Tips for family fun in the sunSummer days do not have to be lazy. Children may be used to action-packed schedules in school, but by stepping up their planning, families can enjoy outdoor activities that are engaging and help keep children active. Whether camping or simply exploring the park down the street, it's important to plan ahead for summer fun, especially when it comes to sun protection.
Don't forget to apply the sunscreen for protection
Alison Sweeney, host of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and mother of two, says family routines do not have to be complicated. Simple things such as hiking and bike-riding are among her family's favorite summertime activities, and she does everything she can to keep her family healthy in the process.
"I always encourage my family to be active outdoors as part of a healthy lifestyle, even if it's just a quick walk around the neighborhood or an impromptu scavenger hunt in the back yard. No matter what activity we are doing, practicing sun safety habits is a must," Sweeney explained.
Having long been an advocate for daily sun protection, Sweeney has four practical tips for families as they gear up for outdoor fun this summer:
* Develop a sun-safe program for your family. Just like brushing your teeth before you go to bed, it's important to teach your children to practice the proper sun safety habits before heading outside for some time in the sun. Any good routine includes the use of essentials such as broad spectrum sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.
* Choose the right sunscreen for your activities. If you plan on engaging in intense outdoor activities that will make you sweat a lot such as rock-climbing or hiking, try lightweight formulas that stay on strong, but also allow your skin to breathe while keeping it hydrated. "It's so important to find a sunscreen that can keep up with the activities you have planned for the day," Sweeney said.
* Time flies when you are enjoying the outdoors, but be sure you are making time to reapply sunscreen. Look for some new sun protection options that help simplify reapplication so that you can get back to having fun with your family more easily. "I make sure we reapply every two hours or after towel drying, swimming or sweating," Sweeney noted. Some sunscreens are made specially for children to use when swimming, which cut through water on wet skin and spray on clear, so you don't even need to towel dry the kids before reapplying.
* Know when to break. It's important to take breaks and get out of the sun for a while, especially on hot days and between the peak sun hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. When it's time to grab a snack with the family, find some shade and relax before heading back to play.