Summer is here which means it’s time for fun in the sun! Make the most of these long, leisurely days with these chiropractor-approved tips from our CCA Members.
TIP #1: Know your Ultraviolet (UV) rays and sunscreen
“Know the difference in UV ratings and what they mean”
– Dr. Dan Srouji
There are two main types of UV rays that can cause damage to your skin:
- UVA rays account for 95% of UV radiation coming through the Earth’s atmosphere. They are larger wavelengths that penetrate deeper into the skin. These rays have been associated with aging of the skin, wrinkling, skin cancers, and more. The quantity of UV rays that the average person receives is relatively constant throughout the year.
- UVB rays are smaller wavelengths and are the chief cause of reddening, sunburns and superficial damage to the outer tissues of our bodies. The concentration of UVB is highest between 10AM-4PM, depending on the season/time of the year.
Choose the right sunscreen:
Now that we know the two kinds of UV rays that can cause damage to our tissues, choosing a sunscreen that protects from both is crucial. The American Cancer Society has recommendations for choosing the best sunscreen for optimal protection including:
- “Broad Spectrum Protection”. These sunscreens protect against both UVAs and UVBs. All sunscreens protect against UVB rays, but only those that are labelled “Broad Spectrum Protection” protect against UVA rays.
- Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher. The higher the SPF, the more protection you get, but be careful. No sunscreen provides 100% protection against UV rays. Be wary of SPF 15 and lower. The FDA requires any sunscreen below SPF 15 to provide a warning that it does not protect against skin cancer.
- Waterproof vs. Water-resistant. No sunscreen is waterproof. A water-resistant sunscreen will provide 40-80 minutes of protection while sweating, swimming or showering. For best results, re-apply every two hours.
TIP #2: Protect yourself during new activities or on new terrains
“Patients ask me about why they have more aches and pains when running outdoors. We talk about proper footwear, uneven running surfaces, spongy ground, etc.”
– Dr. Evraj Dhaliwal
Being aware of changes to running terrains, temperatures, and footwear is crucial for the prevention of outdoor-associated running disorders. Some considerations for outdoor running include the different energy expenditures and forces your body requires when the terrain changes, such as uphill and downhill running, windy conditions, temperature and more.
Invest in finding the right shoe before beginning large doses of running. Shoe selection should not be solely based on colour preference. People’s feet and anatomy vary which can make picking the right shoe for you a difficult process, but a qualified shoe advisor can help you select the best shoe for your running needs!
We must constantly remind ourselves to prevent prolonged positions of stress and to be wary of new activities that come with the summer.
“I see a lot of back pain from gardening and yard work. I encourage patients to do some spinal mobs to warm up before heading outside, change positions frequently, and to go back and forth between different tasks to reduce prolonged periods of the same movement.”
– Dr. Erin Dashney
TIP #3: Maximize activity to minimize injury
“One piece of advice I give patients who enjoy golfing is to ditch the golf cart. If possible, walk the course. Not only are you adding aerobic exercise to your day, you are also warming up your low back and hips for your next swing”
– Dr. Cory Douglas
While the weather is a large determinant of many people’s level of physical activity, why not maximize your weekly physical activity by making some alterations to your daily routine?
Exercise is Medicine has provided some physical activity guidelines for various age groups. These consist of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week, along with some strength training two or more days per week for ages between 18-65 years old.
Some easy changes to get more exercise include biking/walking to work, nature walks, sports, and many more. While the summer encourages us to be more involved in physical activity, it is important to note that physical activity is recommended year-round!
“Pacing activity is important as well as reminding people movement/fitness is 365 days a year thing, not just summer”
– Dr. Marc Bronson
1. https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb 2. https://www.cancer.org/latest-news/choose-the-right-sunscreen.html 3. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. http://www.health.govpaguidelines/guidelines/