Posts Tagged ‘Suntan lotion’

Afternoon D-lite

July 29, 2010

Being summer and all, I’m sure you’re lathering on the sunscreen everytime you know you’re going to be spending an extended amount of time outside.   But the fact is, while that sunscreen is helping to preven skin cancer it’s also blocking our bodies from getting the amount of Vitamin D it needs.

Just how essential is Vitamin D?  Almost every tissue in your body (we’re talking skin, heart, brain, muscles and immune system) has receptors for it.  And a lack of Vitamin D affects bone growth and can lead to a loss in bone density, not to mention there are new studies that suggest it results in an elevated risk of certain cancers, heart disease and high blood pressure and various auto-immune disorders.

More and more people suffer from a lack of Vitamin D and a lot of it has to do with how well we protect ourselves from the sun.  That’s because our main source of it comes from the sun’s ultra-violet B rays.  Vitamin D can also be absorbed through food sources (like fortified milk and orange juice), but you’d have to consume massive amounts to get the amount the body needs.  There are also supplements you can take, but they can be dangerous because if you take too much, your body is unable to get rid of it.

So the best way to make sure you’re getting Vitamin D is to spend some unprotected time in the sun during these hot summer months.  In fact, one doctor tells the New York Times that if we get enough summer sun exposure, our bodies should be able to produce enough Vitamin D to get through the entire year! 

Now, I’m not condoning spending an entire day at the beach without sunscreen.  That would just be stupid.  Here’s what that same doctor mentioned above recommends:  wear minimal clothing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. two or three times a week for 5 to 10 minutes.  That means no sunscreen, except on your face, where you should always wear it.

So the next time someone tells you you should always wear sunscreen, don’t feel guilty and then share the info you just learned!

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Keeping cool this summer

June 25, 2010

Summer is already kicking into high gear here in New York.  Heat!  Humidity!

If the sunny weather has you itching to take your workout outside…you’re nuts!  Just kidding.   But do me a favor and follow these simple steps to avoid dehydration and heat stroke.  (I know you’ve probably heard them before, but they’re worth repeating.)

  • Drink, drink and then drink some more.  A good rule of thumb is to drink at least 20 ounces of water before a workout and then 8 ounces every 15-20 minutes while exercising.  How can you tell if you’re drinking enough?  Weigh yourself before and after working out.  If you’re 1-2 pounds lighter post-run, you’ve got to drink more.
  • Hey, slow down!  Look, I know you want to go out there and give it your all, all the time, but when the heat index (that’s temperature and humidity) is hovering near 90, take it easy.  Your body is already warmer than usual and you’re going to hit your max heart rate faster on a hot and humid summer day, then a crisp fall day. 
  • Exercise early or late.  Just avoid the middle of the day when the sun is at its peak and temperatures are at their hottest.  If you can’t, then accept the fact that you’ll just have to stick to the air-conditioned gym for your workouts.
  • Wear Sunscreen!  You know why.  Enough said.

Don’t get burned by suntan lotions: list of the best

May 26, 2010

Cruise down the suntan lotion aisle at your local drugstore/pharmacy and the options are sure to overwhelm you.  But if you’re wondering which to take along on your inaugural summer trip to the beach this weekend, look no farther!

The Coppertone girl. She didn't make the list.

Consumer Reports recently tested 12 popular sprays and lotions and found 4 that provide the best protection.  Oddly enough, they’re all sprays.  They are: Up&Up Sport Continuous (Target), Walgreens Sport Continuous, Banana Boat Sport Performance Continuous and Aveeno Continuous Protection.

The winning sun protectors were ranked on how well they protect against UVA and UVB rays, water resistance and price.

And like any survey, there are, of course, the worsts.  They are: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40, Avon Skin-So-Soft and Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free.

See the entire list from Consumer Reports here.