Be Sun-Wise at Summer’s End!

youth-active-jump-happy-40815-largeAs most of the country starts focusing on fall trends in clothing, hairstyles, design and colors, here in Arizona we are still trying to “beat the heat”. Even as the heat and sun hold us hostage until mid-October or so, we can continue to focus on good habits that keep us safe and healthy in temperatures well over 100 degrees. Be Sun-Wise at Summer's End

Exercise early or late…..

Did you know the sun’s rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm? If you are planning to exercise outside and it is cool enough for you to do so, try to get out early morning or as the sun is going down in the evening. Checking sunrise and sun set can help you plan your workout schedule for the week!

Wear a hat….

A hat is better protection for your scalp than sun block, and a lot less messy! Wearing a wide brim hat can also protect ears, and the back of your neck. 

Know the UV index for the day…

The ultraviolet (UV) index measures the strength of UV radiation’s ability to produce a sunburn at a certain place or time. If the UV index is above 6 it is important to protect your skin and eyes with clothing, sunblock, or avoidance and sunglasses.

Resource: There are online resources to check the UV index in your area. Here is one for Scottsdale Arizona: http://uv.willyweather.com/az/maricopa-county/downtown-scottsdale.html

Drink plenty of water…

Drink at least half your weight in ounces each day. Drink more water if you exercise and are losing water by sweating. Consider drinking an electrolyte replenishment drink on the days that you exercise. 

Resource: A favorite electrolyte replacement at Naturopathic Specialists is Ultima Replenisher. It’s very tasty and kids like it too!    

Choose a sunblock that is healthier for you and the environment…

 Consider some of the tips from Environmental Working Group (EWG.org): 

  1. Avoid sprays and aerosols. Inhaling sunblock can trigger allergies and asthma. The long-term health consequences of inhaling sun block are unknown and should be avoided. 

  2. Consider more than SPF and look for both UVA and UVB protection. Higher SPF (Sun Protection Factor) does not mean you can stay out in the sun longer. It may protect you from a burn but not the deep penetrating UVA radiation which can promote premature aging and skin cancer. 
  3. Stay away from the ingredient oxybenzone. Oxybenzone acts like an estrogen in the body and can trigger allergic reactions.
  4. Don’t use a sunscreen and bug repellent combo. Bugs are not usually out midday when you need sun block and studies show you absorb more of the bug repellent chemicals when mixed with sunscreen.
  5. Use the EWG.org sunscreen guide to find a highly rated sunscreen.

Resource: At Naturopathic Specialists we have stocked Garden Goddess sunscreens this summer. It is rated highly by EWG and our patients and doctors give it a thumbs-up!