Month: February 2018

The importance of protecting yourself from the sun

It wasn’t until the last 100 years or so that medical knowledge had advanced to the point where we understand the dangers associated with sun exposure. In fact, the sun is a lot less healthy for us given that life wouldn’t exist without it either.

Most people associate sun damage with the development of skin cancers which are very often fatal for those diagnosed with them. This has prompted widespread public health initiatives to curb behaviour that results in lengthy exposure to UV sunlight such as the well-known “slip, slop & slap” campaign slogan.

The slogan is an onomatopoeic reference to heavy use of sunscreen, which is what it encourages. Many people do not use the appropriate amount of sunscreen to protect their skin for the durations they spend in direct sunlight.

The sun should not be underestimated as UV rays will penetrate cloudy days and cause sunburns after long exposure. The only way to be safe in sunlight is to have heavy sunscreen or clothing like hats that physically block the sunrays.

Despite the hard evidence connecting sun exposure to skin cancer, many people still do not take the proper precautions. This is especially seen in young people who see sunburn as an acceptable inconvenience of a day in the sun.

Sunburn is exactly what it sounds like at is a leading cause in the development of melanomas. Sunburn is also associated with tanning, in which people deliberately expose their skin to the sun in order to achieve a darker skin tone.

These negligent behaviours are problematic and constitute a public health cost. A large proportion of skin cancers could be avoided if the right precautions were taken in people’s daily lives.

While sunlight does help our body create vitamin D, an essential nutrient, there is no reason to deliberately seek out sun exposure unless you live in a dark room most of all the time. Most people get an adequate amount of vitamin D from tiny pockets of exposure experienced through daily life.

Ultimately protecting yourself from the sun is your responsibility and you should always be vigilant when going outside for long periods. If you’re going to the beach or park with a group, be the person who brings a big bottle of sunscreen to share so that nobody is at risk from the sun.

Also wearing hats and long sleeve clothing is helpful in reducing everyday exposure.

The best exercises for building muscle

 

Building muscle or bodybuilding is an activity that’s hugely popular with both men and women around the world. The aim is to perform particular exercise with enough repetition so that they cause small tears in the muscle fibres that the body then repairs.

When the body repairs these muscles it adds more mass each time. By repeating this process with every muscle group you can develop a well-rounded shape with enlarged and defined muscles.

For many people building muscle is about personal fitness or about improving their self-esteem and attractiveness in the eyes of others. No matter what you reasons are, building muscle is going to require hard work and dedication.

Let’s take a look at some of the best exercises for building muscle.

Chest exercises

The chest area is one of the biggest upper body muscle groups and is a point of pride, especially for men. Exercises that work the chest muscles are some of the most identifiable, such as bench-press and pec flys.

These exercises involve pushing weight away from the chest by using your arms. While the arms are what is moving the weight you should be using your chest muscles to do most of the work.

Pec flys or dumbbell flys are more of a tone building exercise that involves pulling the dumbbells away from the chest horizontally, mimicking the flight of a bird. This exercise often gives a satisfying burn and pumps the chest full of blood, temporarily enlarging it.

Leg exercises

The legs are the biggest muscle group in the body and thus many people can lift the greatest amount of weight with their legs. However leg exercises can be very intense and dangerous if not performed properly.

Leg press involves getting in a seated machine and pushing a large surface away from you with your legs. The surface either has space for weight plates to be added or is connected to a set of weights that the user can alternate between.

Another popular exercise for the legs is barbell squats. Barbell squats are highly intense exercise that involves squatting down while holding a barbell on your shoulders.

Arm exercises

The arms are a smaller muscle group that sometimes get a disproportionate amount of attention. Many guys want to have the large biceps they see portrayed in media as a symbol of power and masculinity, this is why they are nicknamed the ‘glory muscles’.

Variations on the classic bicep curl are the best way to train your biceps. Don’t forget about your triceps which are on the back on your arms and are worked with triceps pulldowns.

Triceps are a larger muscle than the biceps and help make the arm look bigger overall.