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How to Manage Your MS During a Beach Day

By Daryl H. Bryant (460 words)
Posted in Living with MS on July 13, 2018

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How to Manage Your MS During a Beach Day

Summer is here, and that means vacations, beach time, and so much sun! Unfortunately, many of us with MS can experience sensitivity to heat, and a beautiful day at the beach can be enough to trigger a flare-up. I’ve compiled a few tips to help you manage your MS during a beach day so you’ll be able to soak up the sun and relaxation without worrying about your MS.

Pre-Cool Before The Day Begins

If you know you’ll be spending the day at the beach, you can take a cool bath beforehand to lower your body temperature. This will give you a longer period of time before your body temperature rises. Start with a lukewarm bath and add cool water gradually so that it does not shock your system.

Wear The Right Clothes

Dark clothes and swimsuits absorb sunlight, making you hot and uncomfortable. Similarly, tight clothing restrict air movement, making it difficult for the body to monitor its temperature. Wear loose fitting and lightly colored clothing to make the day more bearable. Consider wearing a lightweight cover-up over your swimsuit to reflect some of the sun’s rays.

Use Cooling Gadgets

There are cooling vests, cooling rags, portable air conditioners, fans that plug into your smartphone, and all kinds of other cooling devices that can make a beach day more tolerable for those of us with MS. Spending the whole day at the beach? Get a pop-up canopy or a sun screen with walls on 3 sides, and make your own little air conditioned cabana. You can make your own air conditioner by filling a styrofoam cooler with ice, cutting holes in the lid, and attaching a fan to one of the holes. You’ll be surprised how much cool air one of these contraptions can put out! Learn more about cooling gadgets and other ways to stay cool with MS.

Go For a Swim

Did you know that swimming can actually help relieve your MS symptoms? If you are spending a day at the beach, don’t be afraid to get in the water. The cold ocean water will help keep you cool and provide a buoyant environment for your body to relax while you move around.

The most important thing you can do is monitor your symptoms as the day progresses. If you notice that the heat is affecting you too much, take a break and immediately do something to cool off. Check out this post for some of the common symptoms of MS and heat. Whether you run into the ocean water, head back to the air conditioned car, or decide to grab a drink at the air conditioned beach cabana, don’t return to the heat until you are feeling better.

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