Eight tips to protect yourself from the sun

Ultraviolet rays that come from the sun and other sources like tanning beds are the No. 1 cause of skin cancer. That also happens to be the most common form of cancer in the United States.
Even though some people don’t view skin cancer as dangerous – and it often is easily treatable if caught early – it can have serious or even deadly consequences if gone undetected too long. So you should take precautions to protect yourself from the sun.
Prolonged unprotected exposure to the sun can also cause sunburn, eye damage and premature wrinkles.
Here are eight tips to protect yourself against the sun’s dangerous UV rays:
1. Cover up – Wear proper clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to protect as much skin as possible. Protect your eyes with sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV light.
2. Use sunscreen – Find sunscreen products with SPF 15 to 30 or greater and be sure to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
3. Seek shade – Limit direct exposure to the sun by taking breaks when you’re in shade, or set up your outdoor activities in a shaded area. It’s most important to stay out of direct sunlight when possible between peak hours for UV rays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
4. Be especially aware of kids’ protection – Children are especially at risk for sun burns because they don’t know to put sun screen on or proper clothing, but they tend to be outside for long hours in the summer. Sunburns during childhood increase the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers later in life.
5. Be prepared – You don’t have to stay out of the sun altogether, just be sure to be smart about sun exposure and take the proper steps to protect yourself on “Don’t Fry Day” and every other day when you’re outside and the sun is shining.
6. Wear a hat in the sun – A hat can help shade the face from the sun. This is especially important if you’re fair-skinned.
7. Wear sunglasses – The sun’s UV rays can damage the eyes after long-term exposure, leading to cataracts.
8. Limit time in sun – Don’t use sunscreen to increase the amount of time you spend in the sun.

At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. Consult a doctor before making any significant changes in your exercise routine or diet. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at aaron@athomefitness.com

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