- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Protect Your Skin with Sunblock
I grew up in coastal California and spent much of my time outside and in the sun. In the summer, I literally spent every day at the beach or pool. Back in those days we did not have sunblock, in fact we put oil, coconut butter, or anything on our skin that would help us to get darker and more suntanned.
I remember my mother and aunts saying to me, "You better stay out of that sun, you will get wrinkled and have sun damage when you get older." Well when I was a teenager, I thought that getting older would take much longer than it did!
Wow, getting older came fast, and yes I have had a great deal of sun damage, skin cancer, and more wrinkles than I should have had if I had not gotten so much sun on my skin.
I now use sunblock everyday on my face whether I am outside or not. I have a 75 spf, and I use a 30 spf powder as well. Having had multiple procedures to remove pre-cancer and cancer off my face, I am not going to take any more chances.
I sunblock my body with at least a 50 spf. With all of the sun damage that I have done to my legs, I have sun spots all over them, and those are things that they can not remove with any of the latest skin repair techniques. I have also had several cancers on my legs removed. I still get plenty of color even using these strong sunblocks.
Now I wish I had paid a little more attention to my mother and aunts. Of course back then I thought I knew it all, and that I had plenty of time before I was old and wrinkled. HA! Zippity DO Da, that is how life goes, fast like a bullet!
Here are some sobering facts on sun damage to skin. Over 55 million people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. One in 75 of those people will develop melanoma, a often fatal form of cancer.
Melanoma has increased 1200% since the 1930's. This is scary....in teenagers it it has increased 100% in the last ten years. It is the most common cancer in women under 30 years old.
We do get vitamin D from the sun, and that is important for our health. Many doctors say you should get fifteen minutes of sun several times a week without sunblock. It is recommended that this sun exposure should not be done when the sun is at its most intense. That is usually from about noon to three o'clock. Better to do it in the morning hours, or late afternoon.
Wearing hats and protective clothing are always a good thing. Now days you see kids at the beach with water suits on. They look similar to a wet suit, but are made of a lighter fabric to protect them from the sun and keep them cooler.
Getting under umbrellas or patio coverings is best when outside long term. When you are in situations like bike riding or running, wear your water proof sun block and wear visors or hats when possible.
Keeping your skin from aging prematurely involves staying out of the sun! I wish I had done more of that myself. Its too late for me to reverse the damage that I did when I was younger, but its not too late for you if you are young.
Follow the recommendations of using sunblock, protective clothing, hats, and staying in the shade. Trust me when I say, you may think you have a long time until you get older, but it is a fast trip to your older years. Take precautions now so that you can keep skin cancer out of your life. You will look younger for it!