(CARLSBAD, CA) – It’s summertime! Beach vacations, outdoor barbecues, and family bike rides may be on your agenda this season. But, do you know how to protect yourself and your loved ones from the harmful rays of the sun?There are quite a few myths about sun safety, some of them fooling even the most sun-conscious outdoor aficionados. So, take a moment to test yourself on your sun safety IQ. See if you’ve fallen prey to any of these fictional myths.
Fiction: The sun can’t hurt me on cloudy days.
Fact: Up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful rays can seep through the clouds, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Even on winter days, the snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV rays. Make sunscreen a year-round habit, and lather up, come rain or shine.
Fiction: A little sunscreen goes a long way.
Fact: The most common mistake made by sun worshippers across the country is applying sunscreen too sparingly. Be generous with your sunscreen. Use one ounce, about the size of a shot glass, to cover all parts of your body.
Fiction: The best time to apply sunscreen is when I’m getting settled on the beach.
Fact: Apply your sunscreen about 30 minutes before heading outdoors. This allows sunscreens with chemical blockers time for the ingredients to work.
Fiction: I only need to reapply sunscreen if I’ve been in the water.
Fact: It’s always wise to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you’re exercising outdoors. That’s because your sweat can dissolve some of the sunscreen’s active ingredients. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett recommends reapplying sunscreen at least once every ninety minutes during an outdoors workout.
Fiction: It’s a waste of money to purchase a sunscreen with a higher SPF.
Fact: An SPF 15 blocks out 93 percent of the sun’s rays, whereas an SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. Aren’t those few extra percentage points worth one more dollar?
Fiction: All sunscreens are created equal.
Fact: Some sunscreens are more effective than others. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Many sunscreens will only protect against UVB rays, but broad-spectrum ones offer protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.
Fiction: Sunscreen doesn’t expire.
Fact: Sunscreen can expire, especially if you’ve left the bottle in your car on hot summer days. Replace your sunscreen every year. In fact, if you haven’t used up your entire bottle in one year, then maybe you’re not using it enough!
Fiction: Applying sunscreen to my face will protect that sensitive skin.
Fact: Using sunscreen on your face is a good start, but it’s not enough. Wear a wide-brimmed hat. And don sunglasses with wider lenses to protect the sensitive skin around your eyes, as well as your eyes themselves.
Fiction: The sun’s harmful rays can’t extend through windows.
Fact: Glass windows only filter out the UVB rays of the sun, but the UVA rays can extend through the glass. So, apply sunscreen to exposed areas of your body before getting into your car.
Keep your facts straight to protect yourself from the powerful rays of the sun. Take a few precautions. Your skin, maybe even your life, will be saved.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.