The weather is warming up as we come into spring, and now is a great time to get out of the house and start doing all the things that you put off during the colder months. You can remove those winter layers, step out into the sun, and enjoy longer and warmer days.
But with more sun exposure comes an increased risk of sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. Just 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure each day provides a sufficient level of vitamin D for our bodies - everything after that causes damage to our skin cells.
There are plenty of tasks that get us out-and-about for longer than 10 minutes each day, and we don't always remember to put on adequate sun protection beforehand, even though this is very important. Do you remember to use sun protection when doing these eight everyday activities?
1. Walking the dog
Most dogs thrive off daily exercise, which might include a 30-60 minute walk every day. Do you remember to grab your hat and sunglasses every time you reach for the leash?
Spring is the perfect time to plant new seedlings in your vegetable garden or brighten up your flower beds, which means you might be slaving over the soil for a whole weekend or more. Try to find shade in the backyard, or leave the job for the late afternoons when UV levels are lower.
If you head outside for a daily run, walk or cycle, remember to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin, including your hands and ears.
4. Hanging out the washing
You can even get sunburnt doing your chores! Hanging out a basket of wet washing can take upwards of 10 minutes, so leave a hat on the washing machine to remind yourself to wear it.
5. Mowing the lawn
With warmer weather and a bit more rain in spring, your lawn will start to flourish. It's best to mow it in the early mornings or late afternoons to avoid the highest levels of UV radiation during the day.
6. Playing outside
If you have kids, grandkids, or pets, you might spend your afternoons or weekends playing with them in the backyard or the park. Sun protection is even more important for children, as their skin is more susceptible to sun damage which can develop into skin cancer in later life. Make sure the whole family is armoured with sunscreen, collared shirts and a hat whenever you're outdoors.
7. Weekend sports
If you play a weekend sport, lather up with sunscreen before you leave the house and reapply as regularly as you can, as sweat can wash it off. If you're a spectator on the sidelines, stay in the shade and wear a hat and sunglasses, as UV radiation can reflect off grass and intensify.
Did you know you can get sunburnt through a window? If you feel the sun warming your skin while driving, try blocking it out with the sun visor or wearing long sleeves to protect yourself from sunburn.