Self-Care Tips for the British Summer
Everyone loves a sunny summers day. However long days outdoors, sun exposure and high temperatures can be tough on the body. Read on for our top tips to look after your body inside and out in these summer months.
Be sun safe
We all know the damage the sun can cause to our skin: uncomfortable and unsightly redness and burning, as well as the risk of long-term damage and cancer.
To minimise these risks, the NHS advises the following:
- Wearing minimum SPF 30 with both UVA+UVB protection.
- Avoid being in the sun from 11-3pm, as this is the peak time for UV rays to do their worst. (On a side-note however, this is also the best time to absorb vitamin D – so on cloudier days, briefly get outdoors with bare skin to enjoy the benefits).
- Get those sunnies on. Did you know eyes are 10 times more sensitive to UV than skin? Long-term exposure to UV radiation can be serious, significantly increasing the risk of developing cataracts and other eye problems.
- The Soma Room’s top tip – If you get a massage on a sunny day and head out for alfresco drinks or dinner, make sure to cover up or apply plenty of sunscreen! Massage oils can intensify the effect of the sun’s rays on your skin, making it more likely for you to burn.
Both your body and skin need hydration to stay healthy – did you know humans are up to 60% water? Two litres a day is great for most people to aim for, and on hot days avoid the temptation of having too much caffeine or alcohol. If you do indulge, consume an extra glass of water in between each of these drinks – this is a great tip for avoiding hangovers too!
Although we remind you frequently after each treatment, it’s even more important in the heat to drink plenty of water after your massage. Have a two-litre jug next to you while you’re working and make sure to have at least a glass every hour. You can jazz it up with sparkling water or natural flavours such as lemon or mint – improving the taste will make you reach for your glass more often without even realising it.
Heatwave home hacks
If your house feels hotter than the central line at rush hour in July, then a few things may help:
- Close your curtains during the day in rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler. This is especially helpful in bedrooms to lower the room temperature for better sleep.
- One favourite trick is draping a wet tea towel over your window sill or fan – the air entering the room becomes damper and cooler!
- A humidifier or diffuser will also help to keep the air cool and moist.
- At nighttime, have a cool shower just before bed. A refrigerated hot water bottle under your pillow can help to subtly cool you down while you sleep – and makes flipping over to the ‘cool side’ of the pillow even more satisfying!
Exercising in the summer months
As the days get longer and warmer, it’s the perfect time to pick up your outdoor training. Make sure to follow these tips to perform at your best and look after your body:
- The coolest part of the day is sunrise, so consider an early morning workout. There will be less traffic and air pollution at this time as well.
- Wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes with vents or moisture-wicking properties – avoid cotton, which tends to stick to your skin.
- Plan your route in the shade (especially if you’re going to be out in the afternoon) and prioritise parks and grass over hot pavements.
- Expect to be slower – for every 3-degree increase above 16 degrees, the typical runner can expect to slow 20 to 30 seconds per mile.
- Water is vital if exercising for over 30 minutes in the heat – for longer journeys, consider a water-holding belt.
- Be aware of the warning signs of overheating and dehydration – cramps, dizziness, headache, fatigue, and skin which is either cold and clammy or hot and dry. Grab yourself a drink and some shade as soon as you can.
If you find you’re getting tired, sore or achy muscles, then book in for one of our deep tissue or sports massages. Both of our treatment rooms are air-conditioned too – so if all else fails, you can come and keep cool with us!