Five Things to Know about Sun Protection and Skin Cancer

Woman at the beach wearing a hat signifying the five things to know about sun protection and skin cancer.

By now, almost everyone who cares about good skin, fighting the effects of aging, and looking their best (like most of my readers) has been told to wear sunscreen.  The summer season is the time of year when more exposure to the sun is common.  It is especially important to understand how sunshine affects our skin, how to protect it, and avoid skin cancers, while still enjoying the great outdoors. Here are five things to know about sun protection and skin cancer.    

The Damage Caused by UV Rays

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun damage the DNA of skin cells.  This can permanently alter the appearance of the skin’s pigmentation and cause skin irregularities, wrinkles, and sags.  According to the American Cancer Society, there are three types of UV rays, UVA, UVB, and UVC.  While UVA rays are harmful and should be avoided, UVB rays are the most harmful.  They are more energetic than UVA rays, cause more sunburns, and can directly alter the DNA of skin cells. UVB rays are thought to cause most skin cancers.  UVC rays do not penetrate into our atmosphere and are not sunlight, so they are not cause for concern at this time.

Skin Cancer and Early Warning Signs

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer each day! Skin cancer is, by far, the most common form of cancer. Melanoma accounts for only about 1% of skin cancers but causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths. Melanoma is cancer that starts in the cells that give skin color.  Therefore, it’s very important to pay attention to common moles on the skin.  If the color of the mole spreads outside the borders of the mole, that could be an early warning sign of trouble.  If you see this, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately.  If ignored, melanoma can spread from the skin into organs of the body and cause death.  I have friends that visit their dermatologist once a year to get checked, just as a precaution.    At Naturally…You we are all about precaution, prevention, and protection! 

Different Shades of Sun Screen

Woman applying sunscreen to her arm.

The best form of prevention and protection is to stay inside and avoid the sunshine.  I once worked with a woman who rarely when out in the sun.  She has exquisite skin and a nice shade of pale, but let’s face it, most of us spend time outdoors, at least some of the time.  For people like us, there is sunscreen.  Using sunscreen slows the aging of the skin and prevents sunburn. 

But not all sunscreens are created equally.  Most fall into two categories, physical blockers, and chemical blockers.  Physical blockers are made of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These tend to be less irritating and block UV radiation across the UVA and UVB spectrum. This is knowns as the broad spectrum, and you may see those words on the product packaging. While effective, many physical sunscreens can leave your skin with a chalky white appearance.  Chemical blockers can have a narrow spectrum of UV coverage and carry a risk of contact allergy and irritation.  These blockers, however, can be formulated to blend into skin better, giving a more natural appearance to the ones wearing it.

When to use Sunscreen

Everyone should use sunscreen every day, even when it’s cloudy, you are going to be indoors all day, you plan to wear a big hat, or sit in the shade.  Everyday.  Period.

The SPF Mystery, Solved!

On every bottle or jar of sunscreen, you will see something called an SPF with a number next to it.  The SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the number indicates the degree of protection it offers.  For example, an SPF of 15 means that it will take 15 times the UV exposure to cause a mild sunburn when compared to unprotected skin.  The higher the number, the greater the protection.  The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreens that are SPF 30, broad-spectrum, and water-resistant (holds effectiveness for 40 minutes).  Apply it liberally over all exposed skin, and since sunscreens are often not waterproof, it’s a good idea to reapply it every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

Sun protection products, sunglasses and a towel on a table near a swimming pool.

The sun can damage your skin, and skin cancer affects millions of Americans each year.  These five things to know about sun protection and skin cancer give you the knowledge to stay healthy. Armed with the proper knowledge and the right sunscreen, you can enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, avoid harmful UV rays, and still look young and vibrant.  For more information on this or any health and wellness topic, visit naturallyyoufl.com.  There you can chat with me directly.  I’m always available to discuss your health concerns, so reach out on my site.  I look forward to chatting with you soon.

Five Podcasts to Help Build a Better Life

A young woman sitting at a desk, listening to a podcast on her mobile phone.

Building a better life is a goal for most people.  Fortunately, there are lots of resources to help people achieve this goal.  There are countless blogs, books, and seminars teaching people how to do just about anything.  At Naturally. . . You, we are always looking for ways to help our clients live happier, more fulfilled lives.  We find podcasts to be especially helpful.  First off, some podcasts specialize in every self-improvement topic imaginable.  Second, they vary in episode length, so you can find one that fits into your schedule.  Third, most offer actionable tips to help you overcome your challenge.  Often these podcasts have dedicated websites with free supplemental materials and resources. Additionally, they are free and accessible to everyone.  

