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Sign up to the get fit newsletter
Sign up for the ''Get Fit'' Newsletter
  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
  • Weight loss and diet myths revealed
  • Flexibility, how and when to stretch
  • How to build personal motivation
  • How to conquer procrastination
Email:
Name:
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Health and Fitness News

Nothing but Fun in the Sun

Stay safe at the beach this summer with these tips.

Whether you enjoy jumping the waves, building a sandcastle, taking long walks, or relaxing under the umbrella, a beach vacation offers something for everyone. The fun can quickly fade, however, with injury, sunburn, and dangers in the water.

You don’t want to remember your vacation for what went wrong. Make your beach vacation memorable for the right reasons with these helpful tips.

Wear Sunscreen

Nothing puts a damper the fun like a bad sunburn. After flaking and peeling, a sunburn usually heals within a week, but in the meantime it’s sore, red, hurts to touch, and painful to move. Not to mention it puts you at risk for skin cancer, eye damage, and premature aging of the skin.

It’s easy to forget about sunscreen when you’re busy having fun, but you’ll regret it later. Always remember there’s a risk for sunburn whether you’re fair- or dark-skinned and whether it’s hot or cold, sunny or cloudy.

Half an hour before being in the sun apply sunscreen to all areas of the skin that’ll be exposed to sunlight and don’t forget your ears. Make sure your sunscreen protects against both ultraviolet A and B radiation and is at least 15 SPF. Wear a wide-brimmed hat to help protect your face and shoulders. And while sunny days are fun for everyone, keep babies under the age of 6 months out of direct sunlight.

Take Note of Flags

Most public beaches post colored warning flags to alert you of any potential dangers. Different colors represent different warnings so take note. Red usually means the beach is closed due to hazardous conditions, yellow may mean the waters are rough but still swimmable, and green typically means it’s a great day for swimming. If you see a blue or purple flag, you may want to think twice about getting in the water, as dangerous sea creatures such as sharks or jellyfish may be in the area.

Watch for Wildlife

The ocean is home to many exotic and dangerous sea creatures that may not give you a friendly welcome. It’s smart to stay aware of what’s in the water around you. While shark attacks are rare, they are a possibility. But sharks aren’t the main threat to your fun. Shells, barnacles, and clams can be sharp to the touch and crabs or stingrays don’t like to be stepped on.

Often, it’s not hard objects that hurt, but the soft ones, like jellyfish. Jellyfish tentacles can sting your skin, some mildly and others quite severely. Use a flat object to scrape off a tentacle that’s stuck to the skin then rinse with seawater. Vinegar helps relieve the sting, as does soaking in hot water. While many people believe urinating on a jellyfish sting brings relief, doing so can actually make the sting worse.

Swim Safely

Ocean swimming is a lot different than swimming in a pool. If you’re not an experienced swimmer, stick near the shore. Regardless of how strong a swimmer you are, never swim alone and stay near a lifeguard when possible. The waves can knock you over, the ocean floor is unpredictable, and the rip current can pull you out to sea. Check the flags for a warning of dangerous conditions before swimming. If you get pulled out to sea, save your energy and let the current carry you or swim with the current horizontal to shore until it subsides, and then swim toward the shore.