5 things you should pack in your beach bag this weekend

If you are looking for a spot of outdoor exercise, going to the seaside for a swim is a great way to burn calories. A swim in sea water can boost your mood and your health. That’s because sea water contains high levels of minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which can help the body fight infection and heal.

Walking on the sand is also therapeutic and can strengthen the muscles in your feet. And of course, sun exposure, in moderation, will boost your body’s production of vitamin D and the feel-good chemicals endorphins, among other health benefits.

If you are heading to the beach in Singapore, do remember to venture out before 11am or after 3pm, to avoid the period when the sun is at its strongest. Remember to take the following items along to protect yourself and make the most of your time outdoors:

Sunscreen
This should be the first item you put into your beach bag. Opt for a sunscreen lotion (and not a spray) with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or more. For maximum protection, you should reapply your sunscreen every couple of hours.

Sunglasses
A good pair of shades is essential to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Choose well-fitting polycarbonate sunglasses that provide 99-100 per cent UV protection.

A hat
A floppy hat can protect your face, ears, eyes and neck. Opt for one with a 2- to 3-inch (5- to 8-cm) wide brim for good coverage.

Water bottle
You will sweat more than usual when you are outdoors so take along a water bottle or two, and drink from it at regular intervals to stay hydrated.

First aid kit
With all sorts of unseen hazards lurking on the seabed, a basic kit with bandages, cotton, antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, pain relief pills, and antihistamines will come in useful in case of an accident or injury. You can buy a ready-made kit or assemble one yourself.