Thursday, June 30, 2011

Use Protection and Take Cover!

by Kris Pitcher

With my earphones in as I hit the trail at lunch time, I always hope the fashion police aren't out. I change into a t-shirt, put my tennis shoes on, and don a sun hat that an old man might wear. It's a bucket hat with a little brim, just enough to cast some shade on my face and neck.

Between the hat and my sunglasses...I kind of thought no one would recognize me. To my dismay - people smile and wave! People I know! But, as you can imagine...I don't really care if I look silly.

Sun damage is a big deal. I won't give you the "scared straight" version of your odds of getting skin cancer which will kill you. I'll take the "you'll get old lady neck" approach.

I overheard a guy in the gym groaning about his sunburn saying he should have used sunscreen. Uh, ya think? Sunburns cause inflammation, and aside from the damage to your skin, he had a REAL hard time doing his chest workout because his back was so burned.

Wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and covering up a bit is just a good idea. Putting the sunscreen on 30 minutes before you go outside is the standard, and then you need to reapply it every few hours depending on your water/sweat situation. Using an ounce, which is a giant palmful to cover your body is just about the right amount. Don't be skimpy.

Having a "base tan" doesn't protect you from the sun either, this is a myth. Even on cloudy days, we get sun damage. Do your skin a favor and use sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful rays. It just makes sense to preserve your youth! You won't see me out there without my SPF 50, I always use protection and take cover!

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