Dr. Stephen M. Pribut's Sport Pages

Return to top



Hot Fun In The Summertime

Exercising in the heat of summer requires a certain amount of respect for the environmental conditions of this season. Heat, humidity and sun can all have deleterious effects on your performance and may also result in long term problems. Sun exposure is now thought to be one of the more dangerous long term risk factors for the development of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. Now, the pasty white look is in, for those of the caucasian persuasion, rather than that healthy tanned look. Although even individuals with more melanin pigmentation should also be careful of excessive UV exposure. Daily dosing with sun screen of SPF 15 or greater and wearing funky hats contributes to protection from the risks of sun exposure. Sun burns are considered to do the most harm. The majority of a individual's lifetime sun exposure occurs before they are out of their 20's. The CDC reports that 80% of an individual's sun exposure occurs before the age of 18.

When applying sunscreen make sure to do so 15 to 30 minutes before exposure. Use about a tablespoon per limb and a few tablespoons for your torso. The protection studies are all based on using quite a bit of sunscreen. Don't forget the tops of your feet and front of your ankles. Clothes provide even more protection than sunscreen - so hats and shirts can be of great help in reducing your exposure. If you sit under an umbrella at the beach, remember that sand and water will reflect up to 85% of UV light.

Besides the well known and highly lethal melanoma, which is diagnosed in more than 40,000 Americans each year, there are other types of skin cancer caused by sun exposure. Basal Cell Carcinoma strikes over 900,000 people each year. This is sometimes seen as ulcers or sores on the face that do not heal, although other body parts are also often affected. Squamous cell skin cancer strikes about 100,000 people per year. A pre-malignant skin injury called actinic keratoses is also found in many people each year.

Glasses are an important summertime item. Use glasses that eliminate 90% or more of the UV light. This will reduce your chances of getting cataracts. Wrap-around glasses will help keep the peripheral UV light from getting in your eyes.

Following are some helpful summertime links:

Return to top of sport pages

 Return to home page

Copyright © 1997-2006 Stephen M. Pribut