Summer is a great time to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather, but what many people don’t realize is just how damaging the season can be for your health. Particularly, many summer conditions lend themselves to worsening signs of aging, both visible and long-term. There are, however, a few precautionary and preventive measures you can take to protect the aspects of your health most frequently associated with aging, including your skin health, joint health, and mental health.
Summer Skin Protection
Getting outside and enjoying the weather is wonderful this time of year, but a few summer pastimes are notorious for damaging your skin’s long-term health. The most commonly known summer beauty habit with potentially harmful consequences is, as always, tanning. Many people intentionally over-expose themselves to UV rays in an effort to get that perfect summer glow. As tempting as it can be to fall into this old routine, it’s best to avoid it as much as you can. If you do choose to tan, be safe about how often and even the time of day you do so. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 AM and 3 PM, so take extra care to protect yourself during these hours.
Be especially careful about skincare and sun protection if you’re undergoing other skincare procedures or treatments that could affect your sun sensitivity. For example, many people choose to undergo laser hair removal treatments during the summer, in order to feel more confident while wearing more revealing clothing. The number of laser hair removal procedures performed in the U.S. has grown by 51% since 2000. However, these treatments can temporarily leave you more vulnerable to sun exposure, so wear plenty of sunscreen and spend enough time in the shade to protect yourself.
Joint Comfort And Flexibility
As you age, one of the more irritating symptoms you might face is decreased joint flexibility and more joint discomfort. Many people have summer hobbies and fitness routines they can only do during the warmer summer months, including running, swimming, biking, and more. However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to do all the same activities that you were able to last summer. Your body and limitations may have changed during the year. When planning your new summer fitness routine, take into account physical limitations that might have shifted since you last worked on your routine.
This is especially true for those who may have had certain medical procedures in the past year, such as joint or hip replacements. The average short-term recovery time for a total hip replacement is 4 to 6 weeks, but you might still be dealing with some limited mobility until it’s fully healed. Take it easy on yourself; remember there’s no shame in having to readjust your plans. Bodies change, and it’s better to take care of yourself rather than push too far.
Feeling Young Inside And Out
For many people, summer can be a bit of a struggle psychologically, especially as we get older. Summertime comes with a lot of increased emphasis on physical appearance and body image, which is uncomfortable territory for many. Likewise, there’s increased pressure to participate in activities that are often too expensive for many people to afford. A vacation can be a serious struggle when you’re already in debt. Although nearly 80% of Americans are struggling with debt, the fear of missing out can push people to make unwise financial decisions that, over time, decrease mental health by adding stress.
One of the keys to fighting the many symptoms of aging is taking care of your mental health and managing your stress levels. Do whatever makes you feel most comfortable in your skin for the summer, regardless of the pressure to have a “beach body” or participate in summertime activities. Stress can worsen aging symptoms, and building relaxation into your routine can help you feel better for longer.
Summer is a great time to work on improving your health and to fight the many symptoms of aging. How do you make the most of your summertime to feel great about yourself?