- Know the difference between sunscreen and sunblock. Sunscreen uses chemicals that absorb ultraviolet radiation (UVR) and reduce the amount of UVR reaching your skin. Sunblock is thicker and may offer more protection against ultraviolet A rays. To find a more effective sunscreen, buy one labeled “broad spectrum,” with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater, which protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
- If swimming or sweating, use a “water resistant” sunscreen that protects for 40 or 80 minutes, and reapply it at the recommended times.
- Avoid both outdoor tanning and tanning booths.
- Protect your arms, face, and legs while outdoors. A good rule of thumb is to apply half an ounce of sunscreen to your entire body half an hour before you go outside.
- Be sure your sunglasses offer UV blocking. Experts have linked UV-ray exposure to cataract formation.
- Check your skin annually for abnormalities. Look for bumps, patches, nonhealing sores, scaly patches, and asymmetrical or multicolored moles. Visiting a dermatologist yearly is the best way to discover and treat skin abnormalities.
Skin cancer in the United States is on the rise. More people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer than with all other cancers combined. According to the American Cancer Society, five million Americans receive a new skin cancer diagnosis each year. A few changes in lifestyle could prevent this illness. The Skin Cancer Foundation offers simple tips that can help prevent melanomas and other skin cancers.
Being healthy not only makes you feel good, it may also help you financially.
We constantly hear how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That is not always easy, especially in the face of temptation or the easy option of procrastination. For some, the monetary benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle may provide an incentive.
Being healthy not only makes you feel good, it may also help you financially. For example, a recent Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health study determined that a 40-year-old who simply moves from being obese to overweight could save an average of $18,262 in health care costs over the rest of his or her lifetime. If that person maintains a healthy weight, the average potential savings increase to $31,447. 1
If you're wondering how your health habits might be affecting your bottom line, consider the following:
Regular preventative care can help reduce potential health care costs. Even minor illnesses can lead to missed work, missed opportunities, and potentially lost wages. Serious illnesses often involve major costs like hospital stays, medical equipment, and doctor's fees. Preventative dentistry may help you reduce dental costs as well.
In a way, staying healthy helps our potential to save for retirement. If your health declines to the point where you cannot work, that hurts your income and your ability to contribute to retirement accounts. The threat is real: the Social Security Administration notes that a quarter of us will become disabled at some point during our working years. 2
Overweight workers may be subjected to wage discrimination. A LinkedIn study of almost 4,000 full-time and part-time workers found that the workers whose weights were greater than normal earned an average of $2,512 less annually than the others. 3
Higher weight seems to be a factor in overall health care costs for many. Ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC notes that per-year health care expenses are about 41% higher ($4,870) for an obese individual than for a person of normal weight ($3,400). The biggest factor in this difference: prescription drug costs. 4
Some habits that lead to poor health can be expensive in themselves. Smoking is the classic example. A pack of cigarettes costs anywhere from $5-14, which means ballpark expenses of $2,000-5,000 or more a year in expenses for a pack-a-day smoker. Smokers also pay higher premiums for health, disability, and life insurance. 5
By focusing on your health, eliminating harmful habits, and employing preventative care, you may be able to improve your self-confidence and quality of life. You may also be able to reduce expenses, enjoy more of your money, and boost your overall financial health.
Life is about those everyday moments that add up over time.
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If you’ve attended any type of networking event recently, you’ve probably noticed the large numbers of sales people selling health and wellness products.
Interesting, yes; but when it comes to their claims, you may want to dig a little deeper. Here are some recommendations for scrutinizing products before you purchase.
Many products’ sales brochures refer to studies that reinforce their claims. However, not all studies are created equal.
Try to determine online who financed the study as a clue to how unbiased it is. If it’s the company selling the product, or if the research was conducted by an organization in which the product’s seller has a financial interest, be skeptical. Websites from reputable education and government entities end in .edu or .gov and have the strength of a university, hospital, or government department behind them. As well, articles published in medical journals are peer-reviewed and provide unbiased information.
Distributors of many health products and supplements employ testimonials to sell their product. But, as the website of the respected Mayo Clinic reminds us, “anecdotes and testimonials are not evidence.”
One of the best ways to evaluate a product is to ask this simple question: “Is it too good to be true?” If an ad shouts “Eat five meals a day and lose 20 pounds in one week,” chances are it is too good to be true.
Don’t fall victim to compelling copy by immediately reaching for your credit card. If you’re considering buying the product, wait a day before calling that 800 number. Conduct a brief online research session, and if you still feel that the product is legitimate after researching it, then call. You’ll be making an informed purchase.
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