Ohhh the heat…

It has been hot.  Its always hot.  Since the first southern summer for me in Charlotte, to here 15 years later, the heat is stifling.  But it is a love/hate relationship.  I love working out in the heat, love working out in my yard in the heat, and enjoy doing anything where getting sweaty and dirty is accepted in the heat.  I do however, hate working in my office in the heat (I still love you guys, i just don’t like being sweaty when I do it)! So what to do?  Well, the cool thing about the heat, is that you burn more calories when you exercise in the heat, just like you burn a lot more calories when you exercise in the cold.  Body temp regulation is hard work, and that hard work turns into calories burned.  Calories burned (caloric expenditure) is only one of the output measures of whether your exercise is providing value (you get more value out of a 4 minute maximum burst – likely no more than 100 calories than you do out of running a marathon – burn over 1000 calories), but it is one that we are all very familiar with. So one of my greatest recommendations is to get out there and exercise hard when it is hot out, take advantage of what the heat gonna do.  Try to avoid the hottest time of day, because even up here in Woodstock, the air quality gets bad at that time of day.  I would avoid running along a heavily trafficked area too… no sense in breathing in that garbage if you can avoid it.  So what else do we think of when the heat is on… sun exposure. So a great question brought up by the latest Maximized Living (that is the group that we are a part of) Newsletter,(http://www.maximizedliving.com/Home/MaximizedLivingBlog/tabid/772/Article/397/are-your-sunscreens-really-protecting-you.aspx?utm_source=Patient+Newsletters&utm_campaign=Maximized+Living+Newsletter+-+July+12%2C+2011&utm_medium=email)  “Are Your Sunscreens Really Protecting You”.  Of course most of our culture believes that sunscreen is extremely necessary, because they are saving us all from skin cancer.  However, I agree with the point made in this article, and made so well by so many scientists before this, that at the very least the chemicals in sunscreen are equally as damaging to you as the sun. Consider beyond that; the sun has been here from the beginning of creation.  We are well adapted to it, and all we have to go off of is the knowledge that over-exposure is damaging.  So from there we take A plus B = C, where A is the sun, B is exposure and C is skin cancer.  Where the reality is that we have A+B+C+D+E+F+G+H+I+J+K+L+M+N+O+P+Q+R+S+T+U+V+W+X+Y+Z+AA+AB+AC+…. = Skin Cancer.  And in this case, we have decided to look at all other variables. Variables like, chemical irritants on the skin, chemical irritants in the body, from eating, drinking, breathing, etc.  In addition, diet, exercise, sleep, nervous system function, immune suppressant medications, and a host of other possible variables.  When we begin to layer in other variables, that may, or may not play a greater role than simply sun exposure… the only thing that becomes really clear, is that we need to be considerate of all of our choices. The thing that really bothers me, is that we have used the ozone weakening as our major reason to blame the sun for the increase in skin cancer.  Yet according to NASA scientists, the ozone hole is over Antarctica, and though it varies in size, the NUMBER ONE determinant for why it varies in size is not the amount of CFC’s released into the atmosphere every year.  It is determined by the temperature of the upper atmosphere, which when cooler leads to greater damage.  So if the ozone depletion does not exist over any populated land mass, and if temperature fluctuations have shown to be significant determinants of the size of the layer, why has it not effected more people earlier, and why is it effecting so many people in the Northern hemisphere, all the way from the Southern!?!? Read this excerpt from the Maximized Living article: This list of toxic chemicals includes but is not limited to avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, octinoxate, benzophenone, benzophenone-3, diethanolamine, triethanolamine, and many parabens that begin with the prefixes –butyl-, -methyl-, -ethyl-, and –propyl-. In the list of chemicals above, that are commonly found in sunscreen, there are several cancer correlations from the above group. I think you should strongly consider avoiding sunscreen, and utilizing clothing, or invest in the safe stuff with these ingredients: Coconut oil, Jojoba oil, Sunflower oil, Shea butter, Vitamins D and E, Eucalyptus oil.  Building up a tan, and a strong tolerance to sun over exposure is the best option.  15-30 minutes a day will do that over time. Do your best to stay cool, but use the heat when you can!  Be well, God Bless! – Dr. E
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