Healthy Summer Sun Exposure

Moderate summer sun exposure may have benefits for your health.

The sun can be both good and bad. There’s no question that it can be a danger to your skin. The ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun can cause skin cancer. But moderate summer sun exposure may have benefits for your health, including stronger bones, better sleep, improved mood, and a healthier immune system. When you continuously shield yourself from the sun or cover every inch of exposed skin with sunscreen, you could be missing out.  Here are some tips for healthy sun exposure:

  • Respect the Rays – The sun is powerful with potentially dangerous side effects on your skin.  Be mindful of the time you are spending in the sun and never fall asleep under the sun without protection.
  • Ban the Burn – Repeated sunburns, especially in children and very fair-skinned people, have been linked to melanoma. Whereas there is no scientific evidence that regular, moderate sun exposure causes melanoma or other skin cancers.
  • Short and Sweet – Regular short exposures to the sun are much more effective and safer than intermittent long ones. Remember that you can’t generate vitamin D when sitting behind a glass window, because the UVB rays necessary for vitamin D production are absorbed by glass.
  • Prepare and Protect – After 15-30 minutes of sunscreen-free time in the sun, you must protect yourself.  Wear a hat to protect your face and light-colored clothing that blocks the sun and keeps you cool. When applying sunscreen, look for one with fewer chemicals.
  • “Apply” Antioxidants – Boost your body’s internal sunscreen by consuming antioxidants and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.  They strengthen skin cells, helping to protect them from sun damage. Eating lots of vegetables and fruits such as blueberries, raspberries and pomegranates and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids are great choices.

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