Today we are presenting five podcasts to help you build a better life.   Each focuses on a specific topic, like happiness or meditation.  We describe the content and tell you why we like it.  Hopefully, you will like some of them too, and use them to build your better life.

For Meditation

The Daily Meditation Podcast.  This is a daily guided meditation helping you to be happier, more at peace, and sleep better.  Hosted by Mary Meckley, a certified meditation teacher, the Daily Meditation Podcast focuses on weekly themes based on a single emotion and provides daily meditation techniques to manage stress triggers. 

What we like about this—Staying focused through a meditation practice can be difficult. It’s easy to get distracted by the events of daily life.  Mary’s calming voice guides you through a meditation and keeps you on track.  These meditations are short, usually less than 10 minutes, so they are easy to fit into morning or evening routines. 

For Happiness

The Happiness Lab.  This is a weekly podcast hosted by Dr. Laurie Santos, a professor at Yale University.  Many people think more money, a better job, or exotic vacations will make them happier.  That’s simply not true, according to research.  Each week The Happiness Lab takes you through the latest scientific research and shares some surprising and inspiring stories that will change the way you think about happiness. 

What we like about this—This podcast focuses on the science behind happiness and skips the mindless platitudes.  Between the research described, interviews with authors, and actual stories, listeners realize that happiness is in their control.  It results from the choices they make every day, and listeners get tools that empower them to make better choices.  These podcasts usually run 30-60 minutes, the perfect size for a typical commute to the office.

For Confidence

A man on a city street looks confidently upward.  He just finished listening to one of the five podcasts to help build a better life.

The You Turn Podcast.  Many people are frustrated with the course of their lives.  But most are scared to make a change.  That’s where Ashley Stahl’s You Turn Podcast comes in, covering a wide range of topics, including personal relationships, career choices, and self-improvement.  Wisdom gained here can build the confidence needed to make a needed U-Turn on the road to happiness and fulfillment.

What we like about this—The diversity of topics means everyone can learn and grow from listening to this podcast.  Each episode lasts about an hour, which is enough time for an in-depth exploration of the topic.  In addition, it also gives enough time for questions and answers with the guests and tips on how to overcome obstacles. 

For Motivation

Optimal Daily Living. This aggregates the best personal development blogs on the internet.  Each day, Optimal Daily Living host Justin Malik reads an excerpt from a published blog on self-improvement.

What we like about this—Thousands of blogs publish every day, and finding and reading them all is impossible. This podcast does all that for you and then delivers a short snippet from that blog.  These are short podcasts, usually less than 10 minutes long, so they can be squeezed into busy schedules.  Plus, they offer food-for-thought on the subjects of motivation, success, and daily habits that can help you build the life you want.

For Sleep

A woman sleeping in a bed, surrounded by white clouds.

Sleepy.  Each week, host Otis Grey reads classic stories in a low, rhythmic tone to lull you to sleep.  Since the stories are classic, like Pinocchio and The Prince and the Pauper, you already know them and know how they end.  That means you can drift off anytime because you already know the ending. Plus, the familiarity of the story can be comforting, especially if you are stressed out and need to get to sleep.

What we like about thisSleepy is everything most people need to fall asleep.  It combines a comforting story, told in a soothing voice and a slow pace.  Each episode lasts around an hour, so there is plenty of time to drift off before it ends.  If you still have trouble sleeping, we suggest taking a CBD gummy ring just before you start the episode.  The Sleepy podcast and CBD are the stuff dreams are made of.

Help Along the Way

Everyone faces challenges in their lives, and most people need a little help to overcome them in healthy ways.  From specific challenges like trouble sleeping, to more general concerns like, “how can be happier,” these podcasts can be effective tools to help build a better life. Along with this blog, podcasts are a great way to feel less isolated by your obstacles, stories by others who have overcome similar challenges can inspire you, and you can learn tips to use on your journey to a better life. Helping you on your journey is what Naturally. . . You is all about.  These five podcasts will help you build a better life, but more importantly, a better life defined by you. 

For more podcast suggestions or help with finding the right CBD product for you, contact us at sharon@naturallyyoufl.com.  I’ll be happy to send a list of podcast options that can help you overcome your current challenge.         

Fitness Trends for 2020 Mix Fun with Results!

A group of young women practicing yoga together.

The fitness industry is in a constant state of change.  Americans don’t stick to most fitness routines because they become just that, routines. Many people who resolve to workout get bored, lose motivation and quit. For 2020, the trends in fitness and exercise aim to change that.  They include innovative equipment that delivers results, variety, a competitive angle, and workouts that simulate daily activity.  Exercise is one of the Six Keys to Optimal Health, and Naturally…You is excited about what’s new in the industry.  So keep reading to learn how fitness trends for 2020 mix fun with results.     

