Are you a lover of warm weather and sunny days?  I know I am!  I have been counting down the days till summer.  However, when spending more time outdoors and especially as we get older it is increasingly important to remember there are consequences to our actions and we might want to grab the sunscreen on our way out the door!

Did you know 9,500 people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer daily?  Or that 1 in 5 people will be diagnosed in their lifetime?  Another interesting fact is that the number of people diagnosed has doubled in the last 30 years.  Some believe that could be due to chemicals in sunscreen and tanning oils, buts that’s a debate for another day.

We are going to talk about what we can do to lower our chances of being diagnosed.  First and foremost, remember to apply sunscreen of at least an SPF of 45.  There is a tremendous amount of researching indicating sunscreen lowers your risk.  Other options to limit exposure are to wear hats or protective clothing, maybe even sit in the shade under the umbrella instead soaking in the rays. 

As if that isn’t enough reason to be cautious of the sun, then there is – Premature Aging & WRINKLES!  That’s a pretty scarry thought especially for those of us starting to experience it.  According to the EPA, 90% of aging is due to the sun.  It can also be harmful to our eyes as well, so be sure to always grab your shades before a day by the pool!

On the flipside, the sun also provides our body with vitamin D which supports healthy bones, manages calcium levels, reduces inflammation, and supports the immune system.  Also, exposure to sunlight triggers skin to release nitrogen oxides which cause arteries to dilate, lowering blood pressure.  It has also been said to help with sleep by regulating serotonin and melatonin levels, and anyone who has spent a day the lake can attest to that.

Possibly the most important reason to get out and enjoy the sunshine, in my opinion, is because it makes people feel better!  The sun causes our skin to produce beta-endorphins, which are hormones that reduce pain.  Promoting relaxation, improved mood, boosts immune system, reduced depression, and speeds up healing of wounds. 

So as with all things in life moderation is key!