Fitness Friday: Hey, you, don't forget the sunscreen
*Editor's note: Every week my colleague Ron Kaspriske, Golf Digest Fitness Editor, presents Fitness Friday on the Instruction Blog. This week he talks about how to avoid sun damage and skin cancer. Look for Saturday Morning Tip tomorrow and remember to follow me on Twitter @RogerSchiffman.
Golf Digest *
Here's Ron: We're more than a month into summer and this is usually the point when even diligent users of wide-brim hats and SPF-30 sunscreen start to get lazy. My advice? Don't. One-in-five Americans (including one-in-three Caucasian) will contract some form of skin cancer in their lifetime -- so says the Skin Cancer Foundation. While most forms are treatable, some forms, especially melanoma, often result in death. You can't do anything about the damage the sun already has done to your skin, but you can stop further damage with generous and frequent applications of sunscreen (including lip balm with SPF), clothing that has a UPF rating (ultraviolet radiation protection), and some common sense to take cover whenever possible. Dr. Michael Kaminer, a frequent contributor to Golf Digest and an avid golfer (4.8 Handicap Index), says the mistake most golfers make in applying sunscreen is that they forget it won't last as long as a typical round of golf. In fact, it sometimes wears off before the turn.
"It's partly the fault of sunscreen companies that advertise SPF higher than 30," he says. "You think you're getting great protection for a longer duration. In truth, most sunscreen wears off within two hours no matter what the SPF is."
Skincare is a big part of staying golf fit. So in addition to checking your own skin for moles, abrasions and other nasty things that could be precancerous cells, it wouldn't hurt for you to see a dermatologist once a year. For more on the subject, here are two articles I've authored in the past few years that should answer any questions:
Safe Sun: Arm yourself in the battle against skin cancer Burned To A Crisp: If you play golf, there's a good chance you'll get skin cancer
Follow Ron on Twitter @RonKaspriske*