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  July is Summer Wellness Month
  • 8 Ways to Minimize Your Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer Worries
  • Fire It Up:  4 Rules for Safer Grilling
  • Sunglasses:  A Must for Children and Adults
  • Dr. Oz Video:  Summer Skin Safety
  • Source4Women: How to Cope with Procrastination and Be More Productive
  • July Dare:  Enter to Win a Fastraxx Canopy or a $400 Massage Gift Card!
  • Monthly Health Tip
  • Monthly Recipe
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8 Ways to Minimize Your Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer Worries

 

Half of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are skin cancers.  Minimizing sun exposure may help prevent some types of this cancer.

 

Did you know that the most common type of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. is largely preventable?  It is estimated that one in five Americans will have skin cancer over the course of their lifetimes.  Fortunately, being sun-savvy may help keep this often preventable cancer at bay.

 

When skin deep matters
The skin is the body’s largest organ.  It protects us against heat, sunlight, injury and infection.  The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and from tanning beds can cause skin damage that can lead to cancer.  While there are many types of skin cancers, the three most common are melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.

 

Melanoma begins in your pigment cells, or melanocytes.  Of the three cancers, it is the most likely to spread to other parts of your body.  Squamous cell skin cancer begins in your squamous cells, and sometimes spreads in the body.  Basal cell skin cancer begins in the basal cell layer of your skin but rarely spreads.

 

There are many risk factors common to these cancers.  Sunlight is the most important risk factor for any type of skin cancer.  Your lifetime exposure to UV rays is another factor.  Also, tanning, or having fair (pale) skin that burns easily, ups your risk for any type of skin cancer. 

 

Some risk factors are specific to skin cancer types.  For example, one risk factor exclusive to melanoma is having many common moles—50 or more.  And old burns, scars, ulcers, or areas of inflammation on the skin may be a risk factor for both basal cell and squamous cell skin cancers.

 

Keeping the rays away
Following these eight tips may minimize your sun exposure to help reduce your risk of some types of skin cancer:

  1. Put lotion in motion.  Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.  Your sunscreen should be SPF 15 or higher.  If you will be swimming, use a waterproof type.  Generously apply it to all exposed skin.  The sun can harm skin in as few as 15 minutes.  Be sure to use sunscreen on cloudy days, too, because UV rays can go through clouds.
  2. Apply sunscreen correctly.  Be sure to put on enough sunscreen.  The average adult needs about one ounce to cover their body.  It works best when it’s applied thickly.  Apply it 30 minutes before going outside.  Apply sunscreen on all exposed skin, including your ears.  Put lip balm with SPF 15 or more on your lips.  Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
  3. Environmental awareness.  Be extra careful around water, sand, cement and snow because the sun’s rays can reflect off these surfaces.  Note that UV radiation is stronger at higher altitudes and in warmer, southern climates.
  4. Timing is everything.  Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This is when the sun is at its highest and its rays are strongest.  If your shadow appears to be shorter than you are, retreat to the shade.
  5. Know your UV numbers.  Check the UV index reported by the U.S. Weather Service through your local media.  The UV index measures the amount of UV light reaching the ground and depends on the amount of cloud cover, time of day, time of year and elevation.  The UV index ranges from 1 (low) to 11 (high).  Be extra careful outside when the UV index is high.
  6. Cover up.  Wear sunglasses with wraparound lenses that block UV rays.  Wear protective clothing when you’re outside, such as long sleeves, long pants, shirts with collars, and a hat, preferably with a wide brim.  Loosely woven fabric (you can see light through it) is not as protective as tightly woven fabric.
  7. Avoid the tanning booth and sunlamps.  Ultraviolet light from tanning beds can cause skin cancer.  If you want to look tan, consider using a self-tanning product or spray, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  8. Watch yourself.  If you notice any new or changing spots on your skin, see your doctor promptly.  In general, the earlier skin cancer is detected, the more likely it is to respond to treatment.
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Fire It Up:  4 Rules for Safer Grilling

 

Stay safe and healthy when you light up the barbecue grill.

 

Barbecues are a favorite summer activity for many of us.  But warm weather and unsafe cooking techniques can lead to food-borne illnesses.  These illnesses are caused by E.coli, salmonella and other bacteria that thrive in warm weather.  They can be found in raw and undercooked meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products.  Bacteria can even be found in fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.  To keep your summer cookouts healthy and safe, remember these four guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture:  Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill.

 

Clean.  Wash hands and surfaces often
Bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses can survive in many places, including your hands, utensils and cutting boards, kitchens and grills.  To prevent this, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water, both before and after handling food.  Also, wash all utensils, surfaces and cutting boards using hot soapy water immediately after using them.  Rinse fruits and vegetables with cold water.

 

Separate to avoid cross-contamination
Begin with your shopping trip.  Keep raw, cooked and ready-to-eat foods separate while shopping, preparing, grilling and storing to avoid spreading bacteria.  Never place cooked foods on a plate, surface or cutting board that has held raw meat or poultry.  Use separate cutting boards and utensils during preparation for meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, and fruits and vegetables.

 

Cook foods to the proper temperature
Even though a burger might look brown on the outside, it may not be cooked completely on the inside.  Keep a cooking thermometer handy while grilling and check the internal temperature before taking your meat, fish and poultry off the grill.  USDA guidelines recommend you cook and grill to the following internal temperatures:

  • 145 degrees Fahrenheit for fish, beef, pork, veal and lamb steaks, roasts and chops
  • 160 degrees for ground beef and egg dishes
  • 165 degrees for turkey, chicken and other poultry

Even pre-cooked foods like hot dogs should be heated until steaming hot or to 165 degrees.

