Being active is an important component in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. While getting adequate exercise and nutrition certainly does keep us on the brink of optimal internal wellness, it is also important to think about our external health as well.
Yes, this means taking care of our skin!
While being active, we must always remember to protect ourselves from the sun before heading outdoors; and there are many simple ways we can do so.
The Skin Cancer Foundation has always recommended using sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher as one important fraction of sun protection regimen and using broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen is best preferred. For extended outdoor activity, using a water-resistant sunscreen of an SPF of 30 or higher is most beneficial as well. However, we must be aware that sunscreen is not all that is needed.
Here are a couple additional tips in regards to keeping our skin healthy and free from cancer.
- Seek the shade. While being in the sun gives us great endorphins that we all love, it is something that should be taken in small portions; especially between the times of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is at its full peak.
- Do not burn. Although this is something that tends to happen from time to time, whether on accident or not, it is vital that one take appropriate steps in preventing this action from occurring altogether.
- Cover it up. If it usually doesn’t see the light of day, then continue that notion and keep it covered! This doesn’t just go for clothing, though. Broad-brimmed hats are great for blocking the sun to one’s head, neck and face; as well as the use of UV-blocking sunglasses to protect one’s eyes.
- Apply and reapply. As slightly annoying as that sounds, it is crucial that one applies sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and to reapply every two hours and/or immediately after swimming or excessive sweating.
- Avoid tanning beds. No matter how hip they seem to be, skin cancer is never something you should pursue. Needless to say, taking part in tanning beds that provide ultraviolet radiation is doing just that. So be smart and stay clear of these.
- Examine your skin. Always be attentive to your own body, and check your skin from head-to-toe every month. This way, you are aware of any changes that may occur and need medical attention.
- See your physician. Even if you do not see changes in your skin through self-examination, it is always essential to pay a visit to your physician every year for a professional skin exam.