7 Tips to Be Safe in the Sun

Its summertime and it feels great to be outdoors, soaking up the warmth of the sun that provides us with a healthy dose of Vitamin D. But it's important to take precautions when outside for extended periods of time.

Remember, the sun's UV rays are harmful if we are exposed to them too long. Here are seven tips to be safe in the sun:

Drive Time

If possible, drive before or after peak sun hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. because the sun's UV rays can be magnified coming through car windshields, bathing your face, arms, hands and chest more than you may realize.

Seek Shade

When you are outdoors, seek a location where you can sit or stand in the shade once you've had enough sun. Remember that water, sand (and snow in the winter) reflect and intensify the sun's rays, increasing your chance of sunburn.

Wear Dark Colors

Summer-weight light-colored cover-ups are fashionable, but they allow more of the sun's rays onto our skin than we might know, protecting us only minimally, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). The ACS recommends wearing dark colors, fabrics with tight weaves and specially treated garments and bathing suits for more healthy sun exposure.

Skip Tanning Salons

Tanning beds and sun lamps give out harmful UV rays that can contribute to skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Also, getting a "base tan" is equivalent to only a sun protective factor of about four, much less than most sunscreens.  

Baby the Babies

To protect babies younger than six months, the American Cancer Society recommends shade, sun-protective clothing and hats. As a last resort, pediatricians now say that very small amounts of sunscreen can be used on small areas, such as baby's face and back of the hands.

Go Incognito

Wear and wide-brimmed hat and UV-protected sunglasses when outdoors.

Always Use Sunscreen

Remember that the SPF number describes how long a product will protect your skin, but only if you reapply every two hours, after going in water or toweling off. For example, if a person would begin to sunburn in 15 minutes, sunscreen with 20 SPF will prevent sunburn for five hours (15 minutes x 20 = 300 minutes).

Follow these tips and you'll enjoy carefree fun in the sun all summer long.

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Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor.  For more information go to jazzercise.com or call (800) FIT-IS-IT.

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