The Uphill Skater: Living a Healthy Lifestyle
by Judith Lawrenson
All right, ladies, last time I promised you something HOT for summer and here it is. The hottest thing about summer is, of course, the sun. I love to get a tan; I think I look great with a tan. I have done it for years. I grew up in a very hot climate and I was young and foolish. What teenager sits in her room reading about the dangers of tanning while all her friends are at the beach? No one, and you know it!
Okay, so now what do we do about it? Well, there are several things that are of the utmost importance. As you know, the first is to apply a sun screen that is at least a factor 30. Be sure to put it all over. Put your sunscreen on BEFORE your bathing suit so you get it everywhere. I recently saw a set of ultra violet light photos that exposed the spots people missed after liberally applying sunscreen. Can you guess the most common missed spots? Well, put your two index fingers on the top of where your boobs meet and draw two lines in a large V out to your shoulder tips and you have it. Oh, what a coincidence: that soft skin on your upper chest is one of the most common sights for cancerous cells to develop!
Another very important beach concern is dehydration. This one is easy, really. Just take a little cooler with lots of ice and water. Oh wait—I’m very tired of drinking just water. What can I do? I highly recommend some of the new flavored sparkling waters. The best I have found is “Clear American” in the 33.8 ounce plastic bottle. It has zero everything and tastes great. I like the golden peach, but the mandarin orange is also very good and refreshing. Exercise guru, Jorge Cruse, recommends mixing fresh fruit juices with sparkling water, which reduces the calories in the juice but still gives you some of the benefits. I have tried this with the white grape flavor of sparkling water and the five calorie cranberry juice and it is fabulous. Experiment and find something you can enjoy drinking in large quantities. By the way, beer is not hydrating. It is dehydrating. So is wine. Tough luck, huh?
Finally, it is very important to protect your eyes. The sun and glare from the beach can be as damaging to your eyes as snow blindness. Spend a little money on sunglasses and take care of them. Okay, so I have about twelve pairs of shades, and I paid $10 for many of them, but I don’t use them at the beach. I have a good pair of polarized glasses that I always use and my regular glasses are transitional. Be careful to keep sun screen out of your eyes, but as you apply, close your eyes and put a little on your lids and between your brows. The skin is very thin in these spots and easy to miss.
I promised to talk about what is hot this summer and this sounds like a “Don’t Do It” article; so I am going to lighten up and put some positive suggestions out there. First, look really hard for that “just right” bathing suit and put a little money into it, too. Buy a cheap one for the back yard or your own pool, but look your best when you are out. Also, there are many cute beach cover-ups out there. The right one for you is just waiting to be purchased. My super beachy friend has three. One gets her to the beach and is put back in the tote. The second goes to pool parties where she may actually get in the pool. The third is lovely and flowing and looks like a beautiful caftan. She bought all three for under $20 each and wears a T-Shirt to cover up in the back yard, as do I. Why not?
Get cute sandals on the same basis, but be sure your nice pair is also comfortable. I am a great believer in comfortable shoes after one of my “high spike” friends had to have bunion surgery. That was really tough and she was out of commission for quite a while—first in a cast, then in a boot. Let’s don’t do that!
Last, but not least, get yourself a good book. Summer is the time for a “beach read” and I think this kind of book should be light and airy. For locals and tourists alike, may I recommend the Katherine Wall series starring Bay Tanner, the local private eye who only takes cases in the Lowcountry. Ms.Wall locates her stories in Beaufort, Hilton Head Island and Bluffton, and even shares restaurant tips and road conditions. I have read all of her books and they are great.
I hope you have a wonderful summer here in paradise. Love, Judith