Top view colored umbrellas on beach

If there’s one thing we cherish in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake, it’s our sunny and fun coastal environment. It provides a natural playground for an active lifestyle. However, as we enjoy the great outdoors, it’s essential to remain mindful of the health implications of exposure to the hot summer sun in Virginia. In this blog, you will find sun safety tips for this summer—or any season.

Physical therapy provides a powerful tool for supporting your body. It helps you heal, maintain strength and stay limber. The key to successful treatment isn’t just diligent attendance at sessions at The Therapy Network—it’s also incorporating the principles learned at our centers into your everyday life.

Outdoor activity promotes healthier living while building resistance against injury. But how do we balance this with being sun-smart?

1. Striking a Balance with Sun Safety:  The Dawn and Dusk Advantage

One sun safety tip is moving in the morning and evening when the Virginia sun is less intense.

An early morning walk along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk or a sunset yoga session in First Landing State Park can be excellent options. Not only will you avoid the peak sun exposure and the associated risks, but you’ll also find these times of day provide a less-crowded or tranquil atmosphere.

Virginia Beach BoardWalk
Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Another sun safety tip is to choose the correct location. The location can further limit your sun exposure. Look for shady areas for your outdoor activities, such as in the shade in Red Wing Park, or consider taking advantage of the water. Aquatic exercises in a pool are an effective way to exercise while staying cool and a great sun safety tip.

2. Dressing for Sun Safety: UPF Rated Clothing

Did you know there’s more to sun protection than slathering on sunscreen?

Remember also to keep your clothing light. Not only in color—light colors reflect the sun’s rays more efficiently—but also in weight. The lighter the clothing, the less heat it retains, aiding your body’s natural cooling mechanisms.

Use UPF (Ultraviolet Protective Factor) rated sun-protective clothing. These garments are designed to block a significant amount of harmful UV radiation, providing a physical barrier between your skin and the sun.

3. The Secret Weapon: Sunscreen

A blog about sun safety tips would only be complete with a discussion on sunscreen. While clothing can protect covered areas, exposed skin is still vulnerable. This is where sunscreen protection steps in. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more before you venture into the Virginia Beach region. Remember to reapply at least every two hours.

Wearing sunscreen is one of the best — and easiest — ways to protect your skin’s appearance and health at any age. Used regularly, sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging. (Hopkins Medicine on Sunscreen)

Making sunscreen a staple in your outdoor routine in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk is an easy yet effective step towards being sun-smart.

4. Quenching Thirst: Stay Hydrated, Stay Healthy

An active lifestyle, particularly in the hot summer sun, demands hydration. But be smart about Sun Safety and what and how much you drink. Water remains your best pick, providing pure hydration without any additives.

Sports drinks can be helpful during intense exercise. You should be wary of those high in sugar, though. Remember, your drink choice should be replenishing your body, not working against a healthy lifestyle.

How Much Water Do You Need To Be Sun Safe? Calculate below:

Water Intake Calculator

5. Embrace the Water: Diving into Summer Activities

Here is a sun safety tip that is unique to our coastal community. Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas offer plenty of opportunities for water sports. Whether kayaking in Back Bay, surfing, or paddleboarding along the Chesapeake Bay, these activities provide a refreshing way to stay active while keeping cool in the summer heat.

6. Know Your Limits: Sensible Sun Safety and Heat Exposure

Lastly, remember to listen to your body. An active lifestyle and physical therapy aim to enhance your well-being. A sun safety tip is not to push your limits excessively.

If the Virginia sun is particularly fierce or you feel fatigued, seek shelter and cool down.

Healthy Outdoor Activities

Healthy outdoor activities under the Virginia sun can be a cornerstone of your physical therapy journey and broader lifestyle. By being sun-smart and following the six sun safety tips from the team at The Therapy Network, you can safely enjoy the benefits of an outdoor lifestyle.
In Hampton Roads, we can have everything: the sun, the sea, the physical strength to exercise, and safety. Let’s make the most of it.

family paddle board sun safety
Enjoying a day in the sun

For an outdoor, active lifestyle, you may also enjoy reading blogs from our library. Here is just a selection of blogs that cover outdoor activities:

Can Physical Therapy Help Your Pickleball Game?

Exercise at the Beach-5 Fun Ways

Walk Your Way to Health

Physical Therapy for Runners

When Walking on the Beach is Painful

Can Physical Therapy Improve Your Golf Game?