Pilates Megaformer Workout 

A woman working out on Pilates Megaformer equipment as an example of Fitness Trends in 2020 that mix fun with results.

Pilates fans know about the carriage-like equipment known as a reformer.  It is built with movable platforms, springs, and pulleys.  This year’s trend in Pilates is called a megaformer. And it takes this workout to a whole new level.  Done mostly in Pilates studios, megaformer is a boutique fitness class.  This makes it ideal for people who want a serious workout but don’t like large classes found in big-box gyms.  It focuses on core strength and stability and activates slow-twitch muscles for full-body engagement.  This workout will make you sweat, shake, burn fat, and build muscle with lots of abdominal engagement.  The result is a low-impact workout that strengthens muscles, improves balance and flexibility. Best of all, it challenges your core in a way that a lot of other workouts don’t. 

Virtual Reality Workouts Change the Game

Playing virtual realty tennis means you don’t need a tennis court, or even a human opponent!

The worlds of fitness and technology come together to create simulated workout experiences.  This is taking off in 2020 and will expand in scope and popularity. All you need is a virtual reality headset and some games or apps. These are convenient because they can be done practically anywhere. Plus they eliminate the boredom that typically creeps into gym-based workouts. 

VR workouts can change as often as you’d like.  Try boxing one day, tennis the next, and practice yoga another day.  In one game, Hot Squat, players do as many squats as they can by ducking to navigate a series of virtual tunnels. It combines strength and endurance conditioning while you play to score points.  While some may seem more like a game than a workout, don’t be fooled! VR workouts can be very effective.  Throughout this year and into the future, the development of VR workout opportunities will produce more targeted, effective and fun ways to get fit.

The Mini-Trampoline Bounces Back

That’s right, a favorite in the 1980s, the mini-trampoline, is back. Like virtual reality workouts, this is an activity you want to do versus an obligation like a gym routine you have to do.  Jumping on a mini-trampoline is fun and gives you an effective workout. Mini trampoline classes combine:

  • Cardio
  • Simple choreography
  • Toning
  • Stretching 

The benefits include:

  • Improved cardio function
  • Kicks the lymphatic system into high gear
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Improves balance
  • Builds bone mass

Best of all, it’s fun!  John Porcari, professor of exercise and sport science at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, was quoted in Time Magazine saying “When you’re following along to a video or doing something fun, the enjoyment factor overrides the fact that you’re working hard.  You just focus on having fun.”

Exercise Imitates Life through Functional Workouts

Functional workout classes simulate common movements that you may do at home. You are essentially doing real-life activities in real-life exercise positions, using multiple muscles in the upper and lower body at the same time. The muscles are working together rather than isolating them to work independently. That way, they help control and balance body weight. Classes typically include the use of fitness balls, kettlebells, and weights.  Additionally, they include movements that include several body parts at once, like elbows, shoulders, knees, hips, and the spine. The result is muscle memory that reduces the risk of injury.  This is critically important, especially as a person gets older. Injuries can result in the loss of ability to do simple things and a lower quality of life.  Functional workouts are designed to help people stay as agile and independent for as long as possible. 

The Key to Lasting Fitness

Man on a paddle board in the middle of a lake.
Paddle-boarding effectively combines fun with exercise.

The key to lasting fitness is finding activities that are fun for you, with hard work to burn calories, strengthen muscle and endurance. Exercise is an important piece of the health and wellness puzzle. And constantly finding new workouts will fuel your success.  Start with a variety of activities that take place both indoors and outdoors. Next, mix up group settings and solo efforts.  Finally, keep the equipment light and expenses low. That way you will stay motivated, interested and excited.  Combine that with consistency and a healthy diet and you’ll be fit for life.  Fitness trends for 2020 mix fun with results in ways that will improve your quality of life.  So start now! Find a class nearby or pick up a virtual reality headset and start moving to a whole new groove!

To discuss this or any health or wellness topic, visit naturallyyoufl.com. Just look for the live-chat box in the lower right-hand corner.  You can also check out the Six Keys to Optimal Health and my complete line of CBD products. I look forward to chatting with you soon!

Health Trends We Can Smile About

A group of smiling young people.

Current health trends are all about natural ways to restore and maintain health. This year trends are focus on total self-care.  They benefit both the body and the mind, returning to the quality of what we eat, drink, and put into our bodies. At the same time, meditation and other alternative medicine practices that keep the mind calm and centered are gaining in popularity. Make 2020 the year dedicated to self-care for body, mind, and spirit.  In this article learn about what’s hot, what’s cooling off, and health trends we can smile about.       

