The risks of ultraviolet exposure

Since moving to Portland I have noticed a lot of dentists, Goodwill stores and pet hospitals.

There are also a lot of tanning salons.

According to Sperling’s Best Places, on average Portland has 144 days of sun a year. (The U.S. in general has 205 average sunny days.) Current Results estimates Portland to have 142 days of sun a year. (Current Results says Tucson [my hometown] has 284 days of sun a year.)

Some sun exposure is good for our health. From my post on calcium and vitamin D last week I mentioned that according to Medical News Today, it is estimated that sensible sun exposure on bare skin for 5-10 minutes two to three times per week allows the body the ability to produce sufficient vitamin D.

Living in the Northwest can sometimes make it difficult to get exposure to the sun.

As I mentioned earlier and in posts previously I was born, bred and educated in Tucson, Ariz. As a young teenager my goal during the summer break was to get the best tan possible. I really didn’t wear sunscreen and hardly ever burned. I also used to slather my body in baby oil to toast … Continue reading

Keep healthy this flu season

I got my flu shot on Friday.

Over the weekend it occurred to me that I should write a post about it. Mostly because there are so many myths about getting the flu shot.

I have gotten the flu shot for at least the past 10 years in a row (and got it while I was a kid and part of the time I was in college) and the shot has NEVER made me sick or get the flu.

I know a lot of people don’t want to get the flu shot for a variety of reasons. And that’s your right.

But if you aren’t going to get the vaccine there are other things you can do to prevent the spread of the flu (and other illnesses).

You should also do these things if you get the flu vaccine.

Regularly wash your hands. If you can’t wash your hands, use hand sanitizer (I keep some in my purse and I used to keep it on my desk at work).

Clean your work/home desk, cell phone, keys, door knobs, light switches, anything you touch and are in contact with regularly with Clorox or Lysol wipes.

If you are sick, stay home. … Continue reading

It’s flu shot season

It is flu shot season.

For at least the past 9 years I have gotten a flu shot. My company provides them for free and onsite.

I am more inclined to get my flu shot if my company provides them and if they are easy to get onsite. I have had several jobs provide free flu shots onsite. It makes sense to me. You want your employees to be healthy and, of course, be productive.

I know some people don’t get flu shots for a variety of reasons and that is their choice. But I ask all of you that when you are sick, please keep your germs at home and don’t bring them to work, which includes your sick kids. (I have co-workers who will bring their sick kids to work because they can’t go to day care of school …)

But today’s post isn’t about any of that. It is about some of the myths about the flu and flu shots.

When I asked one of my co-workers if he was going to get his flu shot his response was, I don’t want to get sick.

Myth: The flu vaccine can give you the flu

According to … Continue reading