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Sun protection

Linda Stultz
Certified Fitness Trainer/Fitness Therapist

(8/2016) I wrote this article last summer but I really think it is worth repeating to remind all of us how important using sun screen and protecting our skin from the sunís harmful rays are. I also added a few more tips I learned over the past year. The best protection from the sun is a hat or clothing made to repel the sunís rays. Another way to protect yourself is to work, exercise or whatever you are doing in the shade of a canopy or trees but I realize that is not usually possible.

Since most of the time spent outside is in the sun there are several products out there to keep our skin protected from the harmful sun rays. Sunscreen should be a part of our everyday routine when getting ready for the day. Some moisturizers contain SPF but if you are going to be out for a while it is a good idea to use a sunscreen along with your regular moisturizer.

Men usually donít use a daily moisturizing cream so it is important for them to get in the habit of putting on sunscreen before they start any outside activities or work. The recommendation is to use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or above, a broad spectrum and is water resistant. These three items should protect our skin as well as we can. Wearing a wide brimmed hat is also a good way to protect your face, ears and back of the neck, many people donít think about those areas. My dermatologist said he sees the most skin problems on the ears, nose and chin because these areas extend out from the face and people donít think to protect them.

There is so much information out there today to help prevent skin problems but sometimes we donít utilize it. There are different SPF strengths and different types of sunscreen and it really pays to do a little research to find the one that is best for you. I see so many advertisements on the TV for sunscreens and, of course, theirs is always the best.

One thing I question is the sunscreen staying on and at what strength after you have been in the water or after sweating a lot. Another thing we tend to forget is to reapply the sunscreen after a period of time. This time period depends on what we are doing, if we are in the water, sweating from working or exercising hard or if we are in the shade. We get busy and the last thing that comes to mind is to put more sunscreen on.

We especially need to remember to reapply sunscreen to the kids. They are outside playing and time passes faster than we realize. Their skin is more delicate than adult skin and usually burns quicker. There are sunscreens out there for children that claim to have a higher level of protection. Getting a child in the habit of always using sunscreen is the best way to prevent future problems for them. Kids remember things very well and if you can get them in the habit they will tell you to apply their sunscreen before they go out to play or even better, make a game out of it and let them apply their own. They will have fun putting it on and it will be second nature for them to use it before they step outside. I know when I was a child we never heard about sunscreen and growing up I was in the sun a lot, like many of you, without any sun protection. Thanks to research we can protect our children from problems in the future if we train them now.

Putting enough sunscreen on is also something many of us have a problem with. Read the label so you know how much to use or check with a doctor or dermatologist to use the proper amount. Using any amount is better than nothing but you may as well use enough to give you the best protection you can get. I always want you to exercise and the summer is a great time to be working in the yard or going for a long walk to get a little extra exercise in if you can. Being outside usually makes you feel better and is a great time to be with family and friends, just remember to protect yourself from the sunís harmful rays and stay hydrated while getting the most of your exercise time.

If you have any questions or suggestions you can contact me at 717-334-6009. Enjoy the summer and remember to Keep Moving!

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