Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Surviving the summer heat

- Ritche T. Salgado, PTRP -

CEBU, Philippines - Aside from graduations, March also signals the start of the warm season. This also means that there will be lot of outdoor activities like summer outings, family and class reunions, and sports events like marathons, fun runs, and camps. This means that most of us would be under the intense heat of the sun, which can be very unhealthy, especially for our skin.

During our class on wound care and burn management at St. Louise Review Center, our lecturer, Joven S.M. Tan, pointed out the importance of the skin not just for cosmetics, but also for protecting the body.

Mr. Tan, who holds a Physical Therapist license in the State of New York, said that the skin also functions to conserve the body's natural environment; regulate body temperature; excrete sweat and electrolytes; secrete oil; produce Vitamin D (which is essential for calcium absorption and thus, bone health); and provide sensory input, allowing us to have a better experience of our environment.

For these reasons, it is very important for us to protect our skin, especially from the harmful rays of the sun. Here are a few summer essentials that you should not do without:

Use sunblock. They are not just for beach-goers, they are also useful for people who are often exposed to the sun. Even indoors, sunblocks are recommended to protect the skin since fluorescent lights also emit some levels of radiation. The higher the SPF the better. Mr. Tan said that he prefers to use sunblock with an SPF 50, and considering the intensity of the sun's rays these days, that would be practical. Make sure also to cover all exposed skin, most especially your face. There are sunblocks made especially for the face. Regular sunblock would not do since they mostly block the pores of your skin, causing outbreaks of acne.

Choose light clothing, meaning light weight and light colored. Dark colors absorb heat, while light colors allow heat to pass. You would not want to absorb heat while under the sun. Also, avoid clothes made of heavy material, especially those made of animal skin like leather and fur, or synthetics like polymers and nylon. Go for cotton or silk instead. They are not only lightweight, they also allow warm air to pass through, literally allowing your clothes to breathe, leaving you feeling fresh throughout the day.

Wear proper eyewear. If you choose to wear sunglasses when you go out, better choose one that would not only complement your getup but would also protect your eyes. Go for sunglasses with at least 99 percent UVA and UVB protection. This not only protects your eyes from cataracts, they also prevent wrinkles and skin damage around your eyes. There are plenty of cost-effective stylish sunglasses out there, but make sure you're buying from a reliable store, else you might be getting one that would hurt, rather than protect your eyes.

Be well hydrated. Bring a water bottle with you so that you won't need to buy bottled water every once in a while. There are stores that sell pouch-like bottles that are not just handy and less bulky, but are also stylish. Most would come with a clip that you can use so that you can leave it hanging on the straps of your bag. Doctors recommend eight glasses of water per day, or roughly around two liters. During the summer season, when we tend to dehydrate faster, it is better to drink more than two liters of water or fluids, that includes juice, but not hard or soft drinks. 

Proper moisture. Yes, moisturize. It's not just our thirst that needs quenching, our skin also needs to be quenched. During the hot season, it pays to have moist skin, by that I don't mean sweaty skin. After bathing, rub on some lotion. This locks up the moisture deep in your skin, keeping it supple and youthful. The heat from the sun during the summer season dries up our skin, making it all wrinkly, saggy, and chapped. This makes our skin prone to wounds and infection, as such keeping it moist would mean keeping it healthy.

Plant trees. One of the best ways to offset the heat, are plants, most especially trees; and since they breathe in carbon dioxide, they are good filters for your home. Stack up on houseplants and plant trees in your backyard. We just can't rely on leaders who are tolerating the travesty on our mountains, including quarrying and housing developments. Because we no longer have enough trees to protect our mountains and to filter our air, we are now left to suffer with floods (even in uphill communities) and the scorching heat of the sun, which is not good for our skin. Aside from that, the city is now starving of healthy oxygen that could also give our skin that healthy glow, in addition to fueling our body. Since we can't rely on our leaders, let us do the doing and plant trees in our backyard and stack on other plants to ensure that in our own homes we have better air and good protection from the sun's harmful rays.

Think positive. Believe it or not, but our thoughts reflect a lot on our skin. The more negative vibrations you entertain, the more dry and ugly your skin would become; and the happier your thoughts are, the more vibrant you'll look. The moment you step out of the door, make sure that you are wearing a smile. Don't leave it at home. Take it anywhere you go and you will look as vibrant and youthful as ever. The Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center (Phone: 035-254-5975; Address: 11-2 Forest Hills, Banawa, Cebu City) frequently hosts intimate conversations on self-management and developing a positive outlook. Everyone is welcome to join. Give the center a call to know of its latest offerings.

This summer season may be hot (although climate change may change that), but it doesn't mean that your mood would be fiery as well. Bring these essentials with you every day and you will be assured of a healthier skin and a more productive summer this 2012.

Visit the author's site at http://tribong-upos.xanga.com. Or follow him on Twitter: @tribong_upos.












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