Atlanta is hotter than ever – literally. This month, the city's newspaper, the Journal-Constitution, reported that Georgia's capital logged a record high temperature of 106 degrees F, making it the hottest day ever in Atlanta. With so much solar punishment hammering the city, it's important that people in outdoor Atlanta yoga classes take precautions against the harmful effects of UV rays.
That's the message from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which has sponsored July as National UV Safety Month.
Why protect your skin from sunlight? It's common sense and good healthy living, of course, but here are a few more reasons to wrap up in long sleeves and slather on sunscreen before doing yoga outdoors:
1. Even 30 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight can cause a painful sunburn. Much longer, and you risk getting a second-degree burn – that is, deep tissue damage, severe pain and big, fluid-filled blisters.
2. UV rays can also damage the lenses and retinas of your eyes, eventually leading to cataracts or vision loss.
3. Going out in the sun during the day, even while doing soothing yoga, means risking heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.
4. Finally, there's the big one: cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that even moderate sun exposure raises the likelihood of melanoma, so be sure to use sunscreen, long-sleeved cotton clothing and, for shade, a tree or an umbrella.