Main health issues from sailing

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Sailing is a great way to keep fit (besides being good for your mental and inner health), but there exist some recurring health issues related to this activity. We’ve enlisted some of them and selected some ways to avoid them:

Sun-related problems are quite common. We shouldn’t need to tell you to put some sunscreen on (even in the winter!), but we want to remind you of its importance. Sun Protection Factors (SPF) is an indication of the approximate time a person can be exposed to the sun without getting burnt or not having to put sun cream on again. The SPF changes from one skin type and color to another, but it is estimated that the average natural protection is around 10 minutes. Therefore, a SPF 50 will protect us for about 8 hours (50 x 10 minutes). UV rays represent a huge danger for your skin, which, worst-case scenario, can end up causing cancer. Besides sun lotion, wearing light long-sleeves will also prevent you from getting direct contact to sunlight.

If getting burnt skin doesn’t scare you enough, think about looking older than you are, because that’s what will happen if you don’t take measures against sun damage. Moreover, the sun can hurt and even burn your eyes too. You should always wear sunglasses, as you’ll be really exposed in the middle of the sea and you don’t want to get blind, right? Besides, sunglasses make you look cooler, don’t they? You should always check sunglasses UV index and try to get those blocking a 90-100% of the dangerous rays, which will be the darkest ones.

Wind and low temperatures can affect the skin of your hands, which can get cracked. To prevent dryness, you should wear specific gloves and hydratate your skins as often as at least twice a day.

Heat strokes happen when our body has been exposed to heat for too long that it no longer knows how to regulate its own temperature, so it starts raising fast. A hint? If you start feeling dizzy, experience cold sweat or blurred vision, you should start getting worried. The best solution is to la down at a cool place and wait for your body to lose some degrees, but you should try to avoid feeling that bad by drinking a lot of water or isotonic drinks. On the other hand, you should never let cold get to your bones, as sharp temperature loss can provoke hypothermia, especially at night, so you should always wear adequate clothes, designed to sail: choose breathable fabrics for your underwear and wear different layers from there, a thermic one and an exterior one.

You should take care of your diet to prevent dehydratation (the loss of water and liquids) and help you avoid seasickness. If you are prone to feeling dizzy, try taking some specific pills and, once on board, focus your view on the horizon and stay at the cooler side of the boat so that you can get some fresh air. Please, do not forget to eat! Carbohydrates will become your best friends in long-distance races, like cereals and fruits, which have a low glycemic index. Snacks and water are a must too, so you should remember to drink approximately every 15 minutes taking small sips.




DrSailsMain health issues from sailing

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