Itís almost summertime and depending on where you live Ė it might already feel like summer
. If youíre lucky enough to be heading to the beach
this summer, donít forget whatís really important.
Slather on the Sunscreen
Unless you happen to think skin cancer and wrinkles at forty is cool, slather or spray on sunscreen before you even step out of the car, and then continue to apply it every hour or so Ė read the instructions to be sure youíre applying it at the right time. Use a high SPF to block the most rays and be sure to cover all of your skin.
Even skin that might get a few rays through a mesh top or wet shirt Ė like your shoulders can do with a bit of sunscreen, just in case. Most importantly, donít forget your face, temples, and your ears. These are some of the most common places for burns.
Drink Plenty of Water
A day at the beach requires plenty of water Ė both the salty variety and the clean kind. Despite the fact that youíre playing in the ocean (or bay, or lake, or whatever) you also need to be keeping the inside of your body hydrated. Salt water can make you extra thirsty, so take breaks often and guzzle water. Bring an ice chest fully stocked with water and other caffeine and carbonation free drinks.
As yummy as a soda might sound at the hot beach, it can actually make you feel worse with a sugar high or by taking water away from where your body needs it most. Skip the bubbly stuff and stick with the basics.
There are signs and flags all over most beaches that let you know the condition of the water. If the lifeguards tell you to stay close to shore, it should be pretty obvious that you need to do as they say. The ocean can be unpredictable at times with currents and riptides, so you never want to get in a position where you might not be able to walk back to shore quickly and easily.
Donít go out farther than you feel comfortable and donít lose track of where you are in the water. Often the current will pull you down the beach away from your friends and family if youíre not paying attention. Laugh and splash all you want, but be sure you look up often to keep yourself aware of where you are and whatís happening around you.
The beach is one of the best places to spend some time this summer, so enjoy yourself while youíre there. Build sandcastles and race your friends. Chase sea gulls and collect special shells. If youíre lucky enough, take a sunset (or sunrise) stroll with someone special and make the kinds of memories that last a lifetime.
While youíre at the beach, you can have fun a different way as well by helping to clean up and recycle items that might have been left behind by others. Knowing youíve helped keep the beach beautiful might just let you enjoy it even more.