Health and wellness weekly
Health topic of the week: indoor tanning
Greetings from sunny San Diego! There’s lots to love about San Diego – great food, good beaches, and lots and lots of sun. We were only here for about 36 hours, but we were able to work up a sweat and get a little tanner with a quick 5-mile lake run. And that brings me to our topic for today: tanning.
It is very important for humans to get sun exposure. We require UV light to convert 7-dehydrocholesterol into vitamin D in our skin, and as we all know, vitamin D is extremely important for bone health. For us here in New Haven, it’s easy to meet the recommended daily amount by just spending about 10 minutes per outside in the sun per day (in shorts and a t shirt). In the winter, this is obviously less practical, and 2000 IUs per day of vitamin D supplementation.
But what about indoor tanning?
First, here’s some statistics from the American Academy of Dermatology:
- 35% of American adults, 59% of college students, and 17% of teens have reported using a tanning bed in their lifetime.
- ~7.8 million adult women and ~1.9 million adult men in the United States tan indoors.
- ~15 percent of Caucasian women age 18-30 engage in frequent indoor tanning.
What are some of the risks of indoor tanning?
According to the Center for Disease Control, tanning will:
- Increase your risk of getting skin cancer, including melanoma.
- Causes premature skin aging ( wrinkles and age spots).
- Change skin texture.
- Increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not properly used.
Are there health benefits to getting indoor tans? Not really. Anytime you tan, what’s really happening is that your body is responding to UV damage. There are safer ways to get the daily recommended dose of vitamin D, such as through dietary supplementation. For more information, including links to the original studies, click here.
Exercise move or the week: Barbell walking lunge.
Staying on our theme of single leg exercises, this week’s featured
move is the barbell walking lunge. This is agreat exercise that, like the step up, will work your legs in isolation. In doing so, this will force you to engage postural muscles that you might not otherwise be engaging. Start off using just the bare barbell to get used to lunging with a weight on your back. Then, gradually increase the amount of weight. Remember, th
is move should be challenging, but you should not feel unstable. If you start feeling unstable, go back to the last weight that did feel stable. Click here for more details (courtesy of bodybuilding.com).
Recipe of the week: Paleo blueberry banana chia smoothie,
courtesy of beamingbaker
This is a great recipe to start your day with. It only has 4 ingredients, they’re all paleo, gluten-free, and
devoid of added sugar, and a lot of the prep work can be done ahead of time. All in all, this naturally sweetened has the fiber and lipids you need to get a great start to your day and keep you full until lunch. Plus, it has a really cool purple color!