Australia’s climate, with its year round sunshine, has led to an intensely outdoor culture. From bushwalking to boating and from playing sport to hanging out in the backyard, Aussies love to get outside in the sunshine. This wonderful way of life comes at a cost however. A little sunlight is good for us, both physically and emotionally, but too much can be at the very least uncomfortable and at worst downright dangerous. Take a few precautions though and you can avoid most of the sun’s nasty effects and just enjoy its warming invigorating properties.
Shade your backyard
When the sun comes out there is nothing more pleasant than chilling out in the backyard with a cold drink and a few mates. In that situation it is very easy to stay outside too long and get burnt. You will find it much easier to avoid getting too much exposure to the sun if you create protected areas in your backyard or on your veranda. That way you can enjoy the glorious weather without having to keep an eye on the clock. Use sunshades or a retractable awning to create the perfect safe and comfortable outdoor environment.
Avoid midday sun
There is no getting around it. Too much sun is not good for you. Not all sun is the same however, so it seems sensible to enjoy it when it is at its least dangerous. That means trying to completely avoid prolonged exposure during the middle of the day, say between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its highest and consequently its most dangerous.
When you are out in the sunshine, make sure that you use a high sun protection factor (SPF 30+) sunscreen. For your sunscreen to work effectively, it should be applied 20 minutes before you go out in the sun. Make sure you remember to reapply it every couple of hours and after swimming or excessive perspiration. Too many people forget this step. They are very diligent about putting sunscreen on before they go outside but forget all about reapplying it and suffer the consequences. Don’t make that mistake.
It is just as important to protect your eyes as it is your skin, so a good pair of sunglasses is absolutely vital. Wraparound designs are a good idea as they give you the most protection. Make sure too that they are UV rated. Sunglasses that don’t filter ultraviolet light will actually cause you more harm than not wearing any at all.
Of course, the best advice of all, if you do need to be out in the sun, is simply to cover up. Wear long sleeves, pants and a wide brimmed hat. As long as you choose lightweight loose fitting clothing, you will still be able to stay cool and comfortable.
Protect your interiors
It is not just when you are outside that the sun can be overpowering. What might seem a lovely light comfortable space in winter is likely to feel more like a sauna in the height of summer. Use roller blinds to control the amount of sun that enters your home to create a comfortable environment all year round.