 

After you take your food off the grill, use a clean platter.  Also keep grilled food at 140 degrees or above in a warm oven or slow cooker.  The possibility of bacterial growth actually increases as food cools after grilling.  If you partially cook or grill your meat or poultry to quicken the grill time, put them immediately on the grill.  Don’t set them aside to finish cooking later.

 

Chill

Refrigerate or freeze cooked and prepared foods and leftovers promptly.  That means within two hours or one hour if the temperature is 90 degrees or higher.  Never thaw or marinate food by leaving it on your kitchen counter.  When taking cooked food to a barbecue, place it in a cooler kept at 40 degrees or cooler.
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Sunglasses:  A Must for Children and Adults

 

Over-exposure to UV rays is bad for eyes of any age but can be especially harmful for the very young.  Learn how to protect your eye health.

 

Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory or reserved only for adults.  Wearing sunglasses, from birth through old age, can help save your eyesight.

 

The lens inside a child’s eye is clear from birth through about age 10.  It can’t filter out as much sunlight as an adult lens.  That means sun exposure can cause more damage before age 10 than after.

 

Early exposure, long-term damage
Long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is a big factor in vision loss.  Studies indicate that too much sunlight may lead to:

  • Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which rob adults of eyesight
  • Skin cancer around the eyelids
  • Benign growths on the eye’s surface that can block vision

 

There are two types of harmful UV radiation:

  • UVA rays can damage the macula, the part of the retina that controls central vision.
  • UVB rays affect the front part of the eye—the cornea and lens.

 

Over-exposure to UVB rays for short periods can lead to corneal sunburn.  This can cause pain, a feeling of grit in the eyes, and even short-term vision loss.  You can get this kind of exposure at the beach or on a ski slope without proper eye protection.  For children, this can cause long-term vision problems.

 

Bright sun and glare can also cause immediate problems.  Bright sunlight interferes with your vision and ability to see clearly.  It causes you to squint and makes your eyes water.


When to wear sunglasses
Sunglasses are not just for sunny summer days, when UV rays are at least three times higher than in winter.  Reflections from snow, water, sand, or pavement can intensify UV rays to extremely high levels.

 

Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day.  The sun’s rays pass right through the haze and thin clouds.  When outside, wear sunglasses.  Be sure to wear them in the early afternoon when UV radiation is strongest.

 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says you should wear sunglasses when you take part in winter sports.  You should also wear them at high altitudes, where UV light is more intense.  Keep your sunglasses on outside when you take medications that can increase your sensitivity to sunlight.
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Better Health with Dr. Oz: Summer Skin Safety 
Check out the video library on the Better Health with Dr. Oz section of the uhc.com website! In these short videos, best-selling author and host of The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Mehmet Oz, provides practical, easy-to-follow advice on a variety of health topics. To view the program click here: http://www.uhc.com/health-and-wellness/better-health-with-dr-oz

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Source4Women Online Seminar

How to Cope with Procrastination and Be More Productive

Arlene Fitzgerald, L.I.C.S.W., Behavioral Health Consultant
July 14, 2015, 12:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. CT, 10:30 a.m. MT, 9:30 a.m. PT

 

What is procrastination?  Why do we procrastinate?  What zaps our energy and feeds into our putting projects off and not wanting to finish, let alone start a project?  We will look at ways to be more productive in your daily life when you find yourself wanting to procrastinate.  Learn coping skills to help you take that first step to overcome procrastination and start doing.

 

To register for an upcoming Source4Women online seminar, visit www.source4women.com and click on "Online Seminars & Events." All seminars are recorded and archived for viewing after the live seminar date.

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We Dare You!


The month of July means new dares at http://wedareyoutoshare.com/

 

Take a look at what we have in store for you this month!

 

1. Share a photo of how you protect yourself in the sun
2. Take our Skin Health Quiz
3. Watch our "Which Areas of the Body are Most at Risk for Skin Cancer" video and share your opinion

 

We have great prizes this month like a Fastraxx Canopy or a $400 massage gift card! Visit the site now for your chance to WIN!

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July Health Tip: A Tasty Solution

 

Some fruits and veggies are rich in water. On hot days, these foods — along with other fluids — can help you stay hydrated. They also help replace key minerals which your body sheds when you sweat. Here are just a few thirst-quenching bites:  cantaloupe, celery, oranges, tomatoes and watermelon.
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July Healthy Recipe: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup brown sugar

4 egg whites

2 tablespoons skim milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cups of old-fashioned oats

1 and 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oil, brown sugar, egg whites, milk, vanilla and salt. Beat with an electric mixer (or paddle attachment of your stand mixer) on medium speed until the mixture resembles caramel sauce and the sugars have dissolved.

 

In a separate bowl, combine old-fashioned oats, flour, baking soda and chocolate chips. Stir until just combined. Add to liquid mixture. Transfer to a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking pan.

 

Bake 15-20 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and cool until firm. Cut into squares and store tightly covered for up to 5 days.


Yield: 35 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 151
Calories from Fat: 54
Total Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Cholesterol: 1mg
Sodium: 78mg
Total Carbohydrates: 22g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 11g
Protein: 3g

 

Source:  www.uhc.com  Recipe submitted by UnitedHealthcare Pro Cyclist Coryn Rivera

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