CBD Soars in 2020

CBD Gummy Rings are part of health trends we can smile about.
CBD Gummy Rings are among the most popular CBD Products.

The popularity of CBD (cannabidiol) will continue into 2020. Sales of CBD products expected to rise 32% over the next 5 years. That’s because it is widely available and legal in all 50 states, and it’s effective.  Users report relief from pain and anxiety as well as better sleep.  Everyone is born with CBD receptors in their body, so it’s no wonder that with consistent use, it is a powerful treatment for many health conditions.

We will continue to see CBD and other cannabinoids added to more products including more edibles. Many people are already making their own CBD laced baked goods and smoothies.  And now, you can buy CBD infused food and drinks right off the grocery store shelf.  The most popular CBD infused foods now include cookies, breakfast cereal, and popcorn.  Hundreds of new edibles are in development and will hit the stores in 2020. 

This is the year to look for other cannabinoids in CBD products.  CBDA or cannabidivarin, may reduce inflammation throughout the body and would be a cannabinoid in a product specifically for joint or muscle pain.  CBG or cannabigerol is a cannabinoid which can help to increase anxiety and muscle tension.  This is the year more cannabinoids will be used to treat health conditions and improve people’s lives.

Alternative Medicines

A group of young women sitting in a meditation class with sunlight streaming through a window.
Benefits of group meditation classes include support and motivation.

Alternative medicine like acupuncture and group meditation is becoming more and more popular. That’s often because people are more wary of harmful side effects associated with prescription medications.  As a result, over 60 percent of the global population now practices some sort of alternative medicine, according to Grand View Research. While botanicals have the largest share of the alternative medicine market, yoga and meditation are a fast-growing segment of the market.  In group meditation, someone guides you on a path of self-care.  Group meditation helps you feel a connection with others as you enjoy the silence and peace together. And just like group exercise, group meditation develops good habits like consistency and motivation. Additionally, members of group meditation can help provide support and feedback during the meditation process.

Plant Based Meals

Another health trend we can smile about is the rise of plant-based diets.  New food choices like Beyond Meat are widely available and are being incorporated into restaurant menus. Plus, more people concerned about animals being treated better and eating healthier.   We are seeing more plant-based offerings at restaurants as an indication of changes in society.   According to Jenny Zegle, associate director of food and drink for Mintel, “Vegan products will go more mainstream” in 2020.

Remote Medical Care

Many Americans suffering from non-emergency issues like allergies, pink eye, or sinus problems are turning to remote medical care providers, like Teledoc.   Diagnosis on the go like Teledoc was prevalent in 2019 and will be more in 2020.  In fact, 2019 revenue topped $550 million, up almost 25 percent over 2018. You can use a telephone or a mobile app to provide on-demand remote medical care.  Most insurance plans now offer coverage for this service.  And best of all, physicians can be accessed anytime, from anywhere.

Mocktails get dressed up

A mojito mocktail is part of a health trend away from alcohol based drinks.
A Mojito Mocktail is a refreshing drink you can enjoy anytime.

The declining trend in alcohol consumption that started in 2019 will continue into this year.  This is mostly driven by millennials and generation z. Both societal and health reasons are the cause.  Younger generations are less social and do not drink together in bars as much as older generations. I personally have cut back drinking and may have a drink once every 6 months or so, basically for the health benefits.  Most people are doing this to focus on health, decrease in sugar, and lose weight.  Furthermore, alcohol can disrupt sleep cycles and cause dehydration.  Recipes for mocktails now include exotic spices, fruit juices, and elaborate garnishes. The Chill Out Honeydew Cucumber Slushie from Bon Appetit is a healthier alternative to sugar syrup filled alcohol laden cocktails.  

Superfoods

Fermented foods, seeds and dark color vegetables will continue to gain popularity in 2020.  Fermented foods like Kimchi and Kombucha contain natural probiotics and are now widely available.  Seeds like pumpkin, sesame, and chia provide healthy fats, minerals, and fiber.  Additionally, seeds can reduce blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.  Dark vegetables, like beets, are great for fighting inflammation and boosting blood flow.  Therefore, help keep blood pressure in check.  Beets have no fat and can also reduce cholesterol so they will continue to find their way into more grocery baskets this year.

Health trends constantly evolve.  For this year, the team at Naturally. . . You are happy to see our attentions are drawn less toward weight loss and more toward overall health.  These are health trends we can smile about. Taking a natural approach to overall health is what we’re all about.  We offer full body detoxification programs to restore health, dietary consultation and a full line of CBD products that may help with a variety of health conditions.  For more information, visit us at our website. There you can chat with me on any health-related matter.  Here’s to a healthy new year!