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Focus On Health: Preparing for the Great Outdoors

By Dr. Trina Ting

This is the time of year when we can all finally put away the winter boots and coats for good, retire the snow shovels, and get the bbqs ready for the spring and summer weather. We might be braving hail and snow one day, then in shorts the next. We’ve been hibernating all winter long and the sun, pollen, and fresh air feel foreign to us again. We start digging away at our garden and overdo it. How do we best prepare to be outdoors again?

Sun Protection

Go through your stock of sunscreen, toss out any expired ones, and make sure it’s ready to grab by your door for when the sunny days begin and are here to stay. The best sunscreen is the one you use: whatever is easiest to apply and reapply (this is the most important step) is the ideal one for you.

In addition to sunscreen, after you’ve put away your winter hats, pull out the wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses. Consider investing in long sleeve rashguards or UV protective clothing if you are exposed to a lot of sun or planning a beach vacation. No matter your genetic predisposition, every sunburn you get greatly increases your risk of skin cancer.

Look at your backyard and consider where you spend your time, and consider moving chairs to the shade or installing an umbrella.

Bugs and Pollen