By Melissa Lafrance on June 5, 2018
Summer is fast approaching! In fact, The Weather Network is forecasting a hot, dry summer for most of Western Canada. Take this time to learn about sun safety and hydration, so you can enjoy the beautiful summer days ahead.
Protect your skin and reduce your risk
Protecting yourself from the sun is a no-brainer: it reduces your risk of developing skin cancer, which is why it’s important to make sun protection a part of your everyday healthy lifestyle. Here are six tips to help you be sun-ready:
1. Avoid sun burning, intentional tanning or using tanning beds.
Did you know that a tan is a sign of skin damage and the body’s response to injury from UV rays? Read more about the risks of tanning, skin and eye damage, as well as skin cancer.
2. Use sunscreen.
Pay attention to the sun protection factor (SPF) and whether the sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection. Look for a product with a minimum SPF 30 to protect against the sun’s UVB, the rays that burn the outer skin layers. You also want a sunscreen that protects against UVA, the rays that go into the deeper dermis layers and are responsible for premature aging and skin cancer. A sunscreen labelled ‘broad spectrum’ will help protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Learn more about sunscreens.
3. Wear sun-protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
Clothing is a simple way of protecting yourself from the sun, but some types of fabrics are better than others. Learn about sun-safe clothing.
4. Seek shade.
If your shadow is shorter than you, it’s time to find some shade, especially between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. (see tip #6 for more info.)
5. Check your skin.
6. Check the UV index and plan accordingly.
On days when the UV reaches 3 (moderate) or higher, be diligent in protecting your skin, face and eyes. In Canada between April and September, the UV index can be 3 or more from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., even when it’s cloudy. Clouds only block 20% of the sun’s UV, so you still need to use sun protection on cloudy days. 
Staying hydrated: how much water should you be drinking?
Based on your body size and activity level, aim for a daily fluid intake of about two to three litres (nine to 12 cups).  When you’re more active and the weather is hotter, you’ll need to increase your intake. Learn about proper hydration during exercise.
Water is one of the best fluid choices, but you can also drink other beverages such as milk, juice, broth/soups, coffee and tea.
Photo Credit: UBC Communications and Marketing
By Melissa Lafrance on February 2, 2017
How can managing your emotions be good for your heart? The brain and the heart are closely connected. When your emotions adversely affect your mental wellbeing, your heart is impacted as well.
Stress & Heart Health
There’s a reason why we have a stress response – it’s necessary for survival. When stress or distress become overbearing and chronic, it has significant effects on your health, specifically your heart.
In a stressful situation, your body responds with a chain of reactions. Cortisol and epinephrine are released, which temporarily increase breathing rate, heart rate and blood pressure. This prepares you to deal with the situation and is also known as the “fight or flight” response. Most of us are able to return to normal functioning following a stressful situation. However, if such situations happens often, stress causes your body to remain in a heightened state for days or weeks at a time. Stress can also affect cardiovascular health by influencing behaviours such as unhealthy eating, sedentary behaviours, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, thereby affecting cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Chronic hypertension, or high blood pressure, can damage the artery walls. Managing stress and improving emotional wellbeing can improve overall heart health. Learn more about preventing high blood pressure.
You should consult your physician if you are concerned about your stress levels or your risks for cardiovascular disease. Learn more about preventing and managing risk factors.
Get involved & take care of your heart:
- Learn more about heart anatomy & function and cardiovascular disease risk factors
- Inform yourself on heart health by visiting our Virtual Health Fair & Online Assessment
- Visit heartandstroke.ca to learn more about Heart Health & Heart Month
Emotional Wellbeing & Stress Management:
- Work or talk it out with UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program provider, Shepell
- Shepell’s Stress Coach Connects – an online stress management program
- Improve your stress management with the 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge
- Learn mindfulness for the workplace and how to establish your own meditation practice with the Mindfulness@Work Program
- Check out other stress management resources for staff and faculty
Posted in Healthy Path, Mental Health, Physical Health | Tagged blood pressure, care, emotional health, emotions, healthy hear, Heart health, management, prevention, risk, Stress, wellbeing | Leave a response