen, make sure to get everything exposed to the sun.
I think I’m tough and try to get away with only re-applying sunscreen on my face, shoulders and chest. Bad news bears… don’t do it.
I hope post this has been helpful and that you take at least one tip with you next time you go to the beach — besides throwing grapes.
How do you stay healthy or protect your skin at the beach?