Does 15 SPF applied twice equal 30 SPF? Think flip-flops are feet friendly? Answers to all this and more. Here are 10 Summer Health Myths Debunked.
1. The Swim Shower: Never thought to rinse off before (and after) a swim? Think again. Make-up, sweat, deodorant, and the like lessens the effect of chlorine. Which in turn helps to breed nasty pathogens and bacteria causing rashes, illness and ear infections. Rinsing off with soap after a dip in the pool (public pools are the worst culprits) will help to decrease your chances of picking up any water bugs.
2. SPF Squared: Doubling up on SPF 15 does not constitute for SPF 30. And everyone should be wearing at least SPF 30 daily. Yes, everyone, daily. Make-up with SPF does not count. How much SPF? Which Type? New Sunscreen Labels as of June 2012 and more.
3. Flip-flops: That’s what they are for your feet- a total flop. Lacking in much needed arch support and shock absorption. And do you ever feel your toes clenching up when wearing a pair? That is encouraging hammertoe growth! Wedges or strappy sandals provide much better alternatives.
4. Water Shortage: Do you only drink when you feel thirsty? Your body may actually be telling you signs of dehydration before you feel thirsty. Fatigue, headache, dizziness, and dry skin are just some of the many signs. And during the hot summer months, your body naturally loses more fluid, so you should be taking extra gulps of refreshing water.
5. Food Cooler: Foods that require refrigeration should be kept at or below 40 degrees. Leaving the picnic sandwiches out for more than two hours (or an hour if over 90 degrees) or the leftovers in the backseat is big no-no. Pack a cooler to keep your food and body safe.
6. Are Grilled Meats Bad?: It’s the charring one should avoid when it comes to grilling meats. That black layer may contain cancer-risk-increasing chemicals. To nix charring, cook at a lower temp to stop flare ups, and marinate with antioxidant-rich herbs.
7. The Summer Sun “tan”: That glorious bronze glow some people craze over is sun damage, pure and simple. Any overexposure to the sun (see story of trucker whom accumulated skin damage on left side of his face after 28 years on the road) lead to both short term and long term effects. Sunburn or not. And no, that sunburn will not fade into a tan. Contrary to many beliefs, tanning booths are not a healthier option. These beds emit UVA rays responsible for deep tissue damage.
8. Indoors/Outdoors: Does your nose get stuffy when you come inside or just as you step outside? Thought you were getting sick from all the back and forth? More than likely it’s the change in humidity and temperature or common allergens causing the reaction. In fact, the higher the humidity, the higher the allergen count.
9. 30 Minute Swim Rule: We’ve all heard the advice to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before swimming, but do we have to? You might be more tired from eating, but you are safe from cramping inhibiting your ability to swim and enjoy a fine summer day.
10. The Eyes Have It: The sun can do damage to more than your skin. Your eyes are subject to the harmful UV rays. Be sure your sunglasses filter out 100 percent of UV light and be sure to wear them regularly, especially around water, which can reflect a tremendous about of light to your eyes. Filtering of the UV is crucial. So much so that if your pair does not have this protection, you are actually dilating your pupils to accept more UV rays.
And now you are wiser and well on your way to having a safe, healthy and amazing summer.