The sun is out! And the Memorial Day weekend forecast looks promising, too. And the flowers, like the ones above, are out and blooming. It’s nice outside!
As I’ve talked about in past posts, I had a skin cancer scare a few month ago. Since then, I’ve been vigilant about sunscreen, every day on all my exposed skin. I’m doing my best to reduce my risks.
I want you to reduce your risks, too! Here are my sun care tips for hoopers. Most of these are common sense, and you may already know some of these, but here’s a reminder.
As hoopers, many of us are outside a lot. We attend outdoor hoop jams, go to festivals, and we practice outdoors, too. We are in the sun quite a bit. That’s a good thing, but we do need to take precautions in maintaining and taking care of our skin.
I know, for myself, I often overlook the use of sunscreen or other basic sunburn prevention measures. I am paying the price with some sun damage that has turned cancerous on my right shoulder. The damage is being removed, and I should be ok, but it’s scared me into taking betting care of my skin in the sun.
Sunlight isn’t all that bad, with its damaging ultraviolet (UV)rays. We do need it to live. Here are some benefits, according to Medical Daily:
1. We can sleep better when we get some sun exposure, as it regulates our sleep cycle by resetting your body’s clock.
2. Sunlight can increase serotonin levels in your body for a better mood.
3. Vitamin D is produced in your body from exposure to sunlight, which can actually help prevent cancers, and help in bone growth and strength.
Now, too much of a good thing, as we know, can be bad. For hoop jams and festivals, we are often outside most of the day. We sweat, as most of these events happen in warmer weather. We tend to wear weather appropriate to the weather, such as shorts and tank tops. A lot more skin is exposed!
Now, how can we protect and take care of our skin during hooping events? The easiest and most common sense answer is sunscreen. There are so many out there that are for many different skin types. There are sunscreens that are waterproof and sweat-proof. There are ones that are for sensitive skin. There are also a wide range of SPF’s, or Sun Protection Factors, out there. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a SPF of 15 or higher. Pick a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both types UV (ultraviolet) radiation: long wave UVA and shortwave UVB.
Other options for protecting your skin are to wear weather light cotton garments with long sleeves. I know those may get in the way of hooping, but a light tunic when you are not hooping might save you some sun damage.
Wearing a brimmed hat may get in the way of hooping, but wearing one while you are sitting in a workshop or hanging out at the hoop jam will provide protection for your head and face.
Don’t forget your feet! Apply sunscreen to your feet, seriously, especially the bottoms. I know for myself, and many of your out there, I like to hoop barefoot. Feet aren’t usually exposed to the sun, so they can be more susceptible to burning.
Seek shade. Shady trees project you from the sun. If you are in an open area, such as the desert, bring an umbrella or parasol to block harmful rays. It’s especially important in sandy environments, such as the desert or the beach, to follow steps to beat sun damage because the sun’s rays can reflect off the sand. The same goes for snow, too!
Lastly, the worst time to be out in the sun is from 10am-2pm when the sun rays are at their strongest. I know that’s hard to do when you’re outside at a festival or are planning a hoop jam. Stay active during the early morning or evening hours. During this four hour window, though, take things easy and use the things above to protect yourself. Plan that hoop jam for the evening; everyone can play with their LED hoops when it gets dark!
I know, a lot of these things are easy to forget or get lost in the shuffle of a good time. Still, a few steps may save you some damage and reduce certain health risks. Hooping is fun and great to do outdoors, but a few simple things may make it a little safer for your skin and overall health.