Healthy Living: Summertime Self Care

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Summertime Self Care – Take The Time To Protect Yourself & Your Family

My husband and I sit on our back porch almost every evening. It’s our time to relax and catch up at the end of the day.  This last week of April when I glanced at the thermometer that is on the porch, it read over 90 degrees!  Now I love the summertime but to be in the 90’s so early in the season really brings it to our attention that summertime is literally here.  Hello global warming.

The other thing that came to mind is many of my friends recently have mentioned that they have had to have melanoma removed from somewhere on their bodies.  I was chatting with a friend that lives in Key West this weekend and he told me he just had a huge part of his shoulder removed due to melanoma. Last year, a very good friend of my husband and myself died from melanoma cancer so taking care of our bodies in the sun is equally important as it is to eat clean, exercise and rest.

This article is not written to scare you.  It is written to bring attention to how important it is that we take COMPLETE care of our bodies including the largest sensory organ in our body – our skin. Many of us will sunburn quite quickly from unprotected sun exposure.  Imagine how repeated unprotected exposure can potentially harm our skin.

These tips will help guide you and your family to a summer of fun safely protected from the sun:

  • No matter how much time you plan to spend in the sun, it is important to use sunscreen. Experts recommend an SPF of 30 or more for babies, children and adults to block the sun’s harmful UV ray.  SPF 30 should provide 30 times the protection versus no sunscreen but you have to be diligent in first applying then RE-applying as long as you are outside. As a reminder, you can still burn on a cloudy day. I found out first hand while on vacation in the Dominican Republic when I was paddle boarding during a drizzly day and ended up with a terrible sunburn.
  • Cover up.  Sounds simple doesn’t it but we often forget to cover our bodies during the summer. Yes we love tank tops, shorts and of course bikinis for the younger folks but it is better to cover more of our bodies up especially during the peak sun times of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  as this is when the sun is the strongest.
  • Wear a hat.  Wearing a hat will keep the sun off your face, along with protecting your scalp, ears and eyes.  Yes the UV rays from the sun may also damage our eyes so it’s equally important that we protect our eyes along with our bodies.
  • Wear UV absorbent sunglasses.  Extended exposure to the eyes from the UV rays of the sun may cause damage such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Limit sun exposure.  If possible, choose fun indoor activities when the sun is at its strongest from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Head out to the beach or pool earlier then take an indoor break until late afternoon.

Simply protecting your skin from the sun is one of the simplest ways to prevent skin cancer.  This summer be diligent in protecting yourself and your family.

To your health,