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Summer day with the sun and the sea

Sunbathing with prudence

Ljetni dani The sun is the source of life – life on Earth depends on its energy, light and warmth. But why can it also be dangerous and harmful?

The sun is essential for the life on Earth and it also affects our body and mind. In our brain it stimulates the secretion of serotonin, the hormone of happiness, which reduces stress and tiredness, making us feel better. The temperature in the centre of the Sun can reach up to 15 million °C. It affects the changes of climate and the occurrence of ozone holes, which can result in more harmful ultraviolet rays reaching the Earth’s surface.

The sun also indirectly affects our sleeping by stimulating the secretion of the sleep hormone, melatonin. It also enables the creation of vitamin D, which is necessary for the healthy development and growth of bone tissue. Sunlight gives our skin dark tan complexion, but it also facilitates its ageing and drying out, causes redness and the occurrence of wrinkles, damages the sight, and weakens our immune system…

If you want a healthy tan, without harmful side effects for your health, you should sunbathe with prudence.

The first basic rule (in addition to using appropriate sun protection products all the time) which we must observe if we want to avoid any harmful consequences, is to reduce the number of exposures to UV rays (be it natural – sun, or artificial – solarium) to no more than 50 in a calendar year.

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Even when using appropriate protection, you shouldn’t expose yourself to the summer sun for more than two to three hours. And do not even think of going to the beach between noon and 3 p.m. The water provides only a minimal protection: when swimming, our face is exposed to an even higher degree of radiation due to the reflection from the sea surface. Your skin can become dark, but also red, even in shadow, because the sea surface can reflect up 80% of UV rays, and the sand up to 30%. As much as 40% of the UV rays can pass through a sunshade. The clouds also let the sunrays through, which means that even without direct sunlight you can tan, but also injure your skin.

More careful experts recommend avoiding longer exposures to the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. – in this way you can avoid the harmful effects of as much 70% of the UV-B rays. Instead, they recommend sunbathing and swimming only after 5 p.m., when the UV radiation, compared to that at noon, has only one quarter of its strength.

Benefits and dangers of the sea

Ljetni dani Positive effects of seawater on our skin become apparent already after the first swim: the skin becomes softer, smother and firmer. Seawater with its ingredients, algae, planktons and salt, is the most effective and most natural balsam for the human skin with a proven anti-ageing effect. In addition to making the skin more beautiful and healthier, the sea is ideal for improving and maintaining good shape. For example, swimming is very beneficial for our body, especially the spine. It helps us improve our strength and stamina, and it also strengthens, shapes and firms almost all body muscles. Equally, the sea stimulates metabolism and boosts immunity, and has beneficial effects on breathing and blood circulation. The sea has a strong anti-stress, soothing and relaxing effect; it fills us with energy and stimulates positive feelings and thoughts.

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However, the sea is also home to some creatures that do not really like our presence there. When they feel endangered, they react defensively, which can be very painful for us. For example, jellyfish and sea anemones can sting, and we can also get injured by sea urchins and some fish species. After the initial pain, the scars caused by jellyfish stings can remain visible on the skin for months, and the wounds caused by the painful removing of sea urchin spines can become infected. But if we pay attention and follow some good advice, we can significantly reduce possible harmful effects and fully enjoy all the benefits of the sea during our summer holidays. For the sea is the cradle of life, from which we all emerged long time ago.

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