Stay safe at the shore by steering clear of these gross, potentially hazardous beach activities
Beach season is one of our favorite seasons. Sun, surf, the smell of sunscreen, the sound of waves crashing on the shore… It all adds up to instant bliss. (Especially if you’re at one of the 35 Best Beaches in America for Fitness Lovers.) Unfortunately, not all beach-time pursuits are so rosy. In fact, there are some legit dangers lurking on the shore. So take it from us: The next time you’re headed to the seaside, play it safe and skip these five activities. Don’t worry—swimming is still safe. (Unless you live near the North Carolina shore, that is.)
Turns out, germs are lurking in the grains of sand (including E. Coli—eek!). And when you make like Joey and bury yourself in the sand, those bugs might make their way into your body. That may be why a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that kids who were buried in the sand were 27 percent more likely to develop diarrhea than those who weren’t; just digging in the stuff increased their chances of stomach woes by 44 percent.
Sure, it looks and sounds fun. But besides the fact that you could get arrested, getting busy at the beach can put your health at risk. After all, ocean water contains microorganisms that can get pushed into your vagina during sex, which may lead to infection. What’s more, as anyone who’s tried shower sex can tell you, water doesn’t make the best lubricant, and the increased friction can cause painful tears downstairs. (Need a water alternative? Discover the Best Lube for Any Sex Scenario.) So flirt, even make out—but wait to get down to business until you’re back at home.
We know, we know—lying out in the sun is one of the main reasons people go to the beach. And we’re not prudes. But there’s a difference between enjoying the warmth of sun on your skin and slathering yourself up with baby oil with the intention of baking. Soak up some rays, but do it responsibly: reapply sunscreen every 80 minutes at least (find the Sunscreen Formula for Your Active Lifestyle), try to take a break and get some shade during the most intense midday hours, and if you notice you’re getting a little pink, throw on a shirt or take refuge under an umbrella.
This goes hand in hand with sunbathing. If you’re feeling sleepy, set an alarm to wake you after 30 to 60 minutes. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll doze right through your next sunscreen reapplication—and wake up with some pretty gnarly tan lines. (But These One-Piece Swimsuits Are Worth the Tan Lines.)
Again, we’re not saying you’re not allowed to have a little fun. But alcohol is dehydrating, and when you’re already sitting and sweating in the sun, the last thing you need is more moisture being sapped from your body. Enjoy a couple of brews or a summer wine, but alternate your drinks with regular agua—and try to stay on the right side of tipsy. (These 6 Day Drinking Dangers Will Make You Rethink "Rosé All Day".)