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Best Sunbathing Tips for Seniors

Sunbathing Tips for SeniorsExtreme sunlight is harmful to your skin as a senior living citizen. The skin is said to become delicate and more prone to heat or sun related diseases with age. Despite the fact that sunlight can cause skin cancer and other skin diseases, it has a myriad of advantages especially for the elderly. Moderate and controlled sun exposure can be beneficial to your overall well being as an independent senior living Houston, TX. Sunbathing is one way in which you can spend some time in the sun.

Benefits of sunbathing to members of independent senior living Houston, TX and globally

Helps the skin synthesize vitamin D

Vitamin D is quite important for your health. It is sad to know that most seniors deficient in it. Your body relies on sunshine for the synthesis of this vitamin. You may be at the risk of contracting dangerous conditions such as osteoporosis, stroke and heart attack if you do not get enough of this vitamin. Vitamin D is known to prevent up to sixteen different types of cancer. These include ovarian, lung, pancreatic, breast, colon and prostate cancers. Thus, you should aim at achieving several minutes of sunlight each day to help your body to get sufficient vitamin D.

Alleviates the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease

You might sometimes experience a collection of symptoms known as sun-downer in case you live with Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the symptoms include changes in the circadian rhythm which often occur at night. Exposing yourself to sunlight lessens their severity and this serves to improve the quality of your life.

Minimizes the risk of depression

When your body cannot get enough sunlight as a senior citizen, the result is a drop in serotonin levels. This could cause a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Getting at least thirty minutes of sun exposure can help decrease the risk of this kind of depression.

Controls sleeping patterns

You are more likely to suffer disrupted sleep as a senior compared to when you were younger.  When our body senses sunlight, it quits the production of the hormone responsible for sleep. Getting exposed to morning sunlight will help you feel alert and awake all day long. It may also help you to catch sleep faster at night.

It improves mood

Loneliness is one of the challenges that you will have to face in case you live alone. However, taking a few minutes of the day to catch some sunlight can help alleviate your loneliness. 

It is beneficial to the skin

Sunlight is known to have beneficial effects on skin disorders such as acne and eczema.

Lowers cholesterol

Sunshine helps to lower cholesterol in the body. It breaks down cholesterol into useful hormones such as the sex hormones which are responsible for reproduction.

Lowers blood pressure

Sunshine is known to lower high blood pressure. This might be helpful in case you suffer from the disease.

Cleanses the blood

Sun rays penetrate deep into the skin and help to clear the blood vessels. Exposing yourself in the sun can be very beneficial if you have atherosclerosis.

Increase oxygen in the blood

Just like exercise, sunlight improves the efficiency in which oxygen is distributed in the tissues. It has anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin as well.

Sunbathing for too long could be dangerous to your skin and overall well being as a senior.  For this reason, you should conduct your sunbathing responsibly and with extreme caution. When the UVA and UVB rays penetrate the skin they cause a number of reactions in all skin layers. The sun is known to be the most common cause of premature skin aging. Prolonged exposure to sunlight produces effects such as:

I. Epidermal thinning: This condition is called solar elastosis and it causes a yellow discoloration on the skin.

II. Skin cancer: Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays damages the DNA in the skin cells. If these damaged skin cells build up, they could cause cancer.

III. Age spots: This is caused by the breakdown of elastic and collagen fibers.

Things to Consider while sunbathing

So before sunbathing, there is a lot to consider. Following these rules will ensure you get the most out of sunbathing.

1.   Drink plenty of water

Remember to drink plenty of water during and after sunbathing to re-hydrate the skin

2.   Avoid the sun between 9 am to 3 pm

Brief regular sunbathing is known to be more effective than long hours of staying out in the sun. Spend about thirty minutes in the sun before 9 am and after 3 pm with open arms, and legs to improve the synthesis of vitamin D.

3.   Sunscreen lotion is essential even when it is cloudy

Let not the clouds fool you. You could get sunburns just like on a sunny day. The sunscreen you choose to apply should be broad spectrum. It should shield you from both the UVA and UVB sun rays for longer periods of time. It should also be mineral-based. The ingredients in it should be environmental friendly. It should also contain as few chemicals as possible. Make sure you reapply it every two hours.

4.   Use clothing that protects you from the two types of sun rays

These could include hats and sunglasses. While using sunglasses, expose your eyes to direct sunlight for about fifteen minutes. This is because a little sunshine enhances the pineal gland.

5.   Eat antioxidant-rich foods

It is important to consume foods rich in antioxidants that prevent cancer. Examples of these foods are turmeric, pigmented fruits and dark chocolate.

6.   If your doctor says you are deficient in vitamin D, take a supplement of it.

7.   Ensure not to fall asleep in the sun

This is to avoid sunburns which are the root cause of melanoma.

8. Avoid the tanning bed regardless of the season.

Therefore, you should minimize your exposure to direct sunlight at all costs if you still care about living a longer healthy life. Do not get into the open without wearing protective gear or applying sunscreen. Remember, your skin becomes delicate and more prone to diseases related to the sun. This will ensure that you stay happy and independent in your golden years. 

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