Spending time outside has more benefits than we can count and our team at Integrity loves to explore and relax in a variety of ways in the great outdoors. However, the sun can put a damper on that time and we don’t just mean the oppressive heat. We have all cringed, at a movie character or a person in real life, as we see them approach with a bright red line across their cheeks, over their shoulders, or at the shorts hemline near their knees. Is the outside good for you or only filled with pain? Integrity would argue it’s a little of both.
Benefits of Sunlight
Anytime outside is a plus in our book. When you are outside you are usually active in some way and even sitting and reading a book outside can give you a sense of calm and peace. Breathing in extra oxygen, moving on a walk or pushing your kid on a swing is a great way to spend part of the day. In addition to this, time in the sun has a great advantage for your overall well being. Those rays can give you Vitamin D, which is important for a number of parts of your body. According to Medical News Today, Vitamin D is beneficial for bone strength by helping to regulate and help with calcium absorption. There is also a correlation between reduced allergens and sensitivities with additional Vitamin D exposure. Additionally, it supports a healthy immune system and can help regulate insulin levels as well.
While some sunlight is good for you, overexposure, especially in ways you don’t realize can be harmful. Any time over 15 minutes will need some precautionary measures, but there are a lot of times we experience direct or indirect sunlight without being outside. When driving or sitting by a window, if not fitted with a special UV filter, you could be exposing your skin to harmful rays. While at the beach or the lake, even under an umbrella you could have rays reflecting back at you. In addition to choosing a great sunscreen, you can protect yourself with light, long sleeved shirts, a brimmed hat, and shade when available.
Choosing the right sunscreen is important, but applying it correctly is just as crucial to safety in the sun. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests picking a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher to create the best protection for your skin. A water resistant block helps, especially when active or swimming. Make sure to reapply every 2 hours or after toweling off. Babies under the age of 6 months should not have sunscreen applied, but should have light coverage and be kept under shade. Spray sunblocks are easy choices for parents to make, but many medical professionals recommend a traditional, cream based sunblock. Some individuals with sensitive skin may look for a special formula or baby sunscreen to use on their face or their entire body. There are so many spots missed when applying sunscreen, it is difficult to list the areas we recommend paying attention to. It is easier to remember that if skin is exposed, it needs a layer of block.
Our team at Integrity is excited to enjoy time in the sun, soaking up the benefits it can provide, but we want to do it safely and want our friends and family to do so, too. If you have questions or need another health issue addressed, contact us or come see us today. Our clinics are open every day of the week, from 8 am to 8